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As you learn more about your IBD, you will get to know what is best for it and how to monitor your disease.  As IBD dietitians and dietitians who have IBD, we have a few lab recommendations below on how to monitor your inflammation and check for nutritional deficiencies. 

  1. Fecal Calprotectin: An inflammatory marker that can be measured to detect inflammation in the digestive tract.  This marker is usually elevated in patients with active disease.
  2. C-reactive protein (CRP): This is a serum indicator that can detect inflammation.
  3. Full anemia panel: This can help determine the underlying cause of anemia and see how well a person is storing their iron.  Anemia panel usually includes CBC with differential and platelet count, ferritin, folic acid, iron, iron binding capacity, reticulocyte count, and vitamin B12 according to labcorp.
  4. CMP: Comprehensive metabolic panel.  This is a good test to measure at least once per year or as recommended by your doctor. Measuring a CMP panel helps your doctor to look at how your kidneys and liver are functioning.  It is also helpful to look at your glucose levels and other inflammatory markers including Albumin. 
  5. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR): This is a blood test that measures inflammation in the body.
  6. B12 also known as Cobalamin: Commonly seen in Crohn’s disease affecting the terminal ileum, those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, gastric/ileal resections, or SIBO.⁠
  7. B6 also known as Pyridoxine: Can be deficient during active disease, maldigestion, or poor intake.⁠
  8. Vitamin D: Corticosteroid use, fat malabsorption, resection of the small intestine, ~30-40% of IBD patients are deficient.⁠
  9. Folate (vitamin B9): Due to certain medications including Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, GI surgery, or poor intake.⁠
  10. Calcium: Can be deficient from steroid use, vitamin D deficiency, or poor intake.⁠
  11. ⁠Iron: Active GI bleed, restrictive diet, or UC⁠
  12. Zinc: Malabsorption, Crohn’s Disease, diarrhea, fistulas⁠
  13. ⁠Magnesium: Malabsorption, diarrhea (intestinal surface loss), surgery, restrictive diets⁠