Stool Analysis

Stool analysis is a diagnostic test used to study mainly digestive system disorders. It consists of collecting a small amount of feces and then analyzing it in the laboratory.

The most frequent studies on stool are:

  • Physical Study: evaluates the consistency, density, color and odor of feces.
  • Detection of enzymes: mainly the presence of pancreatic enzymes in feces, which are essential for digestion.
  • Occult blood in stool: it allows to detect the presence of small amounts of blood mixed with feces. Currently it is recommended that people over 50 years of age get tested annually to help diagnose colon cancer (although for the early diagnosis of this type of cancer the most effective test is colonoscopy), and may also serve to detect unknown tumors. In some countries they sell reactive paper strips in pharmacies.
  • Fresh examination: it consists of diluting the stool and observing them directly with the microscope. It detects parasites and their eggs, and other larger elements.
  • Co-culture: just as microorganisms can be isolated from the blood by a blood culture, or in the urine by means of a urine culture, a stool can be made in the feces to isolate pathogenic germs.