There are a number of reason why a doctor will not go and start you on Crohn's medications without a firm diagnosis and one of the most important would be of the future side effects of some of the medications. I have been on just about all of them out there and can tell you that I have yet to find an easy one without a side effect. From everything you have written, I am a little surprised that they have not started you on a course of prednisone to stop the flare
Prednisone is a way more dangerous drug than all but the most powerful of Crohn's medications. It's prednisone I would recommend as the last resort medicine, not mesalazine. Yeah, in theory you only take it for the short term then taper off it - but then again how many Crohn's sufferers are on a medium to high dosage of prednisone long-term, unable to taper off it due to steroid dependency?
Also, I do remember reading about
a doctor who prescribed one of the mesalazine/5-ASA drugs for a patient with IBS who hadn't been helped by anything else, and it did help them. Wish I could remember more, but it was remembering that which made me think of suggesting it here.
thank you...I do have a question.. why does it take so long to be diagnosed?
It does for some people. I was one of the lucky ones - luckier than I knew at the time. One reason why it takes a long time for people to get diagnosed is that doctors brush their symptoms aside by saying it's IBS - even though IBS is, in theory, only meant to be diagnosed after everything else (Crohn's, UC, coeliac, gut infection, etc.) has been excluded. The only symptom I had at the beginning was diarrhoea, and mild diarrhoea at that. But after one stool sample test, colonoscopy and SBFT I got my Crohn's diagnosis. It surprised me and deep down I didn't believe I really had it. Turned out the GI's call was better than my own; he was right, I was wrong.
Another reason for diagnosis taking a long time is that Crohn's tends to produce more wear and tear on the intestines over time, but in the beginning there may not be much visible sign of it on the scopes yet, eg ulcers, scarring, etc.
Has any doctor explained your tests to you? What they show, what they don't show? If you want to know what the doctors are actually looking for and how they diagnose Crohn's disease these links may be of help... tinyurl.com/yd2myhl
- Turned this one into a tinyurl link, because it was so long otherwise. It might also be useful to have a look at "Differential diagnosis" at the bottom of the page and see what else the doctors may be looking out for! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crohn%27s_disease#Pathophysiology
- Good old wiki...
None of this, of course, will tell you if you actually have CD or not. But I hope it helps to let you know it's not a particularly easy disease to diagnose and that there's always the possibility it could be something else. And that what is happening to you is, while unpleasant, sadly all too possible with a hard-to-diagnose disease.