Stool Analysis

A stool analysis is an umbrella term for a number of different tests on stool (poop). These tests help diagnose various problems of the digestive tract. A stool sample is collected and sent to a laboratory for microscopic stool examination, chemical stool tests, and microbiological tests. Additional tests may include

Stool analysis is performed to diagnose various common digestive symptoms like

  • Chronic or bloody poop and diarrhea
  • Increased gas
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, bloating, abdominal pain and cramping, and fever.
  • Test for colon cancer by checking for hidden (occult) blood
  • Check for poor malabsorption syndrome

Stool Analysis Results

Any stool sample may contain germs, bacteria and parasites which can spread disease. Be careful handling the stool sample and wash hands thoroughly after handling the sample. Results usually take at least 1 to 3 days. Normal poop is usually brown, soft, long, and well-formed in consistency, with a pH of about 6. The poop should contain less than 2 mg/gram of sugars called reducing factors.

Abnormal results would include strange poop colors like black poop, red, white, yellow, or green. The stool should not be too liquid or hard. There should not be too much or too little excreted feces. Here is a list of bad substances in poop

  • Blood (hematochezia)
  • Mucus in Poop
  • Poop pus
  • Excessive gas
  • Harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites
  • Excessive stool fat - pancreatitis, sprue (celiac disease), cystic fibrosis, or other metabolic disorders
  • Excessive white blood cells - inflammation of the intestines, such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease

You can do some very early stool analysis by monitoring your defecation at home. Unusual poop colors, shapes, consistency and other symptoms can be early signs of possible problems that may be diagnosed by your healthcare professionals later on.

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