Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should we be worried about Chrons disease?"
My sister has been diagnosed with this, and she mentioned that I should go and get an MRI to check that I'm not effected. Is this something that I should do and do I need a referral?
I suggest that you schedule an appointment with the gastroenterologist. Crohn's disease is an inflammatory condition that can affect any part of the intestinal tract. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and sometimes bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool. Crohn's disease occurs when the immune system gets confused and decides to attack the gastrointestinal wall thinking that it is a foreign body. Crohn's disease does not necessarily run in families although if your sister has it you are probably statistically slightly more likely to develop it at some point in your life. However, if you have no symptoms of Crohn's disease there is probably no reason to do any further testing at this time. If you were to get tested for Crohn's disease down the road especially if you were to develop symptoms such as abdominal pain or diarrhea, then an MRI would not be at the diagnostic test of choice. Instead he would be better off getting a colonoscopy which is a procedure where a scope is inserted into the rectum so that the physician can look for areas of inflammation. A biopsy is usually needed to make the diagnosis. If you have any of these symptoms, or you think that you should be screened for this condition for some other reason, then I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with the gastroenterologist.
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