Ulcerative Colitis - Diagnosis

A doctor may suspect a patient has ulcerative colitis if the patient has the symptoms described. Examination of the stool may reveal the presence of blood and pus. Pus consists largely of white blood cells. The presence of white blood cells suggests an infection somewhere in the body.

The usual method used to confirm a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is colonoscopy (pronounced KO-lon-OSS-kuh-pee). Colonoscopy is a procedure that involves inserting a long, thin tube into a patient's rectum. The tube is then pushed upward into the colon. The tube may have a light, a camera, and a small knife attached at the end. The light and camera allow the doctor to examine the walls of the large intestine. The knife makes it possible to remove a small sample of tissue, which can then be studied under a microscope. The appearance of white blood cells in the tissue may confirm the presence of ulcerative colitis.

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