Calprotectin, a protein in white blood cells, indicates inflammation, especially in the gut. Testing calprotectin in feces shows how inflamed the intestines are. This helps diagnose and track inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. It also helps distinguish these from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which usually doesn't raise calprotectin levels....


Who Would Benefit from Testing Their Calprotectin Levels (in feces)?

Individuals experiencing symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained weight loss, would benefit from fecal calprotectin testing. It’s particularly useful for diagnosing and monitoring inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and for distinguishing these conditions from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which typically does not elevate calprotectin levels.

What is the Difference Between Calprotectin in Blood vs. Feces?

Calprotectin levels in the blood can indicate systemic inflammation and are not specific to the gastrointestinal tract. In contrast, fecal calprotectin specifically reflects inflammation in the intestines. Elevated fecal calprotectin is a more direct indicator of intestinal disorders, whereas blood levels may rise due to various inflammatory conditions throughout the body.

What Does It Mean If Your Fecal Calprotectin Is High?

Very high calprotectin levels are found, for example, in active chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, invasive enteritis or extensive ulcerative colorectal carcinoma. People with chronic diffuse gastrointestinal diseases, food allergies or malabsorption instead show lower to moderately elevated levels.

What is the connection between calprotectin and the intestinal mucosa?

The connection between calprotectin and the intestinal mucosa lies in calprotectin’s role as a marker of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Here’s how they are connected:

  1. Indicator of Inflammation: Calprotectin is released from white blood cells into the intestines during inflammation. Elevated levels of calprotectin in the feces are often a direct response to inflammation in the intestinal mucosa.
  2. Detecting Intestinal Disorders: High calprotectin levels can indicate disorders that cause inflammation of the intestinal lining, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  3. Monitoring Disease Activity: In patients with known intestinal disorders, measuring calprotectin helps assess the severity and activity of the disease. It can indicate whether the intestinal mucosa is inflamed and how effectively a treatment is working.

Test(s) that measure/test for Calprotectin

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