Calprotectin is a sensitive biomarker for gastrointestinal tract inflammation. It is a non-invasive method which helps to distinguish between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Non-Inflammatory Bowel Disease, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Calprotectin is a protein that is released by the white blood cells in response to inflammation. This protein helps to fight off infections at the site of gastrointestinal inflammation.
Increased level of Calprotectin is indicative of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer and infections. Mild or low levels of Calprotectin indicate Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or viral infection, showing little or no inflammation. Increased calprotectin could be caused by cancer, insufficient blood supply, gastric ulcers, infections by microorganisms and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases which require the Calprotectin Test are watery diarrhoea, bloody diarrhoea, cramping, stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding and bloating.
The main methods of Calprotectin Diagnosis are Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Point-of-care Tests (POCT). It is important to carry out a Calprotectin test for accurate distinguishing between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This will help individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease to get referred for further testing (such as Colonoscopy), thereby aiding early diagnosis and treatment. It also prevents those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome from going ahead with further investigations that are not necessary.
The treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is by medication, dietary changes, relaxation and colonoscopy.
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