Talking with Your Doctor

You don't have to deal with persistent diarrhea on your own

The more you know, the better. Use these resources to gain more information, help you talk to your doctor about the PROMETHEUS® IBcause™ Diagnostic Test, and learn about available support services.

Talking with your doctor

Get the most out of your visits

You can play an active role in managing your persistent diarrhea by talking with your doctor. Clear and honest communication between you and your doctor can help you both make informed choices along the way.1 It’s especially important to be honest and upfront about your symptoms, and how long you’ve had them, including2:

  • Stool consistency (firm, loose, or watery?)
  • Frequency (how often do you have bowel movements?)
  • Volume (a lot of stool or just a little?)
  • If your symptoms started after returning from a recent trip

Even if you may feel embarrassed or awkward, try to have an open dialogue with your doctor. Persistent diarrhea is very common,2 and your doctor probably sees several patients a day who are suffering from it also. Talking about it may actually help you realize that you are not alone. Also ask questions to make sure you understand your diagnosis, treatment, and when you may expect to start feeling better.

Tips for your doctor appointment

Here are a few tips that can help you talk to your doctor and make the most of your appointment:

  • Write down a list of all your symptoms related to diarrhea before your appointment, including stool consistency, frequency, and volume
  • Take notes about what the doctor says, or ask a friend or family member to take notes for you
  • Ask for the doctor’s contact information
  • Remember that nurses and pharmacists are also good sources of information
Ask your doctor about IBcause™.



About persistent diarrhea and IBcause

The videos below are intended to provide you with key information about IBcause™.


The problem of persistent diarrhea and how IBcause can help.

A quick overview of how easy it is to complete the stool collection portion of IBcause.

Downloadable Resources

The Prometheus Links Program

The PROMETHEUS® Links® Program for insurance and financial support*

Helping you with insurance and financial support

Prometheus strives to help you reduce your remaining out-of-pocket balances for all Prometheus diagnostic tests, whenever possible, including the IBcause™ test.**

  • We do all we can to help get your test covered
  • We may be able to lower your costs
  • We manage insurance questions or requests for information
  • We help you handle the claims process
How it works
  1. 1. Your doctor orders IBcause (or you’ve already completed your test).
  2. 2. To see if you may qualify for cost reductions for your test, call us at 888-892-8391.
  3. 3. Receive one-on-one assistance for all of your insurance and financial needs.
If your insurance approves your coverage
  • You are only responsible for your copay, coinsurance, and deductible
  • Your out-of-pocket cost may be further reduced to $250, $175, or $75 if you are eligible** for financial assistance through the Links® program
If your insurance denies your test coverage***
  • Your out-of-pocket cost is capped at $250. If you are eligible** for the Links® program, $250 may be further reduced to $175 or $75

*The majority of people never pay more than $250. Some pay as little as $75.

**Most people qualify, but some eligibility restrictions apply.

***For IBcause, denied insurance claim is assessed after the Links appeal process is completed.



Answers to common questions about IBcause
Collecting your stool sample
What if I was unable to collect a stool sample as instructed, or tore the Paper Toilet Liner?

Don’t worry. Simply use the second Paper Toilet Liner the next time you use the bathroom. If you still have concerns, call us at 888-423-5227, Option 1.

What if I collect my stool sample at night and cannot ship it until the next day?

You should only collect a stool sample if you are able to ship it on the same day it was collected. If you have any concerns about shipping your sample, call us at 888-423-5227, Option 1.

Can I place the NanoCool® Cooling Pack in the freezer?

No, and you should only activate the Cooling Pack after your stool sample has been collected.

Do I need to collect a loose bowel movement for my sample?

Yes. It is preferable for you to collect and ship a loose stool sample. Since loose stools are common with any type of diarrhea, this should not be difficult for you. However, please do not collect a very watery (all liquid) stool sample.

What if I lose or damage the shipping box?

Call us at 888-423-5227, Option 1. We will be happy to assist you.

How will I receive my test results?

Your doctor will share your IBcause™ test results with you once they are ready. Then you will be able to view your results electronically on the Prometheus Online portal. Visit PrometheusOnline.com to sign up for access to the patient portal.

When will my doctor get my results?

Your doctor will typically receive your IBcause™ test results in about a week.

FAQs about getting your blood drawn
What if my doctor gives me an IBcause™ Test Requisition Form for a blood draw?

Bring the form with you to have your blood drawn or give it to the healthcare professional that comes to your home to draw your blood.

What if I forget or lose my IBcause™ Test Requisition Form for a blood draw?

Contact your doctor’s office to request another Test Requisition Form.

What if my doctor gives me a card that has labels on it?

Bring the card with you to have your blood drawn or give it to the healthcare professional that comes to your home to draw your blood.

How will I receive my test results?

Your doctor will share your IBcause™ test results with you once they are ready. Then you will be able to view your results electronically on the Prometheus Online portal. Visit PrometheusOnline.com to sign up for access to the patient portal.

When will my doctor get my results?

Your doctor will typically receive your IBcause™ test results in about a week.

FAQs about persistent diarrhea
What is persistent diarrhea?

Persistent diarrhea may be defined as diarrhea that lasts longer than 2 weeks.2,3 It can be a sign of a more serious gastrointestinal (GI) condition that may need specific treatment.3

Why is it so challenging to find the cause of persistent diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a common symptom of dozens of different conditions, which makes it challenging to pinpoint the exact underlying cause.2,4

What is bile acid malabsorption?

Bile acids are substances (molecules) in the body that work to break down fatty acids in the fats and oils you eat.5,6 When bile acids are not being absorbed properly in the body (and levels get too high) it may result in persistent diarrhea.5-7

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is often an inherited condition where exposure to gluten in certain foods (such as those made with wheat, bulgur, barley, and rye) causes an unwanted autoimmune attack within the lining of the small intestine. It can cause diarrhea, and if left untreated, may lead to serious health issues.8,9

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is also a very common condition that often involves a slow process of testing and eliminating different conditions before a diagnosis is made. Doctors don’t know the exact cause, but some kind of “trigger”—such as certain foods or stress—irritates the colon, which can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including diarrhea.4,10-12

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a condition where intestinal inflammation can occur in 1 specific place or all throughout the GI tract. It can also cause all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms, including diarrhea.13

What does IBcause™ test for?

IBcause™ helps doctors diagnose many common causes of persistent diarrhea, including intestinal inflammation, celiac disease, bile acid malabsorption, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and pathogens (eg, “bugs” like bacteria, viruses, and parasites).4,10,14-17

Why should my doctor order IBcause™?

Currently, finding the cause of persistent diarrhea can be a slow, time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating process.2,4,10,11 IBcause™ may help your doctor make a diagnosis faster* and be able to start your treatment sooner.

IBcause. Because you and your doctor want to know.
Still have questions? Call 888-423-5227, Option 1

*Compared to sequential testing with standard workup for persistent diarrhea.


  1. 1.Clear communication: talking to your doctor. National Institutes of Health Web site. https://www.nih.gov/institutes-nih/nih-office-director/office-communications-public-liaison/clear-communication/talking-your-doctor. Last updated December 7, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2017.

  2. 2.Navaneethan U, Giannella RA. Definition, epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical classification, and differential diagnosis of diarrhea. In: Guandalini S, Vaziri H, eds. Diarrhea: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Advances. New York, NY: Humana Press; 2011:1-31.

  3. 3.Hygiene-related diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/disease/chronic_diarrhea.html. Updated August 18, 2011. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  4. 4.Juckett G, Trivedi R. Evaluation of chronic diarrhea. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(10):1119-1126.

  5. 5.Camilleri M. Bile acid diarrhea: prevalence, pathogenesis, and therapy. Gut Liver. 2015;9(3):332-339.

  6. 6.Clinical updates: tests aid diagnosis of an under-recognized disorder. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/digestive-diseases/tests-aid-diagnosis-of- an-under-recognized-disorder. Published April 2, 2014. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  7. 7.Walters JR. Defining primary bile acid diarrhea: making the diagnosis and recognizing the disorder. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010;4(5):561-567.

  8. 8.What is celiac disease? Celiac Disease Foundation Web site. https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/what-is-celiac-disease. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  9. 9.Presutti RJ, Cangemi JR, Cassidy HD, Hill DA. Celiac disease. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76(12):1795-1802.

  10. 10.DuPont HL. Persistent diarrhea: a clinical review. JAMA. 2016;315(24):2712-2723.

  11. 11.Fine KD, Schiller LR. AGA technical review on the evaluation and management of chronic diarrhea. Gastroenterology. 1999;116(6):1464-1486.

  12. 12.Diseases and conditions: irritable bowel syndrome. Mayo Clinic Web site. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/definition/con-20024578?p=1. Published July 31, 2014. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  13. 13.Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Mayo Clinic Web site. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inflammatory-bowel-disease/basics/definition/con-20034908?p=1. Published February 18, 2015. Accessed January 18, 2017.

  14. 14.Gujral N, Freeman HJ, Thomson AB. Celiac disease: prevalence, diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(42):6036-6059.

  15. 15.Hodges K, Gill R. Infectious diarrhea: cellular and molecular mechanisms. Gut Microbes. 2010;1(1):4-21.

  16. 16.Spiller R, Lam C. An update on post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome: role of genetics, immune activation, serotonin and altered microbiome. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012;18(3):258-268.

  17. 17.Barkun AN, Love J, Gould M, Pluta H, Steinhart H. Bile acid malabsorption in chronic diarrhea: pathophysiology and treatment. Can J Gastroenterol. 2013;27(11):653-659.