Health Encyclopedia - Test
Flushable reagent stool blood test
Flushable reagent stool blood test is an at-home test to detect hidden blood in the stool.
Stool occult blood test - flushable home test; Fecal occult blood test - flushable home test
How the Test is Performed
This test is performed at home with disposable pads. You can buy the pads at the drug store without a prescription. Brand names include EZ-Detect, HomeChek Reveal, and ColoCARE.
You do not handle stool directly with this test. You simply note any changes you see on a card and then mail the results card to your health care provider.
To do the test:
- Urinate if you need to, then flush the toilet before having a bowel movement.
- After the bowel movement, place the disposable pad in the toilet.
- Watch for a change of color on the test area of the pad. Results will appear in about 2 minutes.
- Note the results on the card provided, then flush the pad away.
- Repeat for the next two bowel movements.
The different tests have different methods to check for water quality. Check the package for instructions.
How to Prepare for the Test
How the Test will Feel
This test involves only normal bowel functions, and there is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
A negative result is normal.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different labs. Talk to your doctor about your test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results of the flushable mean there is bleeding present somewhere in the digestive tract, which may be caused by:
- Swollen, fragile blood vessels in the colon that may result in blood loss
- Colon cancer
- Colon polyps
- Enlarged veins called varices in the walls of the esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach that bleed.
- When the lining of the stomach or the esophagus becomes inflamed or swollen
- Infections in the stomach and intestines
- Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis
- Ulcer in the stomach or first part of the intestines
Other causes of a positive test, which do not indicate a problem in the gastrointestinal tract, include:
- Coughing up and then swallowing blood
- Nose bleed
Abnormal test results require follow-up with your doctor.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.