The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will attempt to rule out other conditions, such as infection, that may be causing your symptoms. If you are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, testing can also be used to monitor the disease and assess complications.

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests—to look for anemia and signs of inflammation
  • Stool sample—to look for the presence of blood or infection
  • The colon and rectum can be examined with:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colonoscope

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    Imaging tests evaluate the intestines and surrounding structures. These may include:

  • Upper gastrointestinal series
  • Lower gastrointestinal series
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • A biopsy may be taken during these tests. A biopsy is a sample of the intestinal tissue that can be examined under a microscope.