Stool Analysis or some might call it Faecal analysis is a series of tests on your feces to diagnose specific conditions that affect your digestive tract health. Conditions affecting digestive health include poor nutrient absorption, cancer, or infection, such as parasites, viruses or bacteria.

The samples collected from the stool analysis should be placed in a clean container and sent to the hospital laboratory. Laboratory tests include microscopic, chemical and microbiological tests, as well as examination of the color, density, amount, shape, odor and presence of mucus. Faeces are also checked for blood, fats, meat fibers, bile, white blood cells. Amount of sugar and the acidity of the feces is also analysed. To identify pathogens, the laboratory also cultivate the feces to confirm whether there are bacterial infections in the feces.

Why should you have stool analysis?

The purpose of stool analysis is to:

Identification of diseases of the digestive tract, liver, pancreas: certain enzymes in stool, such as Trypsin or Elastase, are analyzed in detail to confirm the pancreas function is normal or not.
Identify the causes of symptoms in the digestive tract, including chronic diarrhea, hemorrhagic diarrhea, increased gas in the abdominal cavity, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, flatulence, abdominal pain, spasms, and fever.
Screening for colon cancer through a latent blood test.
Check for parasites such as Pinworms or Giardia.
Identify the cause of the infection.
Examine the causes of digestive Malabsorption Syndrome. In this inspection, the feces must only be collected for the period of 72 hours, in order to be able to check the feces for fat. This test is known as the 72-hour stool collection, or the Quantitative Fat Quantitative fecal fattest.

Precautions for Stool Analysis

To identify pathogens, the laboratory cultivate the feces to confirm that the cause of the infection is bacteria, viruses, mold, or parasites. When analyzing the concentration of chloride in sweat, stool analysis is less reliable to detect trypsin or elastin than to detect cystic fibrosis.

Preparation process for stool analysis

Many drugs can change the results of the stool analysis, and depending on the type of stool analysis to be performed, you need to avoid taking certain medications prior to the examination. Stop taking the following drugs 1 to 2 weeks prior to stool analysis: antacids, antilaxatives, insect repellents, antibiotics, laxatives, laxatives, and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs). Please also inform your doctor if you are taking any other non-prescription drugs or prescription drugs.

Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about the preparation of the examination.

If you have recently done a contrast barium contrast X-ray or upper gastrointestinal series, you should inform your doctor. This is because barium used in X-ray may conflict with the results of Stool Analysis.

You have travelled abroad in recent weeks or months. This message can help your physician find parasites, fungi, viruses, or bacteria that can cause disease.

If you want to check the faeces for blood, please do not consume some foods 2 to 3 days before the test, depending on the method and type of stool examination. If you are in the period of time, or if your hemorrhoids are bleeding, please do not perform a stool examination.

What are the procedures for Stool Analysis? How to collect faeces for sample?

When you need to collect your faeces as a sample today, there are many ways to take your faecal samples, and when your faecal samples are collected, please send them to the hospital laboratory as soon as possible. Please remember that there should be no toilet paper or urine in the stool sample. The following are the methods for taking samples of faeces.

You can place a large, clean plastic bag in the toilet, place the feces in a plastic bag, and place a small sample of feces in a clean container.
In addition, there are special manure kits for manure collection, and special toilet paper, which allows you to put samples of manure into containers after wiping.
Remember that stool samples should not be mixed with urine, water, or toilet paper. If you want to take feces from a diaper wrapped child, you can do the following:

Spread the diaper on a large, clean plastic bag. Also, make sure that the urine is not mixed in the feces.

Stool Analysis results

The numerical values listed below, which belong to the reference range, can only be used for reference purposes. As the reference range is different from the laboratory in different hospitals, the range used by the laboratory for your examination may differ slightly from the normal values. A normal range of values will be provided in the laboratory for which you are examined. In addition, your physician will evaluate the results based on your health condition and other factors. This means that if the values of your inspection results fall outside the range of normal values listed below, they may still represent normal values for your laboratory standards. The test report for the stool analysis takes about 1 to 3 days to complete.

Normal stool analysis results: stool appearance is brown, soft and uniform. There is no blood, mucus, pus, undigested meat fibers, harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites in the stool. The shape of the stool is strips, with pH from 7.0~7.5. Faeces contain less than 0.25 grams of sugar per litre, which means less than 13.9 milligrams per liter. Faecal fat content is 2 to 7 grams per 24 hours.

Abonormal Stool analysis results: stool appearance is black, red, white, yellow, or green. The feces are liquid, or extremely hard, and the amount of the feces is too much. The stool contains blood, mucus, pus, undigested meat fibers, harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. There is a small amount of enzymes such as trypsin or elastin in the stool. The pH of the feces is less than 7.0 or greater than 7.5. Faeces contain 0.25 grams of sugar per litre, or greater than 0.25 grams, i.e. more than 13.9 milligrams per litre. Faeces contain more than 7 grams of fat per 24 hours.

In many cases, the results of stool analysis can be changed, and your physician will discuss your abnormalities in detail, which have to do with your past health and symptoms of your illness.

Too much fat in feces may be caused by pancreatitis, celiac disease, cyst fibrosis, or other diseases that affect fat absorption.
There are undigested meat fibers in the stool, which may be caused by pancreatitis.
The low pH of feces may be due to poor absorption of sugars or fats. The high acidity of the stool may indicate inflammation of the intestine, such as colitis, or cancer, taking antibiotics.
Blood in feces may be caused by bleeding from the digestive tract.
Leukocytes in feces may be caused by intestinal inflammation, such as ulcerative colitis, or bacterial infections.
Rotavirus is a common cause of diarrhea in young children. If there are symptoms of diarrhea, it may be necessary to test the stool for rotavirus.
There are a lot of simplifying factors in the stool, which may mean that the body has problems with the digestion of sugar.
Low levels of simplification factors in feces may be caused by celiac disease, cyst fibrosis, or malnutrition. Treatment of Gout Colchicine, or contraceptive pills, may also cause the fecal simplification factor to be too low.
The normal values for stool analysis vary due to different hospitals and laboratories. If you have any questions about the results of the stool analysis, consult your doctor.

If you have any questions about your stool analysis results, consult your doctor for further information.

Read: Bad Breath Explained