Fresh stool samples can be examined to check whether flare-ups of IBD-like symptoms have been caused by infections. For a stool test, you will need to collect a sample (about the size of a walnut) of your feces in a clean, dry screw-top container.
The laboratory will then test the sample for symptom-causing bacteria. Because of the wider variety of possible infections, if you have recently traveled abroad, you may need additional tests.
Measuring the level of calprotectin (a protein contained in white blood cells) in a stool sample can detect active inflammation in the intestine.
It is recommended that fecal calprotectin tests should be used to distinguish IBD from other, noninflammatory, conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The test can also be used to monitor whether you are responding to treatment.