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  Test for Occult Blood  
 
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A fecal occult blood test checks stool samples for traces of blood that are not visible with the eye. This test is also called a stool guaiac or Hemoccult test. It is a simple chemical test of one to three consecutive stool samples.

Because the fecal occult blood test can detect bleeding from almost anywhere along the length of the digestive tract, several conditions can cause the result to be positive. They include esophagitis, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, stomach cancer, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer or polyps, and hemorrhoids. The result also can be positive when someone has been taking aspirin or other medications that irritate the digestive tract.
 

 
 

Test for Occult Blood can help with the following:
 
 
Autoimmune  Ulcerative Colitis
  Crohn's Disease

Digestion

  Gastric/Peptic Ulcers
  Gastritis

Organ Health

  Esophagitis

Risks

  Increased Risk of Stomach Cancer
 
 


KEY
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Colorectal Cancer:  A cancerous tumor of the large intestine. It is marked by dark, sticky stools containing blood and a change in bowel habits.

Gastritis:  Inflammation of the stomach lining. White blood cells move into the wall of the stomach as a response to some type of injury; this does not mean that there is an ulcer or cancer - it is simply inflammation, either acute or chronic. Symptoms depend on how acute it is and how long it has been present. In the acute phase, there may be pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. In the chronic phase, the pain may be dull and there may be loss of appetite with a feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food. Very often, there are no symptoms at all. If the pain is severe, there may be an ulcer as well as gastritis.

Hemorrhoids:  Varicose disorder causing painful swellings at the anus; piles.

Occult Blood:  Usually: Occult blood test. A test used in screening for blood found in the stool, sputum or urine. The most common test is for hidden blood in the stool, also known as a stool guaiac or hemoccult test, which usually indicates the presence of ulceration or cancer.

Peptic Ulcer:  A general term for gastric ulcers (stomach) and duodenal ulcers (duodenum), open sores in the stomach or duodenum caused by digestive juices and stomach acid. Most ulcers are no larger than a pencil eraser, but they can cause tremendous discomfort and pain. They occur most frequently in the 60 to 70 age group, and slightly more often in men than in women. Doctors now know that there are two major causes of ulcers: most often patients are infected with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori); others are regular users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which include common products like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Polyp:  A usually nonmalignant growth or tumor protruding from the mucous lining of an organ such as the nose, bladder or intestine, often causing obstruction.

Stomach:  A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.

Ulcerative Colitis:  (Colitis ulcerosa): Ulceration of the colon and rectum, usually long-term and characterized by rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, frequent urgent diarrhea/bowel movements each day, abdominal pain.