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Is a faecal calprotecin of 130 "low and reassuring"?

I've a quite a few confusing relays of info from doctors, but this one still bugs me.

I had just gotten biopsy results from a upper and lower endoscopy, the result was not clear for a particular form of IBD so an MRI was ordered and repeat FC (my first result was 1700). The doctor who ordered these things, discussed FC results with me. She said "even a result above 30 is abnormal" I was under the impression under 50 was normal, but I'll listen to the doctor. A few weeks later I got a letter from this doctor, saying my FC was low and reassuring, but it was 130. Total contradiction.

Now has anyone else had a similar experience in which they had a very high FC then went to a lower but still considered high level, but your doctor was pleased with this? Is there an accepted limit for people with IBD? But I haven't been diagnosed yet so even if 130 is a safe limit, this technically shouldn't apply to me right?
 

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
Depends
Each lab has different reference ranges
Also depends whether you have an ibd dx or not
With ibd dx some docs like the number to be under 200
Others under 300
Normal non ibd folks under 50 is normal
Under 160 borderline
But considering you dropped from 1700 to 130
That’s good
It takes a while to drop and may still be dropping more ....
 

Maya142

Moderator
Staff member
It does depend on the lab - at our lab, <50 is normal, 50-120 is borderline and >120 is considered high. Along with those reference ranges, it says that if your Fecal Cal is in the borderline range, it should be re-tested in 4-6 weeks.

Just to make sure I'm understanding - your first FCP was 1700. But you haven't been diagnosed with IBD yet? And now it has gone down to 130, without any treatment?
 
It does depend on the lab - at our lab, <50 is normal, 50-120 is borderline and >120 is considered high. Along with those reference ranges, it says that if your Fecal Cal is in the borderline range, it should be re-tested in 4-6 weeks.

Just to make sure I'm understanding - your first FCP was 1700. But you haven't been diagnosed with IBD yet? And now it has gone down to 130, without any treatment?
Well IBD is a remitting and relapsing disease (it comes and goes). And a single FC isn't indicative of how a person may be doing. I remember things being fairy lax crohn's symptom wise at the time of the 2nd FC, but just a few weeks later I had a mini flare, the symptoms were almost the same as when my FC was 1700, I may very well have an FC above 1000 most of the time, but right now my doctor is getting me diagnostic tests, and FC is not one of those. I guess my supplement regime could be helping, it's mostly anti-inflammatory things like omega 3 and tumeric, but after a year of trying naturally I assume, if diagnosed with crohn's I will be offered a immunosuppresent like azathioprine (imuran) and I will most likely take that.
 

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
Fecal cal takes months to lower
Especially from a flare
So even though symptoms can wax and wane
Fecal doesn’t drop that quickly if it’s from a crohns flare
Good luck woth your workup
 

Maya142

Moderator
Staff member
Well IBD is a remitting and relapsing disease (it comes and goes). And a single FC isn't indicative of how a person may be doing. I remember things being fairy lax crohn's symptom wise at the time of the 2nd FC, but just a few weeks later I had a mini flare, the symptoms were almost the same as when my FC was 1700, I may very well have an FC above 1000 most of the time, but right now my doctor is getting me diagnostic tests, and FC is not one of those.
It's true that FC can vary a lot. I'm going to tag crohnsinct because she knows a lot about the Fecal Calprotectin test. It is certainly possible that your FC is high again, but I would not get stuck on one disease, if you're going through the diagnosis process.

I would try and get another FC done, but also consider that it could be another illness. For instance, there are certain types of inflammatory arthritis that can make your FC go up and cause gut inflammation, but in those cases, it's the underlying inflammatory arthritis that is causing it. Certain types of vasculitis can also cause gut inflammation, if I'm remembering correctly.

I would just keep an open mind. It could definitely be Crohn's even with a low FC - my daughter's FC has never been over 500 and her scopes and biopsies showed definite Crohn's.

And I would definitely do the MRE/MRI ordered. It does sound like IBD to me, but after being on this forum for years, I have seen members stuck on thee dx of IBD, who later went on to be diagnosed with other things that caused IBD-like symptoms. So that's something to keep in mind.
 
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