Elevated Calprotecin Levels and IBD

Hi I am new to the board. I have had digestive issues for about 3 months which consists of stomach aches and pains, excessive belching, gnawing pain in my upper abdomen and excessive gas (which I thought was IBS) I found out through my functional medicine doctor that I have a mildly elevated Calprotectin level of 98. It's my understanding that a normal level is 50 or below. 51 to 120 is considered borderline IBD. I am having a hard time understanding this all. My doctor said Calprotecin testing is used to find inflammation in the gastrointestional tract. My doctor also told me that most doctors wouldn't even really consider this to be an issue since it's only "slightly" elevated. I have no idea and am really confused. I go in for a colonoscopy in August. Does anyone have any experience with this? Also, I am supposed to be following a Paleo type diet to reduce inflammation. Does anyone have suggestions on foods to stay away? I am having a hard time determining what foods don't cause me a problem.

11 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Have you tried keeping a food diary to find out what triggers your issues, I suffer from colitis, and I find wheat and corn cause me problems. It was found out after I had a colonoscopy, had a very good nurse who just talked to me the whole of the time it was being done so needed no gas and air. Hope this helps, best of luck

  • I am keeping a food diary started it this week. This madness all began about 3 months ago. I made a dip and used dehydrated onion in it. For at least a week I severe stomach pain and insane gas. I almost went to the ER but kept thinking it was IBS and would subside. I have really bad anxiety so I kept thinking I was exaggerating how painful it really was. But looking back now, I probably should have gone in to be seen. Thank you very much for your reply.

  • Hi, different people have different reactions to foods. some people find a wheat or dairy free diet helps, i personally find low fat helps me. Unless you have a specific allergy or intolerance then Im afraid its just trial and error.

    a slight elevated feacal calprotectin can be due to a little irritation in gut. this can be from excess stomach acid to a stomach bug. IBD is not usually considered below 100.

    are you passing blood or mucus in your stools and how often are you having bowels opened, and are you suffering diarrhoea?

  • Hi, that you so much for your reply. I do not have any allergies that I am aware of as I have been tested. My doctor kept telling me it was a form of an "itis" that no other doctor would consider it to be IBD at those numbers. I am not passing any mucus or blood at the moment. I have in the past but nothing on a regular basis. It has been months since I've seen blood or mucus. Thee wasn't any blood or mucus in my recent stool sample either. I very rarely have diarrhea. I suffer more from constipation and even that doesn't last long. Overall my bowels are pretty normal. Thank you very much for your reply. I felt a sense of relief to see that IBD is usually not considered below 100. I ate something with dehydrated onions about 3 months ago and this is when all the madness began. I can't help but think I irritated my stomach back then and it just hasn't healed.

  • j1971 -- Welcome. I believe the Paleo diet emphasizes red meat. My gastroenterologist has me on an ulcerative colitis diet that excludes red meat, dairy, and whole wheat and features chicken and fish.

  • Thanks for the info. My doc told me to stay away from red meat so that's good to know.

  • Also I've been eating mainly fish and chicken without issues. However they have to be cooked very simply and without seasonings. I have a very hard time with many seasonings.

  • j1971 You have a good point about seasonings. I tend to forget that people cook their own food because I now live in an independent living facility where meals are served. It took me a while to get the kitchen staff to understand that I don't expect them to cater to my UC diet, but they need to know that I cannot eat some of the food they serve. I explained that I supplement it with foods I purchase in a supermarket.

  • Having ibd issues sure makes it difficult eating out! I'm not even sure that's what I truly have at this point. But I do know I've had lots of digestive issues the last 3 months. Hoping to get an answer after my colonoscopy on August 8. Man I'm so nervous! 😩

  • Hi, I don't know if you have already had one, but I would insist on an MRI scan ( to check for strictures) and a colonoscopy to get a good look at the internal walls of your bowel as well as the doctor taking some small biopsies. My calprotectin levels were 933!!!!!!i had exactly the same symptoms you are describing and within 6 months of diagnosis I ended up with sepsis and had to undergo an emergency laparotomy and illeostomy as my pleads for treatment were delayed. The sooner you get a diagnosis the sooner you can start treatment. It doesn't progress like this for everyone, I was very unlucky, but if I can save one person going through what I did, please let me encourage you not to take NO for an answer! Good luck!

  • Thanks so much. I had a colonoscopy and biopsy and all were normal. My functional med doctor says all my symptoms are due to a yeast overgrowth and a very rare bacteria in my gut which I attribute to consuming fruits and veggies that were not properly cleaned at a local health food store...long story but I'm pretty sure this place made me sick. Anyway...I'm being treated for those things and am slowly starting to improve. Hope you are well and thanks again for the reply.