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Fecal Calprotectin Test- Why Your Levels Are Elevated

Hey There I’m Dr Hagmeyer and in this short video, I’m talking about the Fecal Calprotectin test. Chances are you just had a recent stool test and your calprotectin Levels came back elevated. What does this mean?

What is Calprotectin?

Calprotectin is a type of protein that is found within white blood cells specifically in neutrophils and I will explain why that’s important in just a moment.

Essentially, Calprotectin (1) it a test marker that differentiates Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (2). The higher the level of fecal calprotectin the more inflammation present in your intestines.

Several studies have demonstrated the diagnostic accuracy of fecal calprotectin in differentiating between IBD and IBS. Elevated fecal Calprotectin levels (>50-100 µg/g) are highly suggestive of active IBD, while normal or low levels (<50 µg/g) are more indicative of functional bowel disorders like IBS.(3)

Elevated Calprotectin

Endoscopy VS Fecal Calprotectin test

Physicians use many kinds of tests to monitor what’s going on side the digestive tract. Unlike an endoscopy, the fecal calprotectin test is a non-invasive test, you don’t need to be put to sleep, and you don’t need to take medications it’s a test that can be done using a take-home stool test.

Another benefit of the fecal calprotectin test is that unlike an endoscopy which can only be done 1-2x year a fecal Calprotectin test can be done as frequently as needed to monitor progress.  Endoscopies on the other hand are more invasive. This is why more and more doctors are turning to fecal Calprotectin test as a way to monitor inflammation in the digestive tract.

I use the Fecal Calprotectin test to diagnose, monitor disease activity, and guide the treatment process to prevent a relapse in my patients with IBD.

Why Might People With IBD Have Higher Calprotectin In their Stool

Studies have shown that keeping track of the level of fecal Calprotectin in stool is useful in the management of IBD.

When I say IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I’m talking about Celiac Disease, Crohn’s disease, or Ulcerative Colitis, these are all inflammatory bowel disorders that you would see an elevated calprotectin level.

Many times, when we talk about gut inflammation and the health of the gut barrier, we are often interested in knowing what’s happening in the mucosal layer of the intestines.

When you have gut inflammation a few things happen. You get an increase in the number of White blood cells (neutrophils) in the area and that’s because in the early stages of tissue damage, and oxidative stress, Neutrophils will migrate to the area of tissue injury.

Recently it’s also been shown that Neutrophils release histamine. (4)(5) which may also explain why people with elevated Calprotectin experience symptoms like abdominal cramps, diarrhea, excessive gas, and heartburn(6)

So, there you go. Now you know why Your calprotectin test is elevated. We know that there is an Inflammatory bowel disorder but now we need to know more about the reasons and what’s causing the inflammation.

If you liked today’s video, I hope you’ll subscribe to this channel, and here’s another video I recommend you watch.

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