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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the process for diagnosing Crohn's Disease in young adults?

    My husband is 24, and he has just had a Colonoscopy and EGD with no visual irregularities. The Gastroenterologist took five biopsies, and we are waiting on the results. My husband suffers from every single Crohn's symptom, and has been experiencing these symptoms for over 8 years, however, the doctor does not seem concerned by this. What is the next step in ruling out or diagnosing Crohn's? How should we pursue this? I know how serious and rapid-progressing Crohn's is, and I don't want to take the word of one GI doc when my husband's life hangs in the balance. Thank you.
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    Dr van Langenberg is a consultant gastroenterologist in private practice in Melbourne's Eastern suburbs and has public hospital appointments as Director of IBD, Eastern Health … View Profile

    It can be very difficult sometimes to make a diagnosis of Crohn's disease and a normal gastroscopy and colonoscopy does not always exclude  the diagnosis, given that Crohn's may only affect the small bowel and thus not reached by standard scopes. Also it should be noted that symptoms of Crohn's are indistinguishable from other gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome which is far more common. In your husband's case, assessment for small bowel inflammation with a faecal calprotectin and/or small bowel imaging (ct or MRI scan) could be considered with specialist assistance, if Crohn's is still felt likely despite normal tests thus far. Best of luck!

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