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The GI tract starts from your mouth and ends with your anus and includes your esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
(Read more about how Crohn's affects digestion and your GI tract in the Summer 2010 issue of Crohn's Advocate magazine.) When you have Crohn's disease, your body's immune system begins attacking healthy cells in your GI tract, causing inflammation.
In particular, doctors may conduct a complete blood count to check for an elevated white blood cell count or low hemoglobin count, 2 blood test results that typically are requested for patients with IBD and Crohn's disease.
This is a test in which a small sample of a patient’s stool (or feces) is examined for certain parasites, blood, bacteria, or viral components that might indicate or rule out an IBD, such as Crohn's.
Before the x-ray, a patient drinks barium, a fluid that makes the gastrointestinal (GI) tract show up during an x-ray, highlighting abnormalities.
A CT (computed tomography) test, also known as a CAT scan, is a test that uses a scanning machine to look at the patient's internal systems.
Back to top Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what causes Crohn's, just that something in your body causes your immune system to overreact.
The endoscope also includes a tool that allows the doctor to take a small sample of the bowel wall that can be examined later in a lab for evidence of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
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Because it is a disease of the immune system, Crohn's is classified medically as an autoimmune disorder.
This means that your body is producing antibodies that work against itself.