How To Diagnosis Crohn’s Disease

Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease is often a difficult process. Because it mimics other diseases, Crohn’s may appear to be a myriad of other ailments. Likewise, the symptoms experienced vary from patient to patient, so there are no set guidelines to follow or sings that intrinsically point to Crohn’s.

There is not a single to test to establish the existence of Crohn’s Disease definitively. However, there are several procedures that are done to ascertain if Crohn’s, as well as other digestive tract disorders, are at fault for symptoms being experienced. One such area of examination is stool samples. It must first be determined that the inflammation in the bowels is not the result of an infection. With Crohn’s, inflammation occurs as though there is an infection, but none exists. Therefore, obtaining this information may rule out many possible culprits.

Other tests that may be done are blood tests, a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a barium enema, small bowel x-rays, a capsule endoscopy, or a CT scan.

Blood tests may be used to check for signs of infection as well as anemia. As stated above, the existence of an infection would rule out Crohn’s disease. However, if anemia is present, Crohn’s may be more likely. One of the possible symptoms of Crohn’s Disease is rectal and intestinal bleeding. Due to this excessive blood loss, many people will become anemic. Therefore, the existence or nonexistence of anemia is another step in diagnosing digestive disorders.

Another option is a colonoscopy. This procedure is done with the insertion of a lighted tube with an attached camera through the rectum into the colon to check for signs of Crohn’s Disease. However, there are risks to this procedure, including perforating the colon wall and bleeding as a result. Another consideration is that Crohn’s Disease may only occur in the small intestine and not the colon; therefore this procedure would be ineffective in that case.

Similar to a colonoscopy is a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is the long tube without the camera. The doctor would check for similar things as in a colonoscopy and the same side effects exist. However, this procedure can only examine the last two feet of your colon and would be ineffective on diagnosing problems in higher regions.

A barium enema may be used to provide a silhouette o the digestive tract through an x-ray after barium is inserted in enema form. This, like the other tests that are used, is not as effective as a colonoscopy but may provide valuable clues.

How Emotional Stress And Crohn’s Disease Relate

For years, many people have argued that forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Crohn’s Disease, is caused by emotional stress, tension, and anxiety; this, however, is completely inaccurate. While there may be links to emotional stress and Crohn’s Disease, it is not a cause of the disorder.

A common misconception is that Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). However, these differ considerably. IBD causes inflammation of the intestines and is not caused psychological factors. On the other hand, there is a strong link in emotional issues contributing to IBS.

While some may argue Crohn’s Disease is caused by being overly emotional, it is in fact an inappropriate response of the immune system and no correlation to the disease and psychological issues. However, emotions may play a role in how a person deals with Crohn’s Disease.

In dealing with any chronic disease, people may find difficulty is coping with the long term effects of their medical condition. As a result, people with Crohn’s may become depressed or suffer other psychological issues, such as severe anxiety or dependency. As Crohn’s often causes excessive diarrhea and gas, it is sometimes embarrassing for people to go out in public, possibly leading to reclusion. Likewise, travel becomes more difficult, which may lead to feelings of loss of freedom. Long term pain also causes emotional complications, as well as long term use of pain medications.

While Crohn’s Disease may cause emotional stress, there has also been a reverse connection recognized: meaning stress may cause flare-ups of complications in patients already affected by Crohn’s Disease. Through extremely emotional times, a person may notice an increase in severity of diarrhea, gas, and pain.

If psychological issues become a hindrance in daily life, it may be necessary to seek professional help. While medication is not typically needed, simply acquiring support may be very beneficial. This may also be accomplished by joining support groups or conversing with other people that suffer from the same or similar disorders.

For peace of mind, there are also other steps that you can take to reduce stress as a result of Crohn’s Disease. Carrying a change of clothes with you, familiarizing yourself with your surroundings, including location of bathrooms, and being aware of your body’s reaction to certain foods will ease anxiety when you are out and about and prepare you for possible issues that may arise.