The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be very similar but they are two very different medical conditions. Historically gastroenterologists have had to use endoscopies to distinguish between the two disorders. Calprotectin tests are used to detect inflammation in the gut which may be caused by Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, and thus can help distinguish between these conditions.
Calprotectin is a protein released by a type of white blood cell. When there is inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, white blood cells move to the area and release calprotectin, resulting in an increased level in the stool.
This protein is released into the stool when the intestinal lining is damaged. It's usually very high in cases of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis), and low in IBS. Calprotectin is also elevated with gut infections and colon cancers.
Your test kit for your stool sample and all instructions are posted directly to you.