how does the bowel self test works?
The occult blood test detects small amounts (<2.5 ml / day) of visually non-detectable blood presence in the faeces. Normally, on a daily basis only about 0.5 ml of blood is excreted within faeces. Blood can get into the stool from all parts of the digestive tract from the mouth and ending with the anus.
Prior to testing, no dietary restrictions are necessary. It is recommended not to drink high amounts of alcohol and use medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, corticosteroids, and anticoagulants including marevan) 2 days before carrying out the analysis, otherwise this could alter your results. Plus, should you suffer from gastrointestinal bleeding, this could also impact your test results.
What to do if the occult blood test is positive?
Contact your family doctor for advice.
Since gastrointestinal bleeding may be episodic, it is advisable in case of a negative result to repeat the test for another two consecutive days - ie a total of 3 days.
Stool collection is not recommended during menstrual bleeding and for 72 hours afterwards, or you suffer from bleeding haemorrhoids, since these conditions may provide a false positive result.
If your occult blood test is negative, but the complaints persist, still contact your family doctor.