The biopsies taken when they do your colonoscopy are the most definitive diagnostic tool, but are used in conjunction with blood tests for what are called "inflammatory markers," stool tests to rule out infection and parasites, and your descript
ion of your symptoms. Usually colonoscopy is at the end of this process, when other causes have been eliminated and the doctor knows we're looking for some kind of colitis, most likely UC or Crohn's.
I'm not a pathologist so I can't tell you exactly how the cells change, but the cells in the wall of the intestine change when IBD is present. I do know that in UC only the inner layers of cells are affected, while in Crohn's the whole thickness of the intestinal wall can be affected. Occasionally they will find cell pathology that looks like UC, but with a patchy distribution in the colon that looks like Crohn's. In this case the diagnosis may be "indeterminate" colitis.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
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