Stool Test: Unpleasant But Necessary Laboratory Test

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What is a stool test used for?

Stool Test: Unpleasant But Necessary Laboratory Test

No one likes to think much about it, but stool, also called feces, is sometimes needed by a doctor to determine what is making you sick. Laboratory tests run on stool samples can reveal illness in the stomach, intestines or other area of the gastrointestinal system.

A stool test is generally used to look for certain conditions or infections.

* Inflammation in the body, sometimes caused by an allergy.
* The presence of bacteria, viruses or parasites that infect the gastrointestinal system.
* Digestive issues like the improper absorption of nutrients.
* Internal bleeding.

While the thought of needing a stool test isn't pleasant, many doctors allow you to collect the sample at home, minimizing embarrassment. If your doctor orders a stool test, be sure to ask for specific directions on proper collection, so you don't contaminate the sample. Contamination would necessitate doing the stool test a second time.



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