Compile. Track. Share.

The time with your doctor to assess your diagnosis may be limited. Therefore, it’s important to be proactive before your doctor’s appointment.

First, compile your family medical history. Then, record your symptoms from the last 2-3 weeks, identifying where in your body they’re being felt. Third, talk openly about your Crohn's symptoms. This information will help your doctor diagnose your condition and decide which diagnostic tests may be appropriate.

A combination of tests may be needed for a Crohn’s disease diagnosis.

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be similar to those of other illnesses, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis.

To rule out other causes and pinpoint a Crohn’s disease diagnosis, your doctor may run one or more of the following tests.

Blood Work

Blood samples are tested for anemia or signs of inflammation

Stool Tests

Stool matter is analyzed for signs of bleeding, and infection by bacteria, virus, or parasites

Barium X-ray

When ingested via enema, barium allows internal organs to be seen clearly on an X-ray


A procedure using a small tube to view the rectum and the intestines


Tissue sample of any inflamed area taken for lab analysis

Computerized Tomography (CT)

A procedure utilizing computer imaging and X-ray scanning

Video Capsule Endoscopy

Images of the digestive tract are transmitted via an ingested miniature camera to a computer

Speak openly when talking with your doctor.

It’s important to be up front and detailed with your doctor no matter how embarrassed you may feel about your symptoms, or if you feel rushed for time to discuss them.

Remember, your doctor is a professional who is there to help you. To make the most of your visit, keep in mind these helpful tips:

  • Bring a list of recent medications
  • Invite a family member or friend to join you
  • Complete and print out this discussion guide tool
  • Take your completed discussion guide with you to share with your doctor
  • Take notes during your visit

Did you know?

Crohn’s symptoms
vary based on the area
of the digestive tract
that’s inflamed.

It’s important for your
doctor to conduct the
proper tests for an
accurate diagnosis.