Explaining the Use of Stool Tests in Crohn’s and IBD Care

Explaining the Use of Stool Tests in Crohn’s and IBD Care
Testing of stool, or feces, can be helpful when monitoring disease activity in Crohn's disease and IBD. These tests can indicate if inflammation or internal bleeding is present and assist your healthcare team with disease management and treatment decisions. Doctors will typically order blood and stool sample testing before deciding to book invasive procedures such as capsule and upper endoscopies and colonoscopies. Your healthcare provider will order one of two types of stool tests: fecal occult blood and fecal calprotectin. You will be given a container, gloves, and a "hat" to enable you to collect a sample at home. When collected, samples are usually returned to your doctor's clinic before being sent to a laboratory for testing. When you're collecting your sample, avoid touching the inside of the container or blowing air into it, as this can add bacteria to the sample and cause false results. The fecal occult blood test A sample for a fecal occult blood test is taken on a single day or over multiple days, depending on your doctor's request. Occult blood exists in tiny amounts that are detected by chemicals used in this test. Positive results indicate the presence of occult blood, but not the location of the bleeding. If the test is positive, a colonoscopy is usually recommended. If you experience visible rectal bleeding, inform your healthcare team. The fecal calprotectin test Fecal calprotectin tests are useful when diagnosing and monitoring inflammation in IBD and Crohn's disease. Hig
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3 comments

  1. Bert says:

    I have issue with hemorrhoids. Will this affect the stool test if with the blood involved. I think I have blood in my stools separate from hemorrhoids

    • Mary Horsley says:

      From what I’ve looked up, it can. I believe any blood found can come up positive, regardless of source. – Results may be false positive if the source of bleeding is not an adenoma or a malignant disease (diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and anticoagulant therapy). – https://gut.bmj.com/content/49/3/402

      Now, I’d have to ask my own GI, but this is the only information I could find with a Google search.

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