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Stool Testing

Stool Testing

Experiencing gastrointestinal issues that cause discomfort or embarrassment? A stool test can help to identify the problem and enable it to be treated. For comprehensive stool testing that can shine some light on your health and wellness, make an appointment with Melbourne Natural Medicine Clinic.

What Is the Purpose of Stool Testing?

Stool testing can help to diagnose numerous conditions, including infection of the digestive tract caused by the existence of pathogenic bacteria. A doctor will often request a stool test if the patient presents symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhoea that lasts numerous days
  • Traces of blood or mucous in faeces
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • High fever

These symptoms can often be indicative of gastrointestinal illness, which stool testing will typically either confirm or rule out.

Types of Stool Tests

There are two main types of stool tests. The first is the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) which is used to test for bowel cancer in otherwise healthy people. The FOBT examines the stool for traces of blood. If blood is found, then the person will undergo further testing to determine the reason for the presence of blood.

Here in Australia, many people between the ages of 50 and 74 are eligible for a free FOBT through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. If you’d like to find out more, speak to one of the practitioners at our natural therapy clinic.

The second form of stool testing is stool culture. This test identifies what type of bacteria might be present and causing illness such as diarrhoea or infection of the lower digestive tract. The test aims to determine whether or not bacteria is pathogenic (i.e. disease causing) or whether it’s the type of bacteria commonly found in the digestive tract (i.e. normal flora).

What Are the Different Types of Pathogenic Bacteria?

The most common types detected by stool testing include:

  • Salmonella – Found in raw eggs, raw poultry and uncooked vegetables
  • Shigella – Found in water or food products that may have been contaminated with faeces
  • Campylobacter – Present in poultry that’s raw or undercooked. Can be particularly serious if it makes its way into the bloodstream
  • Escherichia coli 0157:H7 – Better known as E. coli, it’s commonly found in hamburger meat or beef that’s raw or undercooked
  • Clostridium difficule – It’s possible that these might exist as part of the normal flora, however when combined with antibiotics, they have a tendency to overgrow

How Is the Stool Sample Collected?

Worried about how we go about collecting your sample for stool testing? Don’t be − you can take care of it in the privacy of your own home. We’ll supply you with a sterile container that needs to remain free from contaminants such as urine or water. To avoid your stool coming into contact with urine or water, make sure you place something in the toilet bowl to catch your stool. Once you’ve caught it, transfer it into the container. Be sure to not use your hands, as they might contaminate the sample.

When Am I Likely to Be Most at Risk?

Your doctor or medical practitioner will likely request a stool test if you’re experiencing stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever or diarrhoea. If you’re either particularly young or particularly elderly, your immune system is weak, you’ve ingested food or water that might have been contaminated, or you’re experiencing severe symptoms, you may be suffering from a gastrointestinal issue that requires stool testing.

Book an Appointment with Melbourne Natural Medicine Clinic Today

Whether you’re looking for comprehensive stool testing, SIBO testing or just an acupuncture clinic in Melbourne, you can count on Melbourne Natural Medicine Clinic to provide you with the trusted services and advice you need to live a life of optimal health and wellness. For stool testing, TCM in Melbourne and more, speak to our friendly team by (03) 9686 2566.

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