A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Stool Tests
A healthy gastrointestinal system is vital for our overall well-being. It means having a proper absorption of nutrients, an efficient elimination of bodily waste, and an optimal function of our gut system.
Doctors would often conduct stool tests to allow insight into the state of your gastrointestinal system. In this guide, we will dive deep into everything you should understand about stool tests and how they might save your life.
What are stool tests?
Stool tests provide vital information regarding your gastrointestinal system, such as nutrient absorption, the presence of pathogens, the potential risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders, and the health of your gut microbiome.
They are also a convenient, non-invasive, and really straight forward form of gastro cancer screening to find out if you may have colorectal cancer, which is the number one and number two cancer among men and women in Singapore, respectively.
Different types of stool tests
There are several types of stool tests that can be conducted to screen for different gastrointestinal conditions.
- Stool fat tests: They measure the amount of fat present in your stools, allowing the gastroenterologist to assess malabsorption-related conditions, such as pancreatic insufficiency or celiac disease.
- Stool FEME tests: They screen for the presence of eggs belonging to parasitic worms, such as roundworms and hookworms. On top of that, it can also screen for cysts of protozoa, such as amoeba and giardia lamblia, as well as the presence of white and red blood cells.
- Faecal calprotectin tests: They measure the level of calprotectin, which is released when inflammation in the intestines is present. Elevated level of calprotectin indicates the possibility of the development of IBD.
- Stool occult blood (OB) tests: The screening for occult blood is useful for colon cancer screening. It detects blood in the stool not visible to the naked eye. It is vital that if you are going for this test, you avoid consuming broccoli, cauliflower, and red meat for at least three days before the test day to avoid a false positive result. Piles and haemorrhoids may also provide a false positive result.
What happens if my Stool occult blood (OB)test results are positive?
If the results are positive, it means that blood is present in your stools. Blood in your stools may be caused by bleeding in your large intestine’s inner lining, which may be a result of several reasons, such as cancer, infection, polyps, and piles. In order to assess the causes more accurately, your gastroenterologists might administer a further test called the colonoscopy.
The danger of colorectal cancer is real among Singaporeans. As you get older, your risk of developing benign lumps or polyps in your rectum or colon increases. They may develop into cancerous cells and should be removed as soon as they are detected. It is recommended that people aged 45 and above should undergo stool occult blood testing annually for colon cancer screening.
Here at GUTCARE, we understand the need for accurate and thorough gastroenterology screenings and testing to diagnose and treat your gastrointestinal conditions. Hence, we offer a comprehensive range of screening tests, such as testing of blood, urine, stools, and tissue samples, genetic tests, and endoscopy.
Click here to make an appointment with us today!