Stool test is a diagnostic method aimed at the evaluation of the digestion process. The test of stool includes the analysis of its physical (amount, shape, color, blood, mucus, parasites, etc.) and chemical (acid-base reaction, the presence and the amount of the hemoglobin degradation products – bilirubin, stercobilin, and soluble protein) characteristics. Stool sample may provide a lot of information about the functioning of the whole body, and, particularly, about the state of the digestion processes in the gastrointestinal tract, the functioning of the biliary system, and about the bacterial balance in the colon.
Stool test helps evaluate:
- The enzymatic activity and digestive function of the stomach, intestine and pancreas
- The presence of an inflammatory process in the intestine
- The motor function of the stomach and intestine
- The presence of helminths and their eggs or the presence of protozoa and microbial cysts
- Intestinal microflora
The feces should be collected into special clean and dry container that does not absorb moisture. The sample should be delivered to the laboratory not later than 12 hours after its evacuation. It is not recommended to send samples obtained after the use of enema or rectal suppository, as well as after taking some drugs (like those containing iron, bismuth, barium). The preparation for the test should involve diet containing measured amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.