Lysozyme is an enzyme found in stool testing that shows whether the gut is inflamed. Elevated lysozyme occurs in both inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The difference between IBD and IBS is that other markers such as lactoferrin and calprotectin are elevated in the former but not the latter.
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If the marker is very high, i.e., over 1500 to 2000, we refer the client for a colonoscopy, which often results in a finding of IBD. Inflammatory bowel disease is even more likely to be diagnosed if there is mucus or blood in the stool or associated pain and cramping.
In the last couple of years, I have helped five patients be diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease purely based on their stool test.
I consider lysozyme to be quite a useful marker. I think that Doctor’s Data Laboratories out of Chicago is the only lab that provides lysozyme levels. Genova Diagnostics will test for calprotectin and other stool markers.