Fecal Occult Blood Testing in Orlando, FL
Fecal occult blood testing is performed to check for trace amounts of hidden (occult) blood in stool, which may be a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. The amount of blood may be so minimal that it cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Also known as a hemoccult test, a fecal occult blood test involves placing a small amount of stool on a strip of paper coated with guaiac, a plant substance that changes color in response to the presence of blood. A few seconds after the fecal sample is placed on the paper, a reaction will occur—specifically, the paper will turn blue—if any blood is present.
When Is Fecal Occult Blood Testing Recommended?
A physician may order a hemoccult test to help determine the cause of:
- Abdominal pain
- A change in bowel movements
- Weight loss
While fecal occult blood testing can be a useful diagnostic tool, it does have some limitations. For example, while it can detect trace amounts of blood in stool, it does not indicate the actual amount or source of the blood.
What Can Cause Bleeding in the Digestive Tract?
If fecal occult blood testing detects blood in stool, a physician may recommend a follow-up colonoscopy, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, or another test to help identify the source of the bleeding. Some possible causes include:
- Precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum
- Colorectal cancer
You can receive fecal occult blood testing and other routine lab testing services at Optimum Direct Care in Orlando, FL. As a member of our direct primary care practice, you have unlimited access to our board-certified family practice physician, Dr. Toni “Muzzi” Muzzonigro, who will help you meet all of your primary health care needs. Contact us to learn more about our practice and services.