A lactoferrin test may be ordered when a person has symptoms that suggest that intestinal inflammation may be present, and also when the physician wants to distinguish between IBD & IBS, from a non-inflammatory bowel condition.
The signs and symptoms of intestinal inflammation will vary from person to person, and over time. They may include one or more of the following:
Bloody or watery diarrhea
Abdominal cramps or pain
Testing for lactoferrin may be performed before determining whether an endoscopy (colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy), is likely or less likely to be necessary.
When one has been diagnosed with IBD, a lactoferrin test may be ordered whenever a flare-up is suspected, both to confirm disease activity and to evaluate its severity. This test would also prove helpful when trying to discover a cause for iron anemia in a male, or a post menopausal woman.