Help! How do they test for Crohn's? what's a small bowel follow through?

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princesscolon
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/11/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I have UC or have been told that but the past 4 years or so it doesn't really seem typical of UC.  I have a rectal ulcer that was going one inch deep towards my vagina.  Now my GI is talking surgery (colectemy and illeostomy) but I said I am scared I could have Crohn's and he said it is possible.  So I am supposed to go get an Upper GI and small bowel follow through?  To me, those tests sound pointless.  Am I wrong?  Any advice appreciated.
Diagnosed with Left-sided UC in 1995 at age 15, Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Aloe Juice, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, Remicade, etc... had almost recto-vaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica started 1/17/08


chroniemomx2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 3/11/2008 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Ulcers with UC don't go through all layers of the intestine, correct? So, if I'm right, I would be questioning your diagnosis also. When was your last scope? They might find something from that with biopsies, and a look at the TI. I would do the Upper gi with sbft....fairly easy noninvasive tests.

Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 3/11/2008 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Upper GI/SBFT - Usually nothing to eat after midnight, then you arrive at the testing facility, they give you a small cup of what I call pop rocks. It makes your digestive track full of gas so they can see things better. Then they have you drink some barium while they take pictures of it going down your throat into your stomach. You drink some more barium and they continue to take pictures every 15 - 20 minutes until it gets to your transverse colon. At that time they usually have the Radiologist start taking pictures with a paddle pushing on your belly to separate the loops of bowel so that they can see any narrowing or areas of disease. The worst part is drinking the barium, but once thats over, the rest is just waiting. Bring reading material. Everyones systems move at a different pace, so you could be there for an hour or several.

You really do need to know which disease you're dealing with so that you can make an informed decision about what your treatment options are.
Suzanne

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


Malibu05
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 3/11/2008 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a piece of advice, to avoid having to change clothes at the hospital, wear a wireless bra(sports bra) and pants without a metal button/zipper! I always hated having to change clothes just to get a picture taken and when I worked at the Radiology dept. at our local hospital that was the one thing people wished someone had told them! My SBFT took about 3 hours. If you want to speed up the process I would reccomend walking up and down hallways or outside in between pictures, it gets things moving a lot faster! Good luck!

Pooie1981
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 3/12/2008 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
The barium swallow is certainly the worst part... mine was flavored like Grape... but I think that only made it worse.. lol. I was so excited for myself when I finshed the cup of it and gave it back to the nurse all proud.. then she came back with another cup of it.. my face dropped. Its like a thick chalky taste. But yeah.. if drinking something is the worse part... ya got it good eh !!
Ulcertive Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Asacol 400mg 3 times per day
currently experiancing a flare up... increased Asacol to 6 times per day and may possibly add ENTOCORT 3 taken 3 times per day


Lady G
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 3/12/2008 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
yes, I agree with the others, you definately want to know what your dealing with so these tests are important especially since the treatments for each can differ. They described the bowel follow throughs..and yeah, everyone is different for those, mine took hours as well when I went cause nicely enough that day my body just didn't want to move nothing through its system and it took forever for the liquids to get going (and I couldnt' possibly drink everything they kept throwing at me, I was so full and ready to throw up), so if the advice to move and walk the halls helps, I suggest that for sure. You asked about what tests they do for crohns, there is lots of stuff, the follow through that your doing was one of my first, then it moved to the more invasive stuff, scopes and all (mouth down to stomach and colonoscopy-you know, down to up, haha) it depends how quick they can find what they want and all to make the diagnosis as to how far the testing will go and what tests you will get, but they definately aren't a waste of time when you need to know which treatments you need to be on to help you get better.
26 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Imuran treatment with Prednisone tapering at moment.  Possible Fistula.


lilturbo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 3/12/2008 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
princesscolon...an Upper GI/SBFT DID NOT DETECT MY CROHN'S. I was originally misdiagnosed with ulcerative colitis and the Upper GI/SBFT came back negative for Crohn's. My doc still didn't trust the upper GI/SBFT b/c that is the "old school method" and he got me scheduled for a capsule endoscopy. The capsule endoscopy showed that I had Crohn's b/c it takes pictures all the way down your small intestine. So, based off of the evidence from the capsule endoscopy my doc was able to confirm that I had Crohn's and be 100% sure.

I WOULD SAY TO GET ANOTHER COLONOSCOPY AS WELL AS A CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY TO BE 100% sure before getting a colectemy/ileostomy. If your doc doesn't want to do either of those things I would push the issue or get a second opinion from another doc...it's YOUR body! Trust your gut instinct. But, you def want to be 100% sure what you have before surgery is involved.
turboemma.blogspot.com/


princesscolon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 3/12/2008 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your helpful replies.  I will walk the halls.  I hope I don't puke!  When my GI said I should take these tests I wondered why he didn't just order me to do the pill cam thing or an endoscopy instead... I have a feeling the tests aren't going to show anything.  Then I have to take more tests, great. mad   Really though, thanks for all the advice.  I'll be thinking of you all as I'm drinking my liquid chalk!  I am used to be tortured on the other end usually.
Diagnosed with Left-sided UC in 1995 at age 15, Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocort. Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Aloe Juice, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Anamantle, Remicade, etc... had almost recto-vaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed w/ Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil,  Tylenol pm, Lyrica started 1/17/08

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