It's common knowledge that one of the symptoms of IBD is diarrhea. Before having a colonscopy, it's prudent to think of other noninvasive tests that may be helpful in figuring out whether a test, like a colonoscopy, is warranted. Noninvasive markers, such as blood work and stool tests, are helpful in figuring out whether someone may have IBD.
Recent studies look at certain kinds of proteins found in the stools. The proteins are reflective of active inflammation in the gut. Active inflammation can be from infection or inflammatory bowel disease. The tests will be negative and not show inflammation if the diarrhea is due to either something a patient ate or irritable bowel syndrome.
There is growing scientific evidence that noninvasive stool testing may be very helpful first stage before moving onto something more invasive, such as a colonoscopy or x-rays.
For more information on IBD, visit mayoclinic.org/ibd.
Dr. Kane is a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic.