FROM OUR EXPERTS
The stool guaiac test finds hidden (occult) blood in the stool (bowel movement), even when you cannot see the blood yourself.
It is the most common form of fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in use today.
Guaiac smear test; Fecal occult blood test - guaiac smear; Stool occult blood test - guaiac smear
How the test is performed
In the most common way of doing a stool guaiac test, a small sample of stool is placed on a paper card and a drop or two of testing solution is added. A color change is a sign of blood in the stool.
If the test is performed in an office or hospital, a doctor may collect a small amount of stool during a rectal examination.
If the test is performed at home:
You will need to collect a stool sample from three bowel movements, one right after the other.
You will then smear a small amount of stool on a card, and mail it to a laboratory for testing.
There are many ways to collect the sam...
Changes in bowel movements can be concerning, but how do you know when and if you need to seek help?
A change in bowel movements can be a difficult problem to figure out. Everybody's gastrointestinal tract functions differently. While most people move their bowels one to two times a day, some people go three to four times a day, while others only once or twice a week. A change in the number or consistency of stool should alert you to see your physician.
Depending on your age, and other associated symptoms, a gastrointestinal evaluation may be warranted. If there is associated weight loss, abdominal pain or bleeding, an urgent evaluation with your physician is imperative. If not, you can attempt to see if the diarrhea resolves on its own. Over the counter antidiarrheals such as immodium or kaopectate can be taken to try to stop the diarrhea. If you are experiencing pain, or bleeding, check with your physician prior to taking any medications to stop diarrhea. You might hav...
Alternative NamesBowel soundsHome CareCall your health care provider ifCall your health care provider if you experience any symptoms such as:Bleeding from your rectumNauseaProlonged diarrhea or constipationVomitingWhat to expect at your health care provider's officeThe doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you questions about your medical history. You may be asked:What other symptoms do you have?Have you noticed any abdominal pain?Have you noticed any diarrhea?Have you noticed any constipation?Have you noticed any abdominal distention?Have you noticed any excessive or absent gas (flatus)?Have you noticed any bleeding from the rectum or black stools?Depending on the findings of your physical exam, the doctor may order more tests. Tests may include:Abdominal CT scanAbdominal x-rayBlood testsEndoscopyIf there are signs of an emergency, you will be sent to the hospital. A tube will be placed through your nose or mouth into the stomach or intestines. This empties the contents of your...
You should know
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