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    Fecal Calprotectin


    Sample: Stool

    Calprotectin is a protein released by a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil. When there is inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, neutrophils move to the area and release calprotectin, resulting in an increased level in the stool. This test measures the level of calprotectin in stool as a way to detect inflammation in the intestines.

    Intestinal inflammation is associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and with some bacterial GI infections, but it is not associated with many other disorders that affect bowel function and cause similar symptoms. Calprotectin can be used to help distinguish between inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions.

    IBD is a group of chronic disorders characterized by inflamed and damaged tissues in the lining of the intestinal tract. The cause of IBD is not known, but these diseases are thought to be due to an autoimmune process that has been triggered by a genetic predisposition, a viral illness, and/or an environmental factor. The most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

    People with IBD typically have flare-ups of active disease that alternate with periods of remission. During a flare-up, a person may experience frequent bouts of watery and/or bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fever. Between these flare-ups, symptoms frequently subside. Many people may go through extended periods of remission between flare-ups. Calprotectin testing can be useful in monitoring disease activity. The test is not specific or diagnostic for IBD, but it may be done to detect and evaluate the degree of inflammation.

    Regular GI Health Panel


    The GI-1 panel screens for:

    • Bacteria – to look for infectious organisms and to help evaluate the balance of “good and bad” bacteria in the gut
    • Yeast – to identify overgrowth of yeast (including Candida) that may be associated with GI symptoms
    • Parasites – including microscopic evaluation, antigen testing, and immune markers of exposure
    • Antibodies to gluten – to evaluate potential benefit of a gluten-free diet
    • Digestive function markers – including digestive enzyme chymotrypsin and stool pH
    • Markers of intestinal inflammation and mucosal immune function – including total intestinalIgA
    • Fecal occult blood – to screen for GI bleeding

    This test is useful for

    You may benefit from a GI Health Panel if you:

    • Frequently travel
    • Frequently eat outside the home
    • Are exposed to feces (e.g., cat litter box)
    • Work in a hospital or other healthcare setting
    • Go hiking or camping
    • Work with young children or have a child in daycare
    • Have frequent or broad-spectrum antibiotic use