Gastritis, IBS, IBD and Faecal Calprotectin Discussion

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Hello Everyone

I thought I'd share some information I have discovered with regards to positive faecal calprotectin levels.

Along with confirmed diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and Anxiety, I've had digestive problems for sometime now, diagnosed as IBS. I've had endoscopies, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopies with biopsies, ultrasounds, blood and urine tests done and nothing sinister has ever been discovered. However, I had two separate faecal calprotectin tests done which gave positive results. Immediately, the doctors have suggested I have a small bowel MRI to look for signs of Crohn's Disease. Thing is, when the doctor went through my symptoms he was surprised to find that I don't suffer from the common symptoms of Crohn's, considering one of my faecal calprotectin results was >1400. I don't feel overly tired, I don't get diarrhoea often, no weight loss, I do get blood and mucus when I have a bowel movement but this has been put down to confirmed internal hemorrhoids and IBS.

Anyway, going back through my treatment since becoming ill, I found a letter my doctor wrote out for me to issue to the relevant organisations to help with benefit claims. On the letter it lists all my confirmed diagnosis, and one of them happened to be Gastritis. Doctors cannot make stuff up so I'm presuming this diagnosis was confirmed from my endoscopy. I believe this diagnosis is correct as I do seem suffer more in my upper abdominal area, it can feel sore at times, I get hot, gassy feelings in my throat, indigestion type symptoms and causes lots of bloating and burping.

I've always been in some doubt about my diagnosis, and the fact my doctor suggested Crohn's disease, made me do a bit of research. I found a very interesting write up from the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust concerning faecal calprotectin, of which the document was agreed on the 14th November 2017. It states that positive faecal calprotectin results are a sign of GI inflammation, of which the causes are as follows:

IBD (Crohn's and/or UC), Infection, Polyps, Gastritis, Gastric Ulcers, Esophagitis, Diverticulitis, Gastric and Colorectal Malignancy and use of NSAIDs.

I'm surprised my doctor, or even the hospital have not put two and two together and thought the likely cause of my positive faecal calprotectin levels are due to Gastritis. It makes me wonder how thorough they actually are when checking up on patients notes. As I said, my GP would not have put Gastritis on the letter he did for me if there wasn't actually any proof, or truth of it being there.

I'll obviously have the MRI just to be sure, but I'm almost 100% sure they will find anything untoward, as I said my problems seem to be more in my upper abdomen, not lower. This has made me think about the number of unnecessary procedures patients are put through, just by doctors and hospitals not being as thorough reading through patients records as they probably should. I know they are stretched, and under a lot of pressure, but maybe they would be if they were more thorough in the first place.

I just thought I'd share this information with you guys, if you have any thoughts, views and comments on this please add them, I'd be interested to hear what you all think.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Yeah I had sudden onset of abdominal pains and loss of appetite back pain ect last summer, dr ordered a calprotectin test, it’s was 350 so sent me to see gi dr, but forgot to tell me to come off ppi, and take no ibuprofen before stool test as it can effect the result, by the time I saw the gi dr my symptoms had reduced quite a bit, I was not on any meds and my repeat calprotectin was normal levels, so no further testing required, 

    Think the dr was looking more at my bowels than stomach, I remember asking for an h pylori test at the first appointment and he shrugged it off and never tested me for it, always been suspicious I had bad gastritis, but he kept mentioning ibd

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    • Posted

      That's interesting Matt.

      I had the H Pylori test done and mine came back normal, but that was before I got put on the PPI Omeprazole for suspected stomach ulcers, which were bought on by being prescribed the NSAID Naproxen for back pain. I'm still on Omeprazole, and I've heard a few stories for people where their symptoms have actually improved since lowering their dose of PPi or coming off them altogether.

      From your comments I presume your symptoms improved after you stopped taking the Ibuprofen and PPI? What PPI were you taking?

      Be interested to know your answers to these if you don't mind?

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    • Posted

      Yeah the dr when I first went with the symptoms just gave me 20mg omeprezole, was obviously just guess work, I was on them for months and when my symptoms started to reduce I weaned myself off them, not sure if they helped with what I had/have but when I stopped I noticed an improvement once again, don’t go near ibuprofen now, too scared lol
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  • Posted

    I’m having the colonoscopy on Tuesday. My score was 177. Is that really bad? Constant ache on the right side of abdomen. Did u get to the bottom of it?
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    • Posted

      Hi Matthew

      177 is quite high, however my two results were both just over 1400 and 300, so not overly high in relation to mine. Thing is with my results I don't actually feel too bad, for the last 8 to 9 days my digestive system has been feeling quite good. I get little moments of nausea and general unwell feeling, but these only last a few hours at most.

      I'm still waiting to see if I need small bowel investigation, but did have a colonoscopy with biopsies a few months ago and the doctor performing the procedure said my rectum, colon and last part of small bowel (terminal ileum) looked very healthy. Biopsies came back normal too. He did say that with such good colonoscopy results, the fact I don't get regular, frequent bouts of bloody diarrhoea and am not in more pain and general discomfort than I get at present, he would be quite happy to rule out IBD and give me a diagnosis of IBS, but that's down to the senior doctor to decide. There has been talk of investigating my small bowel, but no one seems too worried to follow this up promptly, which I'm taking as a good sign.

      I've also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME. I swear I have read that Fibromyalgia can result in inflammation, which in turn can affect various, general testing results, of which the only one's I can think of are blood, urine and stool tests.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul, I’m struggling with constant ache on the right side of abdomen and mucus stools. Hope to get some answers soon 
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    • Posted

      It's no fun at all Matthew, I know where you are coming from. Good luck with the colonoscopy, I hope it gives you the answers you need, but also be prepared for everything to be clear, a lot of people have expectations of there being something obvious that is causing their problems but their colonoscopies coming back fine, just like me. It can be a long, drawn out process of finding out what's going on, not far off 4 years for me and still no definitive diagnosis.

      All the best.

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