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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why can't my doctor tell me I have UC or crohns?

    Ive been diagnosed with Pan Ulcerative Colitis Intermittant in my large colon and been told it looks like 90% UC but I could also have crohns. if I have an operation to remove my colon and have an illostomy bag and have crohns I cannot have a jpouch but if I have the illostomy bag and have crohns will this then spread any way.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Prof Andrew Day


    Paediatric Gastroenterologist View Profile

    The two main types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis. The findings of scope tests (upper scope and colonoscopy) along with blood tests and the results of specific radiology tests, can usually confirm which type of IBD an individual has. Sometimes, however, although we know that the features are conclusive of IBD, it is not clear which type this is. The accepted term for this is IBD unclassified (or IBDU). Of people with IBD, some where around 10% may be called as IBDU after initial assessments.

    Most times, people called as IBDU initially will be reclassified over time: most times to UC, but sometimes to CD. This might be following the development of specific features of CD, or upon repeat scope tests or upon additional other testing (such as small bowel imaging etc).

    Some novel antibody tests may help to distinguish between CD and UC - ASCA and ANCA are two of these. Additional antibodies are able to measured also.

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