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CT Scan Alternatives?

Hello There!

So, I had a colonoscopy back in September which came back with mild inflammation on the right side (which was odd because my pain was mostly on the left side) with the markers of Crohns. I have since moved to another state and saw another Gastroenterologist in Austin to check a couple things.

1. The doctor who diagnosed me suggested that I should eventually get a endoscopy to see what is going on in the upper tract
2. I have been getting a slight pain on my lower left abdomen and it feels slightly tender when laying on my left side at times. This was one of my original symptoms but it has slowly gotten worse in terms of now it feels tender there.
3. I suffer from some neurological issues

So after talking to the doctor for a few minutes he said he doesn't think I have crohn's because I don't get diarrhea. The only time recently that I got it bad was when having some dairy and I eat a mostly vegan diet.

His assumption is that I may have something else going on and he wants to perform a CT scan of the abdomen. I asked if I could do an MRI instead and he said that the MRI is a slower type of imaging and wouldn't catch the fast moving details and that there is a way to do an MRI but it requires a special diet that can damage the kidneys.

I just wanted to check if that is actually the case? I'm trying to avoid overexposing myself to CT and I am just curious if that is really the only option to get a view of what is going on?

I've already had an ultra sound of the abdomen (not lower though) and and xray with contrast of my kidneys and those haven't shown any issues.

Thank you!
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Well-known member
San Diego
First off, it's perfectly possible to have Crohn's and get little or no diarrhea, This is especially true if the inflammation is confined to the small bowel and not in the large bowel. I'm an example of this myself. I have Crohn's but no diarrhea to speak of.

As for MRI and CT, I've had both at various times. I can't comment on the MRI being to too slow for what the doc wants. I'm not sure what he is referring to. But I don't recall that the MRI had any special diet associated with it. I did have to drink a lot of vile tasting contrast fluid, but that was true of the CT scan as well.

Could this be one of those cases where the doc prefers the CT scan simply because they have a CT machine there at his office and don't have an MRI machine and would need to send you elsewhere for that?
Hi Scipio, thank you for the information! The doctor is referring me to an imaging place down the street and they have both CT scan and MRI but the facility doesn't have very good ratings. I don't know, I feel like maybe I should get a second opinion based off what you have said and what I am feeling.

I think what also made the doctor second guess my diagnosis is that when I flare up my skin starts peeling. Originally when I first had a flare up it happened on the bottom of my fingers. Then just recently I felt like I had another flare up as my spine felt inflamed and my skin began to peel on the bottom of my left foot which is now getting better. So he said that it sounds like more of a bacterial infection.. However, I felt that I've read in multiple places that some people with crohn's have skin peeling.

In any case, I appreciate your response and I will see what other options i can find! BTW, I have been to Rome as well and the Colosseum was amazing!

Lynda Lynda

allnighter247 : Hello. I hope you find the right solution for you and that you feel better soon. Over the years I have had blood draws, stool sample tests, colonoscopies
endoscopies, ultrasounds, x-rays, CT Scans and MRI's for a variety of health conditions. I am glad that this testing is available to me to help get a proper diagnosis and the right treatment.
Keep in touch and have a good week. 🌻
Hi Lynda! It sounds like you have had quite a few tests done. I agree, it is great that we have all of these available options :) I hope that you have a great week as well!