Fecal occult blood detection is a test through the amount of blood collected in the stool, which can be so small that the naked eye cannot see. To detect serious problems related to the gastrointestinal tract of the patient depending on the severity of different severity.
Some diseases can be detected with this test, such as ulcers of the stomach, colon to tumors, and prevent them from developing into cancer that seriously affects the health.
Examination for Stool Blood Test
The digestive system plays an important role in digesting food, creating nutrients that support the body. A problem with the digestive system will cause serious health effects. However, the digestive system is also a susceptible part of the disease affected by bad daily habits.
Some diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract cause bleeding such as stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, tumors that bleed to more dangerous diseases such as stomach cancer, colon cancer. When the disease is severe, the stools will turn black or red blood.
However, there are many cases where the disease only causes a small amount of bleeding to mix with the stool, so the color of the stool remains normal. This amount of blood cannot be detected by the naked eye. This leads to many people not knowing that they are having unusual symptoms.
When a patient feels a persistent abdominal pain with no known cause, usually doctors will order a test to find hidden blood in the stool to check for the presence of blood. In the case of healthy people, regular check-ups and screening for gastrointestinal cancer are also checked with this test.
Fecal Occult Blood Testing is abbreviated as FOBT. Through a stool test will help the doctor detect the amount of blood flowing from the digestive tract that appears in the stool in the excretion. It is possible that a very small amount is only visible with the test, but the location cannot be determined.
From there, there will be an initial diagnosis, possibly a few more times to confirm. To find the right place of injury, it will need to conduct other tests such as gastroscopy, colonoscopy to have accurate results of the lesions and the etiology to have an appropriate treatment regimen.
Subject Of Test To Find Blood Hidden In Feces
When you request a screening for bowel cancer to actively detect disease or have long-lasting symptoms related to the digestive tract such as abdominal pain, digestive disorders, diarrhea … Or those with money Family history of bowel cancer will test to find hidden blood in the stool to check.
People at high risk of colon cancer are usually the following:
• Have a history of polyps in the gut.
• Have a history of bowel cancer.
• Are a person with chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
• Have a strong history of bowel cancer in a family.
• Have colon cancer – rectal polyposis or adenoma in the family.
• Have high insulin levels in the blood or have diabetes.
Steps to test for hidden blood in the stool
The patient will conduct to take samples to test with a special small stick. Swipe the stool surface on the toilet paper immediately after using the toilet. This toilet paper may also be the specialized toilet paper provided in the test kit.
Then, the patient will put the stick containing the specimen in the tube for the person taking the specimen to test. Or send it to a hospital or testing center if samples are collected at home.
Usually, a stool blood test will be based on 2 to 3 different stool samples taken at different times, not on the same day. The purpose of multiple testing from multiple test samples is to ensure high accuracy since gastrointestinal bleeding is not certain at the time of sampling.
Patients should also note to their doctor what supplements and oral medications are being used, and what foods have taken before taking samples for testing. Because substances in foods and drugs can interfere with the test results for hidden blood in the stool cause false positives. But in fact, there is no phenomenon of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
What Are the Tests Included in Stool Blood Search?
There are also many types of stool tests for hidden blood. There are typical types of tests such as:
Guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)
Place a stool sample on a specialized test card coated with Guaiac. This is a substance of plant origin. From the results obtained on the card, we can tell whether there is hidden blood in the stool or not. If the card changes color, it means there is blood in the stool. If the card does not change color, it means no blood is found in the stool.
This test can usually be done on its own at home. However, after obtaining a stool sample, it should be sent to the hospital where the test is conducted to be able to read the most accurate results.
Flushable Reagent Stool Blood Test
This test can be performed at home by the patient. Buying pads is also very easy, no need for a prescription. Help the patient to self-examine for signs of abnormalities. After you have finished using the toilet, you need to place the gasket in the toilet bowl, usually following instructions, for 3 consecutive days.
We can then observe by ourselves the changes on the gasket. When there is hidden blood in the stool, the pad will change color. When there are abnormal signs of color, the patient should go to the hospital for a more accurate check and receive the guidance of treatment from a specialist.
Immunochemical FOBT or Faecal immunochemical tests (FIT)
For this test, a specific protein also called an antibody is needed. This antibody is an oxygen carrier located in red blood cells that will find itself and attach to the hemoglobin. One thing that makes the patient comfortable when performing this test is that there is no need to take any dietary measures before taking a sample. One additional advantage is that it can be done on a random stool sample.
Results of Finding Hidden Blood In Feces
After performing the test on the patient sample, the results will be returned to the patient. Usually, it takes about 2-3 days to get results depending on the test site.
The results were negative
When reading, the result for finding hidden blood in the stool is negative, it means that no blood is found in the stool. However, when you have a negative result, you should not be subjective because there is still a risk of digestive diseases, tumors, and cancer in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to repeat tests about every 2 years, or when abnormal signs arise.
When reading positive results for hidden blood in the stool, the stool sample is tested to find the presence of blood in it. Several more tests may be needed to confirm it or carry out other diagnoses and tests to find the exact site of bleeding.
It is not necessary to have cancer to cause bleeding and to detect blood in the stool. That bleeding can come from many different conditions such as hemorrhoids, polyps or inflammation. Some other cases such as when swallowing blood-contaminated fluid in the nose and mouth also cause the above phenomenon.
Therefore, it should be noted that sometimes objective factors and influences from drugs and foods also lead to false negatives or false positives. It is important to discuss and consult a doctor when receiving the results. Positive or negative should not be subjective.
Notes for Taking a stool Sample at Home
There are cases that for various reasons make it difficult for patients to go to the hospital to collect stool samples for testing that must be collected at home. Then the patient should also pay attention to comply with the principles of avoiding affecting test results such as:
• Use the special probe from the test kit that was sent to collect a stool sample and then put it in a closed tube.
• Fecal samples should be promptly sent to the laboratory for testing. Usually, the interval should be between 4 – 6 hours to ensure the results are not affected.
• Store feces after taking them at room temperature, avoiding extreme cold temperatures.
• Do not take stools that contain urine or feces from diapers.
• Follow the instructions and consult a physician regarding diet prior to sampling. Usually, the test for blood in the patient's stool must not eat lean meat for 48 hours and do not use drugs containing iron and bismuth.
The fecal occult blood test is very important in the early diagnosis and detection of bowel cancer and problems related to the digestive tract.
From there, there is a direction to diagnose and conduct other specialized tests to find the condition of the injury. This helps doctors save time and have timely and effective treatment to avoid unwanted injuries and dangerous complications for patients.
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The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.