Common Questions

Common Questions

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Frequently asked questions about IBD diseases

How do I know if I have IBD?

Diagnosis of these diseases is not always easy. The diagnosis of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis is based on four pillars, which range in importance by:

  • Histology or microscopic examination of tissue removed during a colonoscopy
  • Endoscopic pictures that are examined by the doctor performing the colonoscopy
  • X-rays obtained by enteroclysis, barium enema, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • A doctor discussing the symptoms experienced with the patient

Click on the links below for frequently asked questions about specific IBD diseases and more.

Frequently asked questions about Colonoscopies

What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy, an examination of the inside of the colon and rectum. This test can detect ulcers and growths (polyps) inside the colon.

Does a colonoscopy hurt?

Most people don't find these exams painful, although some people have more discomfort than others. Patients are given medicine to make them sleep through a colonoscopy, so they don't feel anything. As with most medical tests, complications are possible. Some can be serious - for instance, bleeding and puncture of the colon - but they're very uncommon.

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?

Preparing for colonoscopy will make you have to use the bathroom frequently. Your doctor will give you instructions. Read them carefully a few days ahead of time, since you may need to shop for special supplies and get laxatives or enemas from a pharmacy. You usually start your preparation a day or two before the actual test, and you may need to change your plans for the preparation day. You'll need to be near a bathroom as soon as you start the laxatives. If any of the instructions are not clear or you do not understand them, call the doctor's office and go over them step by step with the nurse.

How will I feel after a colonoscopy?

Most people will feel okay after a colonoscopy. They may feel a bit woozy from the drugs (anesthesia). They'll be watched as they wake up. They may have some gas because of the air that was pumped into the bowel, which can cause cramping and discomfort. Because of the medicines given for the test, you will need someone to take you home from the procedure.

Why is it important to have a colonoscopy?

Colorectal cancer screening helps saves lives. Regular colorectal cancer testing is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer or finding it early, when it's easier to treat. Speak with your healthcare provider about when and how often you should be screened.