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A stool analysis is a series of tests done on a sample of stool (feces). It can find problems with the digestive tract. These health problems can include infection, poor nutrient absorption, or cancer.
In children, stool analysis is done to find diseases of the digestive tract. It's also done to find out what may be causing symptoms like diarrhea, gas, nausea, vomiting, and belly pain with fever.
Your child may need to avoid certain medicines for 1 to 2 weeks before the test. Your child may also need to avoid certain foods for a few days before the test. Talk with your doctor about which medicines and foods to avoid.
Stool samples can be collected at home. Or they can be collected in your doctor's office, a health clinic, or the hospital. If you collect your child's samples at home, you will get kits to use. Each kit has applicator sticks, a collection container, and two sterile containers.
You may need to collect more than one sample over 1 to 3 days. Follow the same procedure each day.
The test will take a few minutes each time you take a sample.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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