Each person at least once had to take feces for analysis to the laboratory. Various feces studies can detect inflammation and infection in the gastrointestinal tract, check the functioning of important organs, determine pathologies, establish the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and other parasites.
How to prepare for a stool test? There is nothing complicated in this procedure. How to pass an analysis of feces is known to most of us.
To do this, you will need:
- clean dry container
- spatula (stick).
To collect feces, a glass or plastic bottle (necessarily with a lid) is suitable. You can purchase a special sterile container at the pharmacy. A spatula for collecting material is mounted in its lid, which is very convenient. For laboratory tests, 10-15 ml of feces is usually enough, those are about one or two teaspoons.
How to prepare for analysis and collect material? Follow these guidelines:
- Feces should be fresh.
- No other substances are allowed in the sample.
- Do not overeat before giving stool.
- Stop taking medication before analysis.
Stick to these requirements. Compliance with simple rules will allow you to get a reliable result. Consider in more detail how to properly pass a fecal analysis.
The best material is freshly picked stool. You need to collect it in the morning. If for some reason this is not possible, then store the mass in the refrigerator until delivery, but not more than 8-12 hours.
The purity of the material taken affects the result of the analysis. Before collecting feces, you must first urinate, and then wash with soap. The collection container must be dry and clean, and in some cases, must be sterile. Water and urine are not allowed in the sample. Women are not recommended to take feces during menstruation in order to avoid blood. In an extreme case, before taking an analysis of feces, you need to thoroughly wash yourself and use a swab. Bowel movement is best done in a vessel, pot or other clean dishes. You can put a clean plastic bag on the toilet for these purposes.
Follow a diet before taking a stool test. Eaten foods can affect the result. Therefore, before analysis, try not to eat food that causes an upset gastrointestinal tract. Some foods may discolor stool. For example, blueberries stain black stools and beets red. It is better to refuse to accept such products.
Medicines affect the test result. It is better not to use them before giving feces. Medicines that contain bismuth, iron, copper, and activated carbon, change the color of feces. It is undesirable to take antibiotics, as they significantly affect the vital activity of microorganisms. Discard various laxatives and rectal suppositories with a fat base before collecting a feces analysis. Making enemas is also not recommended. People taking barium on an X-ray examination can take feces after two days. During this time, substances containing the indicated element will leave the body.
How to take feces for analysis in a child
Gathering feces in adults is much easier than in children, especially in infants. Many mothers are tormented by the question of how to take fecal analysis. The child should be laid on oilcloth or a clean, ironed diaper. Give him a stomach massage to stimulate his bowel movement.
You can turn the baby on his stomach. Experts do not recommend scraping feces from diapers. But if it does not work out differently, then collect only the top layer that is not in contact with the diaper. In this case, there should be no urine in the feces. If the baby has constipation, a bowel movement can be achieved. If a child has loose stools, it will be easier to collect feces from a reusable diaper. Place the oilcloth under the baby and wait. How to pass an analysis of feces to an infant can be checked with a pediatrician or nurse.
In older children, it is easier to take material. A pot is suitable for this. It should be cleaned with soap and water. Do not use aggressive detergents to disinfect.
Where to get fecal analysis
Fecal tests that do not require lengthy laboratory tests can be taken at the clinic at the place of residence. For this, the attending physician should write out a referral. It is necessary to hand over the analysis of feces to the laboratory in the morning. The result will be ready during the day.
More complex tests, for which microorganisms need to be seeded, are handed over in special laboratories. There is everything you need to create certain conditions for the growth of bacteria. The results of such analyzes are usually ready in 5-7 days.
A wide variety of tests are taken in private medical centers. This is very convenient, since you can take a fecal analysis for various studies in one place.
We give an analysis of dysbiosis
This analysis is needed to determine the intestinal microflora. Feces for such a study should be fresh, since some microorganisms may die during its storage. Material sampling is carried out only in a sterile jar, which can be purchased at a pharmacy. In some laboratories, such a capacity is issued. It is easy to pass an analysis of feces for dysbiosis if you adhere to the basic requirements for the collection of material. Follow a diet, limit medication, especially antibiotics.
Feces for occult blood analysis
To determine hidden bleeding in the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, this type of analysis is prescribed.
The presence of blood is determined by the content of hemoglobin in the feces. Before collecting fecal analysis, for three days meat and fish dishes, as well as products containing a large amount of iron are excluded from the menu: apples, spinach, bell pepper and others. The use of an enema and medications before passing the test is unacceptable.
How to collect feces on worm eggs
Perhaps this type of research is the most common. Many people know how to take a fecal test for worm eggs. For this, the material must be collected in a clean, dry container with a lid. Take twice as much as the required amount of feces. Material for analysis is better to collect from different sites. Before giving feces, exclude the use of laxatives. The material can be stored in the refrigerator for a short time until it is delivered to the laboratory.
Fecal analysis for intestinal infections
To determine various infections in the gastrointestinal tract, a stool analysis tank is prescribed. How to take it, you should explain to your doctor. Such a study allows you to identify the causative agents of the disease, identify various pathogenic bacteria and bacilli.
A stool sample will require a sterile container, as microorganisms from the environment can affect the result of the analysis. It is forbidden to take antibiotics before collecting the material.
We collect feces for coprology
A coprological study allows you to check the digestive system and evaluate the metabolism that occurs during digestion. It is necessary to collect material for this analysis from different sites. If mucus, fibers, heterogeneous parts are observed in the feces, take them for analysis. For the rest, adhere to the general principles of collecting material.
As you can see, everything is simple. It is enough just to know for what kind of analysis you need to collect feces, and properly prepare. In any case, your doctor should explain how to perform the necessary manipulations. If for some reason the doctor does not do this, do not be shy, ask him yourself.
The essence of the study
Feces are the final product formed as a result of complex biochemical reactions aimed at the breakdown of food, the subsequent absorption of its components, as well as their removal from the intestines. Evaluation of feces (excrement, feces, bowel movements, faeces), that is, the spent contents of the large intestine, is of great diagnostic importance for identifying gastrointestinal tract dysfunctions.
Also, without this procedure, it is not possible to control the treatment of digestive organs. The study of feces allows you to detect acid-forming and enzymatic dysfunction of the stomach, a violation of the production of enzymes by the pancreas, liver.
In addition, during the procedure it is possible to establish the presence of accelerated evacuation of the contents of the stomach into the intestines, absorption pathology in the duodenum and small intestine, inflammatory processes, dysbiosis, and also colitis - spastic and allergic. The color of the feces is primarily due to the pigment sterkobilin.
A change in their shade refers to one and diagnostically important manifestations, which indicate the presence of a particular pathology. For example, with obstructive jaundice, when bile ceases to enter the intestines, feces become colorless. Black tarry stool (melena) is a clear symptom of bleeding, the localization of which is in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Feces acquire a red color during bleeding from the large intestine due to the inclusion of unchanged blood in them. Also in the feces you can find pus, mucus, helminths (worms), their eggs, cysts and simple microorganisms. Microscopic examination of the sample determines the main components: muscle fibers, plant fiber, fatty acids and their salts, intestinal epithelial cells, neutral fat, white blood cells, red blood cells. In addition, feces may include cancer cells.
Normal bowel movements are an amorphous mass consisting of the remnants of digested food. In an adult healthy person, semi-digested fibers (muscle and connective tissue) related to the remnants of protein products make up a small amount. Their increase (creatory) indicates pancreatic dysfunction and a decrease in the secretory capacity of the stomach. Detection of starch (amylorrhea) and undigested fiber indicates pathologies of the small intestine.
Determination of neutral fat in the feces (starea) indicates a lack of lipolytic function of the pancreas, and neutral fat and fatty acids appear with problems with bile secretion. An increase in the leukocyte count in feces indicates the development of an inflammatory process in the colon (ulcerative colitis, dysentery).
All methods for studying bowel movements are divided into three main types of tests - these are clinical (general), biochemical and bacteriological. Clinical includes coproscopy (general analysis of feces), analysis for helminth eggs, enterobiosis and protozoa. Biochemical is an analysis of occult blood, and bacteriological involves a study of the intestinal group (microflora) and pathogenic bacteria.
This diagnosis is very informative, because it shows a general analysis of feces, all the physical characteristics of excrement: quantity, consistency, shape, smell, and macroscopically visible impurities are also studied. The number of excreted bowel movements per day directly depends on the volume and composition of the food eaten, and can vary within quite large limits. With a standard diet, the daily amount of feces is approximately 120-200 g.
At the same time, it decreases with the predominance of animal protein in food, and increases with a vegetable and fruit diet. An increase in the daily volume of bowel movements (polyfection) occurs with functional pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, pathological changes in the function of bile secretion (achilia), absorption, diseases of the pancreas, enteritis.
With an increase in intestinal peristalsis, accompanied by a decrease in the quality of fluid absorption, secretion by the walls of the intestines of mucus and exudate of an inflammatory nature, the feces become mushy, fluid, that is, they lose their shape. With regular constipation, which forms with increased absorption of water, they acquire a density and a spherical shape, the so-called "sheep feces."
With pathologies such as stenosis or spastic narrowing of the rectum or lower sigmoid, non-standard forms of bowel movements, such as tape and pencil-shaped, are often noted. The color of feces is associated with the presence of the enzymes mesobilifuscin and sterkobilin, which under the influence of intestinal microflora are formed from bile bilirubin and stain them in different shades of brown.
Stones (calculi) of bile origin, formed in excrement, can be bilirubin, calcareous, cholesterol, mixed, and their presence is most often diagnosed after renal colic. Concrements of pancreatic nature consist of phosphates, lime, carbonates, while differing in an uneven surface that can injure the mucous membrane, and small size.
Coprolites - the formation of a dark brown shade - consist of layered mineral formations of a salt nature (most often phosphates), insoluble drugs, an organic core, undigested food particles, etc. The smell of excrement is normally unpleasant, but rather weak, and appears due to the presence of indole, skatol, and ortho- and paracreazole, as well as phenol.
These organic substances belonging to the aromatic series are formed due to the breakdown of protein structures. Therefore, the smell is always enhanced with an excessive content of protein products in the diet. In addition, a strong pungent odor is noted with putrefactive dyspepsia and diarrhea.
The weakening of the smell is observed with starvation and constipation, as well as with a milk and vegetable diet. With fermentative dyspepsia, the stool has an acidic smell. In the study forms, the smell of excrement is indicated only if it is sharply specific and clearly differs from the standard.
Macroscopic impurities in feces can be in the form of mucus, pus, blood, undigested particles of food, parasites, calculi. In a healthy person, undigested food (lientorrhea) should not be determined, while with a decrease in the quality of gastric and pancreatic digestion, such a pathology is noted quite often.
Detection of mucus in an overabundance, having the form of dense formations, cords, flakes, indicates inflammatory diseases of the intestinal mucosa. Fecal stones can be pancreatic, intestinal (coprolites), or bile by nature. Also, without using a microscope, helminths can be detected in the form of whole worms, or their individual parts: scolexes and segments.
In order for the result of the study to be as informative as possible, you should initially pass the stool analysis correctly. To do this, you should check with your doctor, after he writes out a direction for the study, all the possible nuances that may become an obstacle. You need to ask how much feces you need for analysis, how quickly it should be sent to the laboratory, whether it is worth sticking to a diet, etc.
Prepare for the procedure as follows:
- 3 days before the collection of biomaterial, stop taking antibiotics and drugs that can affect digestion, and you can not use rectal suppositories,
- for 4-5 days, exclude the use of barium, bismuth, iron, petroleum jelly and castor oil,
- 2 days before collecting feces for analysis, you should completely abandon tomato juice, pasta, beets, tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits that can change the color of feces,
- food should include cereal cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, while not reducing or increasing the number of servings,
- it is necessary to sharply limit fatty spicy, pickled foods, as well as smoked foods, in the diet,
- The sample should not be collected as a result of using enemas or laxatives.
During menstruation, women are not recommended to take feces analysis; to ensure the quality of the result, they will have to wait several days. For young children, biomaterial cannot be collected from diapers or diapers, if the stool is liquid, then an oilcloth or diaper can be used to take a sample.
Sample Collection Rules
To properly collect feces, it should be remembered that the sample must be obtained as a result of a spontaneous act of defecation. It is desirable to perform the procedure at home, for this you need to purchase a sterile container with a lid and a spoon specially designed for such purposes in a pharmacy.
Before this, it is necessary to empty the bladder, perform the toilet of the anal area and genitals using warm water and soap that does not contain aromatic additives. In this case, you immediately need to clarify how much feces you need to take for analysis.
When handing over the sample, it must be ensured that urine does not enter the sterile container, as this will distort the results of the study. Material for study must be taken in 3-4 places from different sides of the stool. To do this, together with a sterile container, a special spatula comes in the package.
About 15-20 g (approximate volume of a teaspoon) is taken for analysis. Then the container is tightly closed with a lid. Полученный образец доставляется в лабораторию не позже 10-12 часов после взятия, при условии, что он хранится в холодильнике при температуре 4-8°С. Результат исследования, как правило, уже готов на следующий день.
Анализ на скрытую кровь
This examination is almost indispensable for detecting hidden bleeding localized in the digestive system. Such bleeding - often become early signs of a number of severe gastrointestinal pathologies, including oncology. With imperceptible bleeding, even for a fairly long time, it is quite difficult to detect the presence of blood in the feces, both visually and microscopically. This is sometimes impossible.
This diagnosis is performed by changing the amount of modified hemoglobin. A positive reaction of the studied biomaterial means that the patient has diseases of the digestive tract, accompanied by a violation of the integrity of the mucous surface. This is characteristic of gastric and duodenal ulcers, Crohn's disease, polyps, ulcerative colitis, and helminthic invasions.
Diagnosis is also used to determine the presence of tumors, both primary and metastatic in nature, since even in the initial stages they lead to damage to the intestinal mucosa. The reliability of the analysis increases significantly when it is carried out twice. Moreover, a negative result is not one hundred percent confirmation of the absence of an erosive-ulcerative lesion or a neoplasm in the gastrointestinal tract.
An analysis of bowel movements for dysbiosis is the study of the intestinal flora that inhabits the human body. There are many reasons why representatives of beneficial flora can disappear and various types of pathogenic microorganisms appear or multiply.
This analysis allows us to estimate the quantitative content and the ratio of “beneficial” (E. coli, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria) and opportunistic (Clostridia, fungi, Staphylococcus, Enterobacteria) microorganisms. As well as the presence of pathogens, such as, for example, salmonella or shigella and other types of microbes.
The analysis is prescribed when:
- unstable bowel function (diarrhea, constipation),
- discomfort and abdominal pain, flatulence,
- intolerance to certain products,
- rashes on the skin,
- allergic reactions
- intestinal infections
- long-term treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs and hormones,
- determining the characteristics of intestinal biocenosis disorders.
The study is also indispensable for newborn babies at risk and adolescents who often have respiratory illnesses or are allergic. Preparation is no different from the above algorithm, only pass the sample to the laboratory no later than 1-2 hours after its collection. The analysis execution time, which includes its decoding, is 5-8 days.
An analysis of feces for enterobiosis, or as it is also called scraping, is a search for pinworm eggs (helminths, the main signs of the presence of which are itching in the anus, and intestinal disorders). In addition, the study is prescribed during preventive examinations before planned hospitalization, a certificate in the pool or medical book.
Scraping is taken as follows: in the morning before bowel movement and genitals, you need to use a cotton swab previously moistened with glycerin to make several scraping movements near the anus. Then place the stick in a special plastic tube and close the lid. The sample should be delivered to the laboratory on the same day, and the answer will be ready in 1 day.
On the eggs of worms (helminths)
The essence of the study is to detect worm eggs, leading to diseases called helminthiases (ascariasis, hookworm, trichinosis). Most often in humans, flat and roundworms become the cause of such diseases. Indications for bringing the study are the same as with scraping for enterobiosis.
What do fecal tests do?
Before starting to collect feces for analysis, the child's parents or the person himself must understand what they are giving, what kind of analysis will be carried out, since the rules for the preparation and collection of analyzes will completely depend on this.
Pass an analysis of feces on:
- Coprogram. To study the digestive ability of the body.
- Occult blood. Bleeding is detected from the small intestine, as well as from the initial section of the large intestine.
- Worm eggs. To identify eggs, segments or sexually mature worms.
- Back analysis. To determine the presence of bacteria in the intestines.
At present, the possibilities of laboratory diagnostics are so wide that, thanks to them, it is possible to identify diseases that were previously very difficult to identify using such readily available biomaterials as feces. Or you had to resort to more laborious methods of examination.
For example, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for calprotectin is a protein that is produced in white blood cells. Its content is directly proportional to the number of leukocytes in the intestine, so when conducting this examination, we can conclude that there is inflammation in the colon.
Also, it is impossible not to mention the immunohistochemical analysis of giardia, through which coproantigens to this pathogen are determined. At its core, it resembles a microscopic examination, but in some cases it can be very informative (depending on what forms and types of infection are).
To date, in Moscow and other major cities, any of the laboratories provides the opportunity to be fully examined by both an adult and a child, which will help to find out the cause of the deterioration of health. It is enough for those who wish to just follow all the rules of preparation for passing the sample, find out how much analysis is done, and come at the indicated time for an answer.
How to collect feces for coprogram?
Before you start collecting feces, you need to prepare for the analysis.
To do this, you must:
- Empty the bladder (there should be no impurities or urine in the stool).
- Wash with soap and dry with a towel.
- Do not use wet wipes or other hygiene products.
Also, before the delivery of feces, you need to follow a diet for a couple of days, which will allow you to not strain the intestines and prevent constipation. Sour-milk products, cereals and broths are perfect for this.
When to collect feces - very important information. It is best to pass the morning feces, but if this is not possible, then collected in the evening will do. It must be kept in tightly closed containers, placed in the refrigerator door overnight.
What is the analysis - The second important question. It is best to purchase a special sterile container with a spoon in the pharmacy. In it, you can easily collect both liquid and solid feces. For this purpose, they also take ordinary glassware instead of a pharmacy container, sterilize it and collect the analysis.
It is enough to take a small amount of feces - one or two teaspoons. It is important to take feces correctly. This can be done either by going to the toilet directly in the jar.
Or collect a special spoon of feces in a jar of:
- a sterile film that was used to go to the toilet while sitting on a toilet seat,
- the baby’s diaper, on which he was empty,
- pot or ducks pre-peeled.
If a person does not have the opportunity to collect feces directly into a prepared container, then a duck can be used for this. Wash it with soap and pour over boiling water. You can also spread the film on the toilet seat and go on it.
For women, it will be important to mention that the correct delivery of feces implies the lack of blood from the vagina during menstruation in the material. Therefore, the delivery of the analysis must either be postponed, or use a swab and wash well after that.
One of the main causes of constipation and diarrhea is the use of various drugs. To improve bowel function after taking medications, you need every day drink a simple remedy .
How to donate feces for occult blood?
This analysis is taken as well as the previous one. An important point is to follow a diet before taking the test. For 3-5 days, you need to stop eating meat offal, as well as fish.
It is worthwhile to exclude products with a high content of iron. Since these substances are able to stain feces in a dark color, and meat can pass with blood not digested, it is better to protect yourself from this, because, having noticed blood in the stool, the doctor can make an incorrect diagnosis, suspecting a serious pathology.
Putting feces on worm eggs
In children, such an analysis is collected more often than in adults. It is important to collect feces quickly and it is desirable to deliver it to the hospital warm for analysis (take two to three teaspoons of the material). This is necessary due to the fact that some worms die and can not be found in the feces during prolonged storage.
Is it possible to take evening feces with this analysis? Not advisable. It is better to prepare a jar in the evening and tolerate until the morning, as many worms leave the body in the morning in the best way, and can even crawl out of the anus of a person at night. There is anything you can before passing such an analysis.
One of the main causes of constipation or diarrhea is malnutrition. Therefore, to improve bowel function every day drink simple .
How to make scraping?
Often, laboratory assistants hear a request to make a scraping from the feces of the child that the parents brought. Such a question always causes only a smile. Scraping is an analysis of pinworm eggs and it is impossible to identify them in the feces. In order to make scraping, you need to glue a small piece of adhesive tape (2cm * 5cm) to the anus of an adult or child. Then this adhesive tape is immediately glued to the glass (it can be glass issued at the hospital, or it can be an ordinary home jar - the main thing is to keep it clean). Glass is brought to the laboratory and an analysis is carried out there.
Features of the collection of feces in children
It is easier to collect feces from an adult than from a baby, especially if he does not yet go to the potty. In this case, a clean pot, a diaper can help. You can not take feces from diapers. Before emptying, you need to put the baby on her stomach for several minutes, turn it on her back and massage the tummy, and the feces will come out on a clean diaper. With older children it’s easier - just put them on the pot. If the crumbs do not manage to go to the toilet because of constipation, then you can consult your doctor about the advisability of taking laxatives, you can’t give them on your own, so as not to spoil the analysis.
It is clear that in children it is impossible to adjust the time of defecation, but it is better that the stool is not stored for more than 12 hours, since otherwise the result may be unreliable.
When collecting an analysis of feces in an adult or child, it is important to adhere to the above rules. This will help to research the material more accurately.
Lack of fluid intake is one of the main causes of constipation. To get rid of it in 3 days, you need to drink a simple remedy every day.
You will receive a reliable analysis and in case of pathology, you will be prescribed treatment correctly. Indeed, the use of certain drugs without the need, on the contrary, can worsen health. Therefore, it is important to understand that the correctness of the results primarily depends on the collection of material for analysis.
Gastroenterologist practitioner. Work experience - 9 years in a private clinic. If you have not found the answer to your question - ask the author!