Overcoming Fecal Calprotectin Test Anxiety

Overcoming Fecal Calprotectin Test Anxiety
Having ended the saga with my liver (knock on wood), my gastroenterologist can focus on my faulty colon. Thanks to Remicade (infliximab), I had been in remission from Crohn’s since around 2010. My gastroenterologist began questioning Remicade’s effectiveness a couple of years ago when my annual colonoscopy showed slight inflammation. His concern grew after the severe flare I had in March. My colonoscopy in August confirmed that my Crohn’s is active again. I’m three-fourths of the way through a new treatment plan to determine if I’ll continue receiving Remicade. The process involves increasing my infusions from every eight weeks to every four weeks for four months. I began my new schedule on Sept. 3. The third of four infusions is today. To gauge the treatment’s success, my doctor ordered two tests. The first was to do number two — providing a stool sample for a fecal calprotectin test. Calprotectin is a protein released by neutrophils. A neutrophil is the most common type of white blood cell that fights against infection in the body. High amounts of calprotectin in feces indicate inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Instead of performing a colonoscopy, a doctor may order the test to measure inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) activity noninvasively. The test also distinguishes between IBD and irritable bowel syndrome. My gastroenterologist ordered the fecal calprotectin test to have a quantifiable level of my inflammation. That way, he would have a baseline if he orders the test again after four months. Figuring out the test kit I picked up the fecal calprotectin kit when I went for my monthly bloodwork at the end of August. While one tech collected my blood, I watched another pack various containers in an inconspicuous brown paper bag.
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