Blood tests are a big part of diagnosing and managing your Crohn’s so don’t be scared if your doc asks you to get them done.
Before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s I had never really needed blood tests for anything as I was a pretty healthy human being. You can imagine how freaked out I was when the phlebotomist loaded up a tray with 7 vials of different colours…
Each colour of vial represents what each vial is there for and different ways they use them in the lab. Geeky Medics explain each colour well and what each one is used for really well.
I was scared shitless when I saw the massive list of things I was being tested for while I was going through diagnosis – hepatitis?! HIV?! What?! It’s all just to be 100% sure you’ve not got any underlying issues that you might not be aware of because once you get started on immunosuppressants, it can trigger things like hepatitis B. Don’t fret though, the likelihood of carrying hepatitis is incredibly low.
Blood tests are also a great way for the docs to look at things like inflammation levels (that’s the C-reactive protein test, CRP), liver function (ALT test – sometimes the meds we take can be a bit mean to the liver) and vitamin levels (spending all day on the toilet can sometimes mean food doesn’t hang around long enough for vitamins to be absorbed).
Once I got a better understanding of what each test was doing to help me I because less worried about what the results might say because when it came down to it, the results all help the doc find the right treatment for me.
I’d love to hear about your blood test tales. What’s the most vials you’ve had to fill?!