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Flushable reagent stool blood test

Definition

Flushable reagent stool blood test is an at-home test to detect hidden blood in the stool.

Alternative Names

Stool occult blood test - flushable home test; Fecal occult blood test - flushable home test

How the Test is Performed

This test is performed at home with disposable pads. You can buy the pads at the drug store without a prescription. Brand names include EZ-Detect, HomeChek Reveal, and ColoCARE.

You do not handle stool directly with this test. You simply note any changes you see on a card and then mail the results card to your health care provider.

To do the test:

  • Urinate if you need to, then flush the toilet before having a bowel movement.
  • After the bowel movement, place the disposable pad in the toilet.
  • Watch for a change of color on the test area of the pad. Results will appear in about 2 minutes.
  • Note the results on the card provided, then flush the pad away.
  • Repeat for the next two bowel movements.

The different tests have different methods to check for water quality. Check the package for instructions.

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

This test involves only normal bowel functions, and there is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

A negative result is normal.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different labs. Talk to your doctor about your test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results of the flushable mean there is bleeding present somewhere in the digestive tract, which may be caused by:

  • Swollen, fragile blood vessels in the colon that may result in blood loss
  • Colon cancer
  • Colon polyps
  • Enlarged veins called varices in the walls of the esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach that bleed.
  • When the lining of the stomach or the esophagus becomes inflamed or swollen
  • Infections  in the stomach and intestines
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Ulcer in the stomach or first part of the intestines

Other causes of a positive test, which do not indicate a problem in the gastrointestinal tract, include:

  • Coughing up and then swallowing blood
  • Nose bleed

Abnormal test results require follow-up with your doctor.

Risks

References


Review Date: 2/2/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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