You probably had several tests before you were told you have IBD. Sometimes you will need to have follow-up blood tests and imaging tests, such as colonoscopy, Barium x-ray, video capsule endoscopy, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). All of these tests help the doctor monitor your progress and/or adjust your treatment.
Viewing the Gastrointestinal Tract from the Inside
- Endoscopy: refers to procedures where a very small flexible camera (scope) is used to look inside of you by going through the mouth or the anus.
- Colonoscopy: refers to a procedure where a doctor inserts the scope through the anus to look at the walls of your intestine. It is very safe and generally does not cause significant pain or discomfort.
- Capsule Endoscopy: involves swallowing a small pill (capsule) that has a camera inside. As it travels through your body, the pill takes pictures. The pictures are then sent to a receiver worn by the patient. The pill comes out when you go to the bathroom, usually within a day.
Viewing the Gastrointestinal Tract from the Outside
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A machine moves along your body and uses magnetic waves to take pictures. The pictures are then put together to create a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image of your gastrointestinal tract.
- Barium Studies: For this procedure you will have to drink a milky liquid (barium) before the test. A number of X-rays are taken while you are moved around on a table. This allows your doctor to see the liquid flowing through your gastrointestinal tract.
If you would like to read more about these tests, check out CCFA’s Diagnosing and Managing IBD brochure.