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Gastrointestinal Health - Lactoferrin, stool

Doctors DataSKU: A2788

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two chronic conditions associated with diarrhea and abdominal pain, and these symptoms are among the most common reasons that patients seek medical advice. 

Turnaround Time

5 to 7 days

Full Description

This test is useful for

  • Differentiating between IBD and IBS
  • Montitoring treatment and disease activity in patients with IBD

Find out more

Gastrointestinal Health

Clinical microbiology plays a crucial role in individual and community health. Because most microbes living on or within the body are beneficial, distinguishing those that are disease-producing is a critical function of a clinical microbiology laboratory.

Doctor's Data bridges traditional clinical microbiology with complementary medicine, providing world-class diagnostic microbiology testing that helps you assess digestive and absorptive functions, detect pathogens or parasites and identify specific bacteria and yeast. Through specimens collected from a variety of body sites and the use of advanced assays and technology, Doctor's Data determines what microorganisms are present and which may be causing infection. Our painstaking approach can help you select the most appropriate antimicrobial therapy and the comprehensive nature of our testing represents real value for your patients and practice.

Detailed Information

Fecal lactoferrin is a biomarker of serious gastrointestinal inflammation. Fecal lactoferrin is elevated in association with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or Crohn's Disease (CD), but NOT Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Therefore, assessment of fecal lactoferrin levels enables distinction between IBD and non-inflammatory IBS. Such distinction is critical because, although both IBD and IBS may share some common symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping and weight loss, the diseases are treated quite differently. IBD may become life threatening, requires life-long treatment and possibly surgery. In contrast, IBS is often effectively treated with dietary restrictions, stress reduction and medication. Gastrointestinal inflammation associated with IBD is associated with increased infiltration of activated neutrophils into the mucosa and increased release of lactoferrin into the gut. Patients with inflammation of the GI tract, such as IBD (but not IBS), exhibit elevated lactoferrin concentrations in the feces. Clinical studies have shown that fecal lactoferrin levels of healthy persons are similar to IBS patients, but markedly increased in patients with active IBD. Patients with IBD oscillate between active and inactive disease states, and fecal lactoferrin levels increase 2-3 weeks prior to onset of clinical symptoms. During remission and effective treatment, fecal lactoferrin decreases significantly. Therefore disease activity, and efficacy of treatment can be monitored by following fecal lactoferrin levels.

Usage Directions

Before You Start:

Please read all of the directions, and familiarize yourself with the collection procedures. If you are taking antifungal or antibiotic medications, please finish the course of medication, and then wait three days before starting this collection. Please refrain from taking digestive enzymes, antacids, and aspirin for two days prior to and during the specimen collection, unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Never discontinue prescription medications without first consulting your physician.

Collection Instructions: here

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