What is Stool for Occult Blood?1
The fecal (stool) occult blood test (FOBT) is a lab test done to check for hidden blood in the stool, which may be an indication of diseases in the digestive system.
Why is Stool for Occult Blood suggested?12
This test is primarily done to detect Colon cancer when cancerous/non-cancerous polyps appear in the colon.
Blood may also appear due to:
- Swollen blood vessels near the anus and lower rectum which bleed on rupturing.
- Intestinal infections.
- Cracks in the anal lining.
- Crohn’s disease.
How is Stool for Occult Blood performed?2
The two methods are guaiac smear test (gFOBT) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT). Both are almost the same.
Stool sample can be collected at home or at the hospital. The doctor gives you a container and spatula. While passing feces, you should store a sample in the container with the help of the spatula. (Make sure not to contaminate the sample by touching it with hands or picking it from inside of the toilet as it may add unwanted germs to it. Do not mix any tissue or soap with it.). Return the sample to the doctor.
What are the parameters measured in Stool for Occult Blood?13
A negative test result means no blood is present in the stool and you are safe. A positive result indicates the presence of blood in the sample and further tests like colonoscopy are done to detect the source of blood.
Preparation before performing Stool for Occult Blood 13
Diet restrictions are imposed 48-72 hours before the test. The doctor may ask you to avoid certain fruits and vegetables, red meat and Vitamin C supplements.
Doctor may also ask you to stop taking certain medicines 72 hours before the test, as they may affect the results.
Post-care after Stool for Occult Blood 2
There is no post care required. Just wash your hands after collecting the sample.
Sample types in Stool for Occult Blood 1
Side effects/risks of Stool for Occult Blood 2
There is no pain while collecting a stool sample. In case of constipation, you might feel pain while straining to pass the stool.