Question about diagnostic tests

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 8/4/2009 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Officially, I've been diagnosed as having IBS. I've had several diagnostic tests done to check for IBD. I've had colonoscopies, small bowel barium studies, blood tests, and the prometheus ibd serology 7 test. All of which come back with negative "normal" findings. I'm also supposed to have a CT scan. My question is do my symptoms have to be acting up (ie flare) for IBD to show up in diagnostic tests? Or would it show up regardless?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 8/4/2009 9:00 PM (GMT -6)   
The serology 7 test does not work for everyone, from my understanding. Crohn's can be pretty difficult to diagnose, and unfortunately a lot of people have trouble because I think it can be pretty difficult to see if you're not flaring. I was lucky and I got diagnosed about a year after I got sick, but it can take a lot longer. What symptoms do you have? It can be really difficult to differentiate, I thought at one point that I had an ulcer, then IBS, and then cancer, and then I finally suggested Crohn's to my doctor (she was convinced I didn't have it too, she seemed pretty surprised when my tests came back with pretty much a textbook case lol). One thing that made me realize it could be Crohn's was because I got sick for a couple of months, then I was fine for 2-3 months, then it came back again, as bad as ever, out of nowhere. The onset was VERY sudden, like I just started feeling the worst I had ever felt in my life, with no real problems before that. I think IBS would most likely be more of an ongoing thing, although flares can last for a really long time untreated as well.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 8/4/2009 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
My symptoms come and go. I was diagnosed with IBS in '98 after all the usual tests. I had a general abdominal pain every day for a while. Then over time my problems seemed to fade. In '05 I had a flare up with constipation and abdominal pain. They had a few tests, including a colonoscopy and everything looked fine. So they said IBS and I seemed to get better. In late '08 I started having cramping an hour after meals, a little pain near my navel, with occassional loose stools. It comes and goes over the months. My GI said my IBS was changing how presents itself, which he claimed is common. He told me I had none of the "red flags" that he looks for when diagnosing crohn's and all of the tests he's done on me over the past 11 years were normal. He even seemed a bit put out with me for asking about it.

So I tried another GI. She thougth it's possible it could be mild crohn's or IBS but she didn't know either way. She ordered the small bowel study, cbc and prometheus which didn't show anything. She plans to order a ct when i go back since the others were negative. I just wanted to know how accurate all these test were since by the time they finally get me in to do them, most of the time I have little/no symptoms. I just wanted to know if that made a difference and if so, how much?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/5/2009 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Maybe you should ask for a pill camera test. This is a test that has helped many who never had anything show up on all the other tests finally get diagnosed. Its a simple test, you swallow a pill camera and as it passes thru your system it is continually taking pictures. This test is one of the best to get pictures of what is going on in the small bowel where the colonoscopy cannot reach. Hope that helps some.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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