Blood Tests and Crohn's Disease Query

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Hi All

Just after some information as to whether Crohn's Disease (CD) or Ulcerative Colitis (UC) can be seen during a routine blood test?

I've done a bit of research and found that routine blood tests cannot diagnose CD or UC, but are good indicators on how severe the levels of inflammation / infection are during active flare ups, and whether medications are helping to subdue the diseases.

I only ask as I was recently asked to provide a stool sample to test for faecal calprotectin, which came back positive. This is the third test I had done in the last year and the results have always been around 350. I had a follow up colonoscopy about 6 months ago, as a result of the first positive calprotectin result, however everything looked healthy and the biopsies came back fine, ruling out UC. Now my doctor suspects CD, however I had a blood test taken a few days after the faecal calprotectin test and the results of the blood test was fine, apart from slightly low vitamin D levels. This recent blood test according to the nurse was the full works, and I know included vitamin B12 and D tests, magnesium levels, liver function, kidney function, and a load more including the routine tests. I've been having digestive problems for about three years now, and had numerous blood tests in that time and the only problem ever found was slightly low vitamin D results, no other problems ever found.

I'd be very grateful for any thoughts and views on this query, especially if you know whether or not active CD or UC are in fact visible on blood tests.

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  • Posted

       Hi Paul,  

           Unfortunately, I don't believe any blood tests can pinpoint Crohn's.   Blood tests can show inflammation but the calprotectin is an indication according to my gastro doc..   My last one came back neg as did my colonoscopy and biopsies but I do have symptoms and have had a diagnosis of crohn's for many years.   I also have RA another autoimmune disease.  Difficult to reach diagnoses are so challenging.   Regarding how active an inflammatory disease is that is often determined by the level of inflammation in blood tests

       Hope you find some answers soon

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Gloria, I do appreciate it.

      I'm not sure if I worded my query correctly to get the answer I'm after, I am aware that blood tests can't pinpoint Crohn's, but what I would like to know is whether an active Crohn's flare up is likely to show up anything on blood tests. According to Crohn's and Colitis websites I have viewed they state that blood tests are a useful tool in seeing how active a Crohn's flare up is, but not useful at all for diagnostic purposes. Blood tests are usually performed when a Crohn's sufferer is undergoing a treatment plan to see how effective that plan is, so from my research it suggests that signs of a Crohn's flare up are visible on blood tests, whether it be high white blood cells, high platelets or whatever cells they look for.

      If that is the case then I don't see how I can have signs of inflammation in my my stool tests, but not in blood tests, if it were in fact Crohn's. I also don't show the typical signs of Crohn's, I never get frequent bloody diarrhoea, I never get a fever, abdominal pain and cramping is minimal and could be anything like IBS, no anal pain or drainage, no reduced appetite or weight loss and no mouth sores. The only symptoms that could relate to Crohn's Disease for me are fatigue, which again is minimal and could be attributed to a poor diet I'm on due to experiencing a lot of food intolerances, and inflammation of eyes, joints and skin, although even with that symptom it is only my eyes that cause me trouble and their not actually inflamed, they feel lumpy and twitchy a lot, certainly no reddening of the whites of my eyes as is suggested for Crohn's sufferers.

      I'd be interested and very grateful to know yours, and hopefully anyone else's thoughts on this.

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    • Posted

         I did a little more research and found a site blood tests/ inflammatory bowel disease.net which may be helpful for you to read.   From what you are saying inflammation of eyes joints and skin sounds like you have some autoimmune disease process going on somewhere.  I hope you get the answers you are looking for.  Crohn's can cause joint issues I know for sure.  Have they tested you for celiac disease?

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul blood tests are not accurate therefore a calprotectin is done and that will say how severe your inflammation is and whether your in a flare.  Blood tests are not reliable as mine were normal tet my calprotectin was 6000 and i was very sick
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  • Posted

    I had severe symptoms that lasted a week but I still get mild cramps due to IBS I'm told.  Colonoscopy showed inflammation and like I said my calprotectin was over 6000 the highest it goes.  2 consultants told me its 95% an infection.  There's many reasons for a high calprotectin. I wouldn't rely on blood tests.  

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  • Posted

    Oh and I've had my calprotectin done 5 times and twice its been high.  Second test was 219 but still consultant said it could be many things and didn't think it was ibd.  I also think it depends wat lab they use.  

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