If you have a disorder affecting the lower end of your digestive system, you may have been diagnosed with a condition known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Typically, this diagnosis occurs after an examination by a medical professional which reveals significant and chronic inflammation of the lower intestine, although sometimes, IBD can also involve inflammation of other parts of the digestive tract. There are two main types of IBD: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The former involves the development of painful ulcers (sores) in the large intestine and rectum, while the latter usually refers to the emergence of significant inflammation beyond the lining of the bowel. Both conditions tend to result in diarrhea (sometimes bloody), pain, exhaustion, and may lead to weight loss.
This leaves any individual who feels they may have IBD wondering how medical professionals will examine them in order to determine the exact nature of their condition. Now, let’s take a look at the various tests experts will use in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
A blood test is one of the least invasive and therefore earliest tests a doctor will run to determine if an individual is suffering from IBD. A blood test can help with the diagnosis by showing if the patient has anemia, which occurs when there are insufficient red blood cells to pass enough oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Should anemia be detected, this could be a sign that the patient is suffering from a form of IBD. Unfortunately, a blood test cannot immediately reveal the presence of IBD, which means further tests will need to be run. In some cases, failure to find anemia may lead medical experts to cease their search for IBD or consider other possibilities.