Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Order our IBD blood tests to identify and monitor Inflammatory bowel disease, the disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are two primary forms of IBD that Ulta Lab Tests provide reliable blood work and secure testing, so order today!

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The major sources of amylase are the pancreas and the salivary glands. The most common cause of elevation of serum amylase is inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). In acute pancreatitis, serum amylase begins to rise within 6-24 hours, remains elevated for a few days and returns to normal in 3-7 days. Other causes of elevated serum amylase are inflammation of salivary glands (mumps), biliary tract disease and bowel obstruction. Elevated serum amylase can also be seen with drugs (e.g., morphine) which constrict the pancreatic duct sphincter preventing excretion of amylase into the intestine.

Antinuclear antibodies are associated with rheumatic diseases including Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE), mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, CREST syndrome, and neurologic SLE. 

Reflex Information: If ANA Screen, IFA is positive, then ANA Titer and Pattern will be performed at an additional charge.

Testing for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (P-ANCA and/or C-ANCA) has been found to be useful in establishing the diagnosis of suspected vascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as other autoimmune diseases.

Additional test processing fees will be charged if initial results dictate Reflex (further) testing.

Testing for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (P-ANCA and/or C-ANCA and/or atypical P-ANCA) has been found to be useful in establishing the diagnosis of suspected vascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as other autoimmune diseases.

Testing for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (P-ANCA and/or C-ANCA) has been found to be useful in establishing the diagnosis of suspected vascular diseases (e.g., crescentic glomerulonephritis, microscopic polyarteritis and Churg-Strauss syndrome), bowel disease (Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and autoimmune hepatitis) as well as with other autoimmune diseases (drug-induced lupus, SLE, Felty's syndrome). ANCA has classically been divided into C-ANCA and P-ANCA depending on the immunofluorescent pattern observed. More recently the specific antigens responsible for these patterns have been described and isolated. The antigen that gives the C-ANCA pattern is proteinase-3 (PR-3). Multiple antigens are responsible for P-ANCA pattern, the principle antigen being myeloperoxidase (MPO). Patients with vascular diseases will generally have either a C-ANCA pattern or P-ANCA pattern, and give positive results in specific tests for PR-3 or MPO. Patients with bowel disease have been shown to have antibodies that give a P-ANCA or C-ANCA pattern. These antibodies however, may not be directed towards MPO. Patients with drug induced lupus, etc., often present with a P-ANCA pattern that is associated with antibodies against MPO.

Beta-2-microglobulin normally passes through the glomerulus into the proximal tubule where much of it is reabsorbed. Serum levels are therefore an index of glomerular function. When impaired, serum levels rise in inverse ratio to glomerular filtration rate. Increased amounts of beta-2-microglobulin are excreted in several renal disorders, e.g., Balkan nephropathy, heavy metal poisoning and renal tubular disease due to therapeutic agents. Serial levels of beta-2-microglobulin in serum and urine are used to evaluate transplant viability and anticipate rejection. Following a successful graft, serum levels decline toward normal. Increasing serum levels provide an early sign of rejection. Elevated levels are also noted in lymphproliferative disorders, neoplasms (malignant and benign), inflammatory disease, and autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren's disease

Increased CRP levels are found in inflammatory conditions including: bacterial infection, rheumatic fever, active arthritis, myocardial infarction, malignancies and in the post-operative state. This test cannot detect the relatively small elevations of CRP that are associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

Clinical Significance

Used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, or to differentiate IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Collection Instructions

Collect undiluted feces in clean, dry sterile leak-proof container. Do not add fixative or preservative.


Cardio IQ Lp-PLA2 Activity

Clinical Significance

Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), also known as platelet activating factor Acetylhydrolase, is an inflammatory enzyme that circulates bound mainly to low density lipoproteins and has been found to be localized and enriched in atherosclerotic plaques. In multiple clinical trials, Lp-PLA2 activity has been shown to be an independent predictor of coronary heart disease and stroke in the general population. Measurement of Lp-PLA2 may be used along with traditional cardiovascular risk factor measures for identifying individuals at higher risk of cardiovascular disease events. Clinical management may include beginning or intensifying risk reduction strategies. The activity assay is an enzyme assay run on an automated chemistry platform.

Specimens from children less than 4 years of age (i.e., less than 48 months) are appropriate for this test. The test for people 4 years of age and older is the Celiac Disease Comprehensive Panel (test code 19955).


Clinical Significance

This panel assists in differentiating celiac disease from other inflammatory bowel diseases and helps avoid progression of celiac disease, particularly in children, through early identification of gluten sensitivity.

Alternative Name(s) 

Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG),Gluten Sensitivity, tTG, EMA,Gliadin Antibody

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Decreased levels of ceruloplasmin are found in Wilson''s Disease, fulminant liver failure, intestinal malabsorption, renal failure resulting in proteinuria, chronic active hepatitis and malnutrition. Elevated levels are found in primary biliary cirrhosis, pregnancy (first trimester), oral contraceptive use and in acute inflammatory conditions since ceruloplasmin is an acute phase reactant

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Chlamydia trachomatis RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimens: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube labe

Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the united states. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of chlamydial infections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.

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Chlamydia/Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA

Patient Preparation 

Urine specimen: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.


Clinical Significance

C. trachomatis infections are the leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. C. trachomatis is known to cause cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), epididymitis and proctitis. It is also the most frequent cause of non-gonococcal urethritis in men. Among women, the consequences of Chlamydialinfections are severe if left untreated. Approximately half of Chlamydial infections are asymptomatic.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococci) is the causative agent of gonorrhea. In men, this disease generally results in anterior urethritis accompanied by purulent exudate. In women, the disease is most often found in the cervix, but the vagina and uterus may also be infected.

CH50 is a screening test for total complement activity. Levels of complement may be depressed in genetic deficiency, liver disease, chronic glomerulonephritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hemolytic anemias, graft rejection, systemic lupus erythematosis, acute glomerulonephritis, subacute bacterial endocarditis and cryoglobulinemia. Elevated complement may be found in acute inflammatory conditions, leukemia, Hodgkin's Disease, sarcoma, and Behcet's Disease.

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)

See individual tests

Clinical Significance

Bacterial sepsis constitutes one of the most serious infectious diseases. The detection of microorganisms in a patient's blood has importance in the diagnosis and prognosis of endocarditis, septicemia, or chronic bacteremia.


Aerobic culture, anaerobic culture. If culture is positive, identification will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87076 or 87106 or 87077 or 87140 or 87143 or 87147 or 87149).
Antibiotic susceptibilities are only performed when appropriate (CPT code(s): 87181 or 87184 or 87185 or 87186).

Culture, Urine, Routine 

Test Details


If culture is positive, CPT code(s): 87088 (each isolate) will be added with an additional charge.  Identification will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87077 or 87140 or 87143 or 87147 or 87149).

Antibiotic susceptibilities are only performed when appropriate (CPT code(s): 87181 or 87184 or 87185 or 87186).

  • ORG ID 1. $ 12.45 
  • ORG ID 2. $ 23.95 
  • PRESUMPTIVE ID 1. $ 12.45 
  • PRESUMPTIVE ID 2. $ 23.95 
  • SUSC-1  $14.95 
  • SUSC-2  $28.95

Clinical Significance

Culture, Urine, Routine - This culture is designed to quantitate the growth of significant bacteria when collected by the Clean Catch Guidelines or from indwelling catheters.  Quantitative culturing of urine is an established tool to differentiate significant bacteruria from contamination introduced during voiding. This test has a reference range of less than 1,000 bacteria per mL. More than 95% of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are attributed to a single organism. Infecting organisms are usually present at greater that 100,000 per mL, but a lower density may be clinically important. In cases of UTI where more than one organism is present, the predominant organism is usually significant and others are probably urethral or collection contaminants. When multiple organisms are isolated from patients with indwelling catheters, UTI is doubtful and colonization likely.

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To screen for and monitor kidney dysfunction in those with known or suspected kidney disease. Cystatin C is a relatively small protein that is produced throughout the body by all cells that contain a nucleus and is found in a variety of body fluids, including the blood. It is produced, filtered from the blood by the kidneys, and broken down at a constant rate. This test measures the amount of cystatin C in blood to help evaluate kidney function.Cystatin C is filtered out of the blood by the glomeruli, clusters of tiny blood vessels in the kidneys that allow water, dissolved substances, and wastes to pass through their walls while retaining blood cells and larger proteins. What passes through the walls of the glomeruli forms a filtrate fluid. From this fluid, the kidneys reabsorb cystatin C, glucose, and other substances. The remaining fluid and wastes are carried to the bladder and excreted as urine. The reabsorbed cystatin C is then broken down and is not returned to the blood.

Direct Antiglobulin Test (DAT) with Reflex to Anti C3 and Anti IgG


If DAT (Coombs, Direct) is positive, Anti C3d and Anti IgG will be performed at an additional charge of $64.00

Reference Range(s)


Clinical Significance

The DAT (Direct Coomb's test) is positive if red cells have been coated, in vivo, with immunoglobulin, complement, or both. A positive result can occur in immune-mediated red cell destruction, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, a transfusion reaction or in patients receiving certain drugs.


Elevated levels of serum erythropoietin (EPO) occur in patients with anemias due to increased red cell destruction in hemolytic anemia and also in secondary polycythemias associated with impaired oxygen delivery to the tissues, impaired pulmonary oxygen exchange, abnormal hemoglobins with increased oxygen affinity, constriction of the renal vasculature, and inappropriate EPO secretion caused by certain renal and extrarenal tumors. Normal or depressed levels may occur in anemias due to increased oxygen delivery to tissues, in hypophosphatemia, and in polycythemia vera.

The fecal occult blood test is an immunochromatographic fecal occult blood test that qualitatively detects human hemoglobin from blood in fecal samples. This is a useful screening aid for detecting primarily lower gastrointestinal (G.I.) disorders that may be related to iron deficiency anemia, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, polyps, adenomas, colorectal cancers or other G.I. lesions that can bleed. It is recommended for use by health professionals as part of routine physical examinations and in screening for colorectal cancer or other sources of lower G.I. bleeding.

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Useful in the diagnosis of hypochromic, microcytic anemias. Decreased in iron deficiency anemia and increased in iron overload.

Did you know that IBD affects an estimated 25 to 45 million Americans? Irritable bowel disease (also referred to as IBD) is a painful condition that can cause discomfort in your abdomen area, as well as difficulty with your bowel habits. 

Are you at risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease because of your family history, or are you interested in receiving testing based on the symptoms you're experiencing? We've created a complete guide to help you understand the lab tests that are available to evaluate if you have IBD, Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. Types of IBD include:

  • Ulcerative colitis: This condition causes long-lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
  • Crohn's disease: This type of IBD is characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which often spreads deep into affected tissues.

Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms vary, depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. You are likely to have periods of active illness followed by periods of remission.
Signs and symptoms that are common to both Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever 
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss

Key Lab Tests for Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Are you interested in learning about the forty key lab tests that are used to monitor inflammatory bowel disease? Here's what you need to know:

1. Blood Culture

blood culture checks for yeast, bacteria, and other types of microorganisms in your blood. If there's a positive result in your blood culture, it's a sign that you have a type of pathogen in your body that could be causing the symptoms that you're experiencing. 

2. C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

C-Reactive protein, also referred to as CRP, is a blood test marker that measures the level of inflammation found in your body. If there's an increased level of CRP identified in your blood test, it means that's there's inflammation in your body, which is also commonly found in individuals with irritatable bowel disease.

3. CBC

A CBC test, which stands for complete blood count, is completed on individuals who are suffering from diarrhea. If diarrhea is one of the symptoms that you're experiencing, a CBC will be used to measure for an infection in your body. This blood test is also used to detect anemia, which could be a sign that you're experiencing bleeding in your digestive tract. 

4. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

comprehensive metabolic panel will allow medical professionals to evaluate if you have a metabolic disorder if one of the symptoms you've experienced is unexplained weight loss. It'll also provide medical professionals with better insight if you have an electrolyte or dehydration abnormalities if you're experiencing diarrhea. 

5. Direct Antiglobulin Test (DAT)

This blood test is used to let medical professionals if your red blood cells are being coated in vivo with immunoglobin, complement, or a mixture of both. A positive test rule for a direct antiglobulin test is a possible sign of autoimmune hemolytic anemia, a hemolytic transfusion reaction, or immune hemolysis induced by drug use. 

6. Erythropoietin

Erythropoietin blood tests measure the Erythropoietin hormone, which is produced in your kidneys. This hormone is responsible for the production of red blood cells, which ensure that oxygen is carried from your lungs throughout the rest of your body. 

7. ESR

An erythrocyte sedimentation rate blood test takes a measurement of how quickly your red blood cells settle at the bottom of a test tube. By measuring how quickly your red blood cells fall to the bottom of the test tube that contains a sample of your blood, medical professionals are able to identify signs of inflammation in your body. 

8. Fecal Occult Blood

fecal occult blood test checks your stool samples for hidden blood. Any occult blood that's found in your stool samples can indicate polyps in your colon, rectum, or even colon cancer. 

9. Ferritin

ferritin blood test measures the level of iron that's found in your blood. If your ferritin stores are too low, it's a sign that you have an iron deficiency, which can be a result of a Crohn's disease-causing your body to poorly absorb nutrients. 

10. Folate

folate test measures the level of folic acid available in your blood. Folic acid is Vitamin B-9, which ensures the healthy production of red blood cells.

11. G6PD

G6PD is an abbreviation for glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase, which is an enzyme that supports the functioning of red blood cells. This blood test identifies if there's a genetic disorder present, where your body isn't producing enough of this enzyme.  

12. Gram Stain

A gram stain test that's used to detect the presence of bacteria in a sample, which can identify an infection. 

13. H. Pylori

H. Pylori is a type of bacteria that can live in your digestive tract, resulting in ulcers and the thinning of the lining of your smaller intestine and your stomach.

14. Haptoglobin

haptoglobin blood test measures the amount of haptoglobin located in your bloodstream. This enzyme is responsible for binding with hemoglobin.  

15. Hematocrit

Hematocrit blood test measures the ratio of the volume of your total blood to the volume of red blood cells. 

16. Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin is a type of protein in your blood that's responsible for carrying oxygen to your organs and tissues, while also aiding in moving carbon dioxide back into your lungs for you to exhale. The hemoglobin test measures the level of hemoglobin found in your blood.

17. Hemoglobinopathy Evaluation

hemoglobinopathy evaluation identifies if an individual has an abnormal form of hemoglobin. In addition, this test also measures to see if there's a decreased level of hemoglobin found in the blood. 

18. Intrinsic Factor Antibody

Intrinsic factor antibodies are a type of protein that your immune system produces when fighting against pernicious anemia. If there's a positive detection for this antibody in your blood, it can be an indicator that you have pernicious anemia. 

19. Iron, Total and Total Iron Binding Capacity

A total iron test measures the level of iron in your blood. A total iron-binding capacity  identifies how well iron is moving throughout your body. 

20. Methylmalonic Acid

Methylmalonic acid is created when your body digests protein. If there's an elevated level of methylmalonic acid found in your blood, it's a sign that you have a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. 

21. Parietal Cell Antibody

Parietal cells are created when your body needs to absorb Vitamin B12. A parietal cell antibody blood testidentifies antibodies  that are fighting against the parietal cells in your stomach. 

22. Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT, aPTT)

Partial thromboplastin time is also referred to as activated partial thromboplastin time, which is a screening test that identifies how well your body is able to form a blood clot. 

23. Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio (PT/INR)

prothrombin time test is used to identify a bleeding disorder or if you have an excessive clotting disorder. An international normalized ratio is calculated based on the results of your prothrombin time results. 

24. Reticulocyte Count

reticulocyte count is a type of blood test that measures how quickly your bone marrows produce red blood cells and release these cells into your blood. If there's an elevated level of reticulocyte (immature red blood cells), it's a tool that's used to diagnose hemolytic anemia. 

25. Sickle Cell Screen

sickle cell blood test identifies any misformed red blood cells, which is a tool that's used to diagnose sickle cell anemia. 

26. Soluble Transferrin Receptor

Soluble transferrin receptors are a type of protein that is found in the blood when a person is experiencing an elevated level of iron deficiency. By measuring the total amount of soluble transferrin receptors, this blood test is used as a tool to diagnose anemia. 

27. Transferrin

Transferrin is a protein that's responsible for binding iron in the blood for transportation. By testing the total level of transferrin the blood, medical professionals can identify how well your body is able to bind iron.

28. Urine Culture

urine culture is tested to identify the presence of bacteria in the urine, which could be a result of an infection in the urethra. If you're experiencing abdominal pain, a urine culture may be ordered by your medical professional to rule out a UTI. 

29. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

The Vitamin B12 blood test is an important test used in detecting Crohn's disease. In individuals that have undiagnosed Crohn's, their small intestine doesn't properly absorb nutrients, which is why a Vitamin B12 blood test is essential in receiving a proper diagnosis.

30. White Blood Cell Count (WBC)

A white blood cell count blood test is used to identify the level of white blood cells in your bloodstream. If your WBC test results are elevated, it's a sign that your body is fighting off inflammation or an infection somewhere in your body. This WBC test is included in the CBC test.

31. Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin tests require a stool sample to detect the levels of inflammation in the intestines. The lactoferrin protein is released by a neutrophil, which is a type of white blood cell. When there's inflammation in your digestive tract, neutrophil will release lactoferrin. 

An elevated level of this protein in your stool is an indicator that your intestines are inflamed. 

32. Calprotectin

Another type of protein that's released by neutrophil (a type of white blood cell), a calprotectin test requires a stool sample to identify if elevated levels of this protein are found in your stool. This test is used as a way to identify if there's inflammation in your intestines.

33. Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies

Used to exclude or diagnose microscopy polyangiitis, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies  that are created to fight against antibodies that are located in the cytoplasmic granules of monocytes and neutrophils.

34. ANCA Screen with Reflex to ANCA Titer

An ANCA screen with reflex to ANCA titer test is used to identify anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. The discovery of these antibodies has been found in individuals with autoimmune hepatitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.

35. ANCA Screen with MPO and PR3, with Reflex to ANCA Titer

ANCA screen with MP0 and PR3, with reflex to ANCA titer, is another test that's used to identify anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. These antibodies have been identified in individuals that have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases.

36. ANCA Vasculitides

By testing for ANCA vasculitides (an abbreviation for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies), medical professionals are able to use this blood test to develop a diagnosis for bowel diseases. 

37. IgG, IgA, Indirect Immunofluorescence

The IgG, IgA, indirect immunofluorescence test provides medical professionals with a tool to identify the titer and presence of the circulating anti-epithelial cell and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies.

38. Proteinase-3 Antibody

The proteinase-3 antibody blood test is a serologic marker for active granulomatosis. A positive test result for these antibodies aids in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease.

39. Myeloperoxidase Antibody (MPO)

myeloperoxidase antibody blood test identifies this antibody in individuals who are suspected of having inflammatory bowel disease. A positive blood test for this antibody is an indication of the possibility of one of several diseases, such as IBD. 

40. Inflammatory Bowel Disease Differentiation Panel

The inflammatory bowel disease differentiation panel is a useful tool for medical professionals that provide them with the ability to distinguish a diagnosis between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis if you've reported symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. 

Get the Diagnosis You Deserve

Now you know the key lab tests that are used to monitor and diagnose inflammatory bowel diseases. You can select your lab tests, order directly online, choose a convenient patient service center near you, and review your test results typically in 1 to 2 days after your blood is collected.

Are you interested in learning more about the tests you need to monitor your inflammatory bowel disease? Take charge of your health and get tested today.  

In 2015, over 3 million adults in the US were diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), and that number continues to climb.

You're not alone if you or someone you love has inflammatory bowel disease or is going through diagnostic testing. There is a lot to know about IBD and all the inflammatory disease lab tests that pave the way to a diagnosis.

If you're unsure about how inflammatory disease is diagnosed, then keep reading this guide. You'll learn everything you need to know about IBD and IBD blood tests.

What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

You've probably heard of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes an irritable colon and cramps. While IBS can significantly impact your life, it doesn't cause damage to your digestive tract like inflammatory bowel disease does.

Another interesting fact is that you can have both IBD and IBS simultaneously, but having IBS doesn't increase your risk of developing IBD.

If you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you have an intestinal disorder that causes chronic, progressive, and damaging inflammation of your digestive tract. Your digestive tract includes your:

  • Mouth
  • Stomach
  • Esophagus
  • Large intestine
  • Small intestine

Your digestive tract breaks down the food you eat, takes in the nutrients, and eliminates waste products. When you have inflammation in some part of your digestive tract, it disrupts your normal digestive process and causes pain. Your body also doesn't absorb nutrients the same way.

There are several types of IBD, but the main two types are Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that involves inflammation all along the lining of your digestive tract. While Crohn's disease can affect any part of your digestive tract, it primarily affects the end section of the small intestine.

The second type of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis involves ulcers, sores, and inflammation along your colon and large intestine. Ulcerative colitis mainly affects the large intestine.

A less severe type of IBD exists called microscopic colitis, and it's intestinal inflammation that's only detectable by a microscope.

You'll find both Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in adults and children alike.

Cause of IBD

The exact cause of IBD isn't known, but family history and genetics may play a significant role. If you have a parent, sibling, or child with IBD, you have an increased risk of developing it yourself.

Risk Factors of IBD

Despite not knowing the exact cause, there are known risk factors besides that increase your chances of getting IBD.

Your immune system plays a role in developing IBD. Your immune system normally defends you from bacteria and any organisms that cause disease. Once the germ invasion is over, a healthy immune system will stop the attack.

With IBD, your immune system attacks your body's cells, causing digestive tract inflammation even when you don't have an infection.

Interestingly, smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for developing  Crohn's disease and increases complications. Yet ulcerative colitis usually affects nonsmokers or ex-smokers alike.

Your ethnicity is a risk factor within itself. Ethnic groups like Caucasians and the Ashkenazi Jewish have an increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease. 

IBD mainly affects people under 35 and who live in a cold climate or industrialized countries. IBD also typically affects both men and women equally.

Complications of IBD

If you have IBD, then you have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer due to chronic inflammation. Other complications you're at risk for include:

  • Anemia (low red blood cells)
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver disease
  • Malabsorption of nutrients
  • Osteoporosis
  • Narrowing of your anal canal (anal stenosis)

Serious complications include severe intestinal swelling and a hole (perforation) anywhere in your digestive tract. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of IBD can vary from mild to severe, depending on the location and severity of your inflammation. Common symptoms of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Gas and bloating

You may also notice the presence of mucus or blood in your stool. Since IBD decreases your ability to absorb nutrients, people tend to suffer from a vitamin b12 deficiency.

IBD Blood Tests

There is no one specific blood test that can diagnose IBD, but IBD blood tests are an essential tool in the overall diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease and monitoring of the condition.

It's best to get testing from a reliable and affordable service such as Ulta Lab Tests. You don't need a physician's referral, and the specific blood tests that are appropriate for each condition are easy to choose with Ulta Lab Tests.

Ulta Lab Tests offers many different IBD blood test panels to fit your needs, ranging from basic to comprehensive panels. IBD blood tests in most panels include:

complete blood count (CBC) which measures your blood levels like platelets, hemoglobin, white blood cells, and red blood cells.

Next, a C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test which detects inflammation in the body and may be tested again after an IBD diagnosis after treatment begins.

Your doctor may also order a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP). A CMP includes 14 different measurements of your blood sugar, nutrients, kidney, and liver levels.

A CMP also checks your electrolyte levels like potassium, chloride, and sodium. The CMP gives a great picture of your overall health.

Antibody Testing for IBD

Other inflammatory bowel disease lab tests involve antibody testing. Antibodies are proteins made by your immune system to fight off invasions from bacteria and germs. 

The most common test is the Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) test. Your immune system produces autoantibodies that mistakenly attack proteins in the neutrophils of your white blood cells.

The ANCA test can help to detect the type of inflammatory bowel disease you have. Over 80% of people with ulcerative colitis will have ANCA, while only 20% of Crohn's disease is positive. 

Another standard antibody test for IBD is immunoglobulin antibodies. Your body produces different types of immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is in the membranes of your lungs, stomach, and intestines.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common antibody in your blood and protects you against infection by remembering germs of the past. Both IgA and IgG help differentiate the type of IBD you have.

Other lab tests may include iron studies and vitamin b12 levels to assess anemia and stool tests to check for parasites and other organisms.

The Key Lab Tests for IBD

The key lab tests to help identify inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • ANCA Screen with Reflex to ANCA Titer #70171
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) #4420
  • Calprotectin, Stool #16796
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets) #6399
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) #10231
  • Culture, Blood #389
  • Culture, Urine, Routine #395
  • Direct Antiglobulin W/Refl Anti C3,Anti IgG #36668
  • Erythropoietin #427
  • Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®) #11290
  • Ferritin #457
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase, Quant. #500
  • Haptoglobin #502
  • Hemoglobinopathy Evaluation #35489
  • IgG, IgA, Indirect Immunofluorescence #16690
  • Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody #568
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) #7573
  • Lactoferrin, Qualitative, Stool #10156
  • Methylmalonic Acid #34879
  • Myeloperoxidase Antibody (MPO) #8796
  • Parietal Cell Antibody, ELISA #15114
  • Proteinase-3 Antibody #34151
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times #4914
  • Reticulocyte Count #793
  • Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR) #809
  • Sickle Cell Screen #825
  • Soluble Transferrin Receptor #91031
  • Transferrin #891
  • Urea Breath Test, Infrared (Ubit) #14839
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) and Folate Panel, Serum #7065[JR25]

Other IBD Diagnostic Tests

In addition to blood tests, proper diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease also requires other diagnostic tests. First, your doctor will likely order standard diagnostic procedures to visualize your digestive tract like:

  • A colonoscopy views your entire colon with a long flexible tube
  • An upper endoscopy views your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine
  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy views the last part of your colon 

Nowadays, many doctors order a capsule endoscopy. With capsule endoscopy, you swallow a capsule with a camera inside. This capsule travels through your entire digestive tract while taking pictures. The images then transmit to your doctor, and the capsule comes out in your stool when it's finished.

Endoscopic procedures allow for biopsies of your digestive tract so a pathologist can look for inflammation and signs of IBD.

You'll also have to get different scans and images. Standard imaging tests include:

  • An x-ray of your entire abdomen to rule out severe complications
  • A CT scan of your small and large intestines
  • An MRI can take detailed images of your organs and tissues

Often, patients must do a specialized CT scan called a CT Enterography. This CT is a specialized CT scan that gives clear images of your intestines and bowels. A CT enterography requires you to drink a large amount of barium right before the scan.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment

There are different treatments for IBD, depending on your symptoms and severity. Usually, the first step in treating Crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis involves medications.

IBD medications focus on reducing inflammation and regulating the immune system. Steroids, immunosuppressants like Methotrexate, and biologics like Humira are common choices. Often people take probiotics and antidiarrheal medications too.

Sometimes diet changes are helpful as certain foods will aggravate your digestive tract due to inflammation. Eating less sugar and carbohydrates is helpful. Most doctors recommend you increase your protein, vitamin, and mineral intake.

Sometimes despite medications and diet changes, you can still get severe IBD that causes blockages and scarring. In this case, people turn to surgical options.

Options for IBD surgery are the removal of sections of the damaged colon. If the damaged area is large enough, a temporary or permanent colostomy is put into place.

Frequently Asked Questions 

It's overwhelming to face the diagnosis of a new condition. There are so many questions and so much research ahead. It's best to start with the answers to the most commonly asked questions about IBD.

  • There is no cure for IBD
  • IBD is a chronic and lifelong condition
  • You will likely have to take medications for the rest of your life
  • You will still have to take maintenance medications when you feel well
  • Sometimes IBD becomes milder after the age of 60
  • You'll need more frequent colonoscopies

Remember, IBD is for life, but there is so much you can do these days to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

IBD Blood Tests

Remember, inflammatory bowel disease doesn't have to run your life. You can take charge by using Ulta Lab Tests for your IBD blood tests. 

Ulta Lab Tests are secure, confidential, and affordable. You don't need insurance or a doctor's referral.

When you order an inflammatory bowel disease lab test, you'll have secure and confidential results available to you within 24 to 48 hours.

Our testing process is the easiest in the industry. We work alongside Quest Diagnostics to provide reliable analysis of samples collected at certified facilities.

The entire procedure takes only a few days, with the test itself requiring roughly 30 minutes. Of course, some of the more complex test panels can take slightly longer.

Don't gamble with your future. Get a clear snapshot of your health and medical condition with a full suite of tests provided by Ulta Lab Tests. Make sure you contact us today to take charge of your health tomorrow.

 Inflammatory bowel disease (or IBD) refers to several chronic disorders that are characterized by damaged and swollen tissues inside the digestive tract. The severity of those conditions will change over time and vary from one individual to the next. Periods of remission can alternate with times of active disease. During a flare-up, an individual might experience frequent bouts of bloody and/or watery diarrhea, fever, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Between flare-ups, the symptoms often diminish. Numerous individuals can go through extended remission periods in between their flare-ups.?? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one to three million individuals in the United States are affected by irritable bowel syndrome. The cause of this disease is unknown, but there is some evidence pointing to a complex interaction of various factors that trigger an abnormal immune response, including microbes contained inside the digestive tract and a genetic predisposition for the disease.? 

Ulcerative colitis (or UC) and Crohn disease (or CD) are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. Both sexes are subject to irritable bowel disease, although women more commonly have Crohn disease, and ulcerative colitis is more often found in men. Both are most commonly found in Caucasians as well as individuals living in developed countries who are of Ashkenazi Jewish origin. Nevertheless, in North America, irritable bowel disease is increasing among non-Caucasians as well.? 

Either type of irritable bowel disease can affect people of all ages. Still, most cases are initially diagnosed in individuals 14-24 years old, along with a smaller set of cases that are diagnosed in people 50 to 70 years old. Along with having gastrointestinal symptoms, children who are affected by either ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease might suffer from growth retardation and delayed development. Individuals who are diagnosed with one of these conditions when they are young have an increased risk of developing colon cancer when they are older.? 

Crohn Disease (CD) 

Any part of a person’s digestive tract can be affected by Crohn disease from the person’s mouth all the way down to their anus. However, it is mainly found in the colon (the bowel or large intestine) and/or in the final part of the individual’s small intestine (the ileum). Crohn disease can affect bowel tissues in patches, with healthy tissue in between patches.? 

Fistulas or ulcers may be formed when inflammation penetrates deep inside of the tissues of the colon and intestines. Fistulas are tunnels in the intestines that make it possible for the body to move waste materials to other areas. Some other complications caused by Crohn disease can include infections, tears in anal skin, anemia that comes from bleeding tissues, and bowel obstructions. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America reports that around two-thirds to three-quarters of individuals who have Crohn disease will need surgery eventually, either to treat a fistula or obstruction or to remove damaged parts of the colon or intestines.? 

Ulcerative Colitis (or UC) 

This condition mainly affects the colon’s surface lining. UC has symptoms that are similar to Crohn disease; however, the tissue inflammation from ulcerative colitis is continuous, not patchy like from Crohn disease. Usually, the inflammation begins at the anus and then proceeds up the colon. With ulcerative colitis, bloody diarrhea occurs more often than with CD. Toxic megacolon is the most serious type of complication caused by ulcerative colitis. This is a relatively rare acute condition where part of the colon basically becomes paralyzed. This paralyzation causes waste to stop moving through that part of the colon; the waste instead builds up and dilates the colon. That can cause weakness, fever, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, it may become life-threatening. Individuals who have toxic megacolon might need to have their large intestine removed surgically. 

Symptoms and Signs

As the symptoms and signs of CD and UC intersect and are similar, it is hard to distinguish between them. Usually, symptoms develop gradually over a long period of time. However, at other times the symptoms might suddenly appear with no advance notice. While there can be periods of remission when symptoms and signs sometimes subside for several months or even years at a time, there are other times when the disease is quite active (flares), and the symptoms are the most obvious and noticeable.? 

Although symptoms and signs can vary in severity and will be different from one individual to the next, the most common of them include the following:? 

  • Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite 
  • Bleeding from the rectum (leaves blood in the stool) 
  • Persistent diarrhea 
  • Pain and abdominal cramps? 
  • Some less common symptoms and signs can include the following:? 
  • Skin rashes 
  • Joint pain 
  • Anemia 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever? 
  • In youth and children, delayed growth and failure to thrive? 

Tests for IBD 

Typically, a healthcare professional will collect information about a person’s family and medical history and the signs and symptoms the patient presents, before deciding on which tests to perform. The evaluation will likely look for extraordinary things that could be associated with things that cause diarrhea and other symptoms. 

Laboratory Tests 

 Inflammatory Bowel Disease cannot be diagnosed from the results of any one lab test. Nevertheless, testing is critical for individuals presenting as possible having  Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Persistent Diarrhea and pain in the abdomen suggest an initial set of tests. Imaging tests (like an X-ray or CT scan) may also be ordered. 

Common Initial Tests Include: 

C-reactive protein (or CRP) tests for inflammation and may be used to differentiate between IBD and irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS), and may also be to monitor the disease. 

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (or ESR) may be used to detect inflammation where CRP testing is not available 

Fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical is used to find blood in the urine 

Complete blood count (or CBC) checks for anemia which is caused by IBD (and similar conditions) 

Comprehensive metabolic panel (or CMP) is used to evaluate general health 

Along with the initial tests and/or later, other tests may be performed to rule out other causes of abdominal pain, colitis, and diarrhea. These other potential causes include colon cancer, parasites, infections (either bacterial or viral), and other chronic conditions, including celiac disease.

Some of these tests are: 

  • Ova and parasite (or O&P) to find parasites 
  • GI pathogens panel or stool culture to detect digestive tract infection 
  • Cytomegalovirus to look for CMV infection 
  • Clostridium difficile?tests to detect toxin produced by bacteria called?C. Difficile.??C. Difficile?may grow beyond healthy levels in the digestive tract 
  • Anti-tissue transglutaminase (or anti-tTG) and other CD tests 

There are many, many other tests which may be ordered depending on the circumstances: 

In the end, a biopsy may be conducted to establish a diagnosis of irritable bowel disease.