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Diagnosis of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis

Editor's note: For World IBD Day 2019, community members submitted questions for Dr. Nandi. This video was recorded by Dr. Nandi on World IBD Day and was published at a later date.

One of the community's questions was, "What are other subtle signs and symptoms to lead to the diagnosis of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis?"

How are Crohn's and UC diagnosed?

It is very important to know that there is no single test that will give you a 100% diagnosis of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Doctors have to put together all of the clues on medical history, physical exams, labs, stool studies, endoscopy, and imaging in order to connect the dots to give the diagnosis. This can be difficult and challenging for some patients.

Crohn's and colitis can result in symptoms outside of the intestines

Extra-intestinal manifestations can also occur. This refers to manifestations of IBD in other organ systems outside of the intestine! Hence, they are called extra-intestinal. A few examples include aphthous ulcers in the mouth, eye pain or vision changes, arthritis, skin rashes, and other less common conditions. These illnesses must be treated and sometimes treating the intestine heals the extra-intestinal manifestation. Dr. Nandi elaborates more in the video.

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