Things to Know About the Stool Guaiac Test

stool guaiac test

 

Things to Know About the Stool Guaiac Test

The stool guaiac test detects hidden blood in a stool sample. It is the most common type of fecal occult blood test (FOBT). The test involves placing a fecal sample on guaiac paper. Guaiac is a substance from a plant that is used to coat the FOBT test cards. When the sample is put on the card a blue reaction will be produced within seconds. The stool guaiac test may be performed in the following situations:

  • If you are being screened or tested for colon cancer
  • If you have been experiencing abdominal pain
  • If you have observed changes in bowel movements
  • If you have lost weight
  • If you have anaemia or blood in your stool

How the test is performed

If the test is performed in a hospital, a doctor may collect the sample during an examination.

If you are performing the test at home:

  • Collect a stool sample from three consecutive bowel movements.
  • Smear a small amount of the stool on a card that has been provided in the kit.
  • Mail the card to a laboratory for testing.
  • Ensure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to get accurate results.

Collecting the sample

The stool sample can be collected by placing a plastic wrap over the toilet bowl to catch the stool. You can then put the sample in a clean container. Some test kits provide a special toilet tissue that you can use to collect the sample. Ensure that you do not take stool samples from the toilet bowl water, as this can cause errors.

If you need stool samples from infants and young children, you can line the diaper with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap is positioned in a way that it keeps the stool away from urine. Mixing of urine and stool can affect the sample.

Preparing for the test

Some foods can affect test the results. Therefore, don’t consume red meat, any blood-containing food, cantaloupe, uncooked broccoli, turnip, radish, or horseradish 3 days prior to the test.

Certain medications can also affect test results. These include vitamin C and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAID’s) such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Ensure that you check with your health care provider regarding making changes to your medication.

Test results

Abnormal results may be due to problems that cause bleeding in the stomach or intestinal tract. These include:

  • Colon cancer or other gastrointestinal (GI) tumors
  • Colon polyps
  • Bleeding veins in the oesophagus or stomach
  • Inflammation of the oesophagus
  • Inflammation of the stomach (gastritis)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Peptic ulcer

Some other causes of a positive test result include:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Coughing up blood and then swallowing it

If the stool guaiac tests results show blood in the stool, your doctor will suggest other tests, including a colonoscopy. The stool guaiac test does not diagnose cancer but can help detect colon cancer early, when it is easier to treat.

Get in Touch with Polymedco CDP, LLC to get an Epi proColon Test Done

Polymedco CDP, LLC is the leading manufacturer and distributor of clinical laboratory supplies. Since 1980, we have served medical professionals in providing patients comprehensive health care services. To get a colon cancer screening test done, call us at 888-638-7757 or email at tpucci@polymedco.com.

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