The stool tests are for parasites (like hookworms, tapeworms, etc.) and bacterial infections. Those are two things they rule out before diagnosing IBD, and if you have a bad flare most GI's will repeat the tests. There's a nasty bacteria called c. diff (clostridium dificil) that can infect your colon and cause severe watery diarrhea along with pain, fever and possible sepsis. We are somewhat more susceptible to it than people without IBD.
Blood tests are usually a CBC to check for anemia and signs of infection, liver function tests and enzyme tests to check for signs of inflammation. They're a way to monitor for both your status and for side effects from our meds.
I only had one long flare, for five years after I was diagnosed. I was going 15-25 times a day with mucus and blood, cramping and pain. Since I started on Remicade I've been in remission for almost 3 1/2 years. Everyone's symptoms are different, though.
Ulcerative colitis forum co-moderator
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"