Calprotectin Stool Test
A calprotectin stool test is used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Chron's disease and ulcerative colitis, or to differentiate IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Calprotectin is a stool (fecal) test that is used to detect inflammation in the intestines. Intestinal inflammation is associated with, for example, some bacterial infections and, in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it is associated with disease activity and severity. The calprotectin test is not diagnostic but may be used to distinguish between IBD and non-inflammatory disorders and monitor IBD severity.
This stool test is for individuals who have persistently runny and watery stools who wish to rule out IBS before undergoing more invasive and costly procedures. Also, it is used by people who have positive diagnoses of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and wish to monitor their condition.
A calprotectin test may be ordered when a person has symptoms that suggest inflammation of the digestive system and when a healthcare practitioner wants to distinguish between IBD and a non-inflammatory bowel condition.
Signs and symptoms of IBD will vary from person to person and over time. They may include one or more of the following:
- Bloody or watery diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps or pain
- Weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
When a person has been diagnosed with IBD, a calprotectin test may be ordered whenever a flare-up is suspected, confirming disease activity and evaluating its severity.
Anything that causes inflammation in the intestines can cause an increase in stool calprotectin.
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