Symptoms suggestive of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dear Ask The Doctor:  Last year i had severe stomach pain, diarhea, sometimes vomiting, unexplained weight loss, gas and knee pain at night. After having blood work done, it turned out that i had very low blood and iron. Just once i went to the bathroom and there was a little blood and mucus on the tissue. Then one day it all stopped just like that. On my last visit to the doctor he was concerned about crohns. Can it be possible for these symptoms to be related to crohns or could it be somthing else? help! 

Dear Patient:  The symptoms you describe including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, with blood and mucus, weight loss, vomiting and knee pain, along with the presence of iron deficiency anaemia are very suggestive of an inflammatory bowel disorder (Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis), malabsorption syndrome or gluten sensitive enteropathy (Coeliac Disease). You may require referral to a gastroenterologist for investigation of the gastro-intestinal tract. Blood samples may be taken for the presence of anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies and antigliadin antibody to exclude Coeliac disease and colonoscopy should be performed, which allows visualization of the gut through a camera lens. If any irregularities in the intestinal anatomy are present a biopsy can be taken which could lead to a definite diagnosis.

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