I prepare for the test?
- If the traditional test is used, you
collect samples of your stool at home and send them
to a laboratory or clinic for analysis.Your doctor gives
you a kit with all of the materials you need.A newer
test uses flushable pads to detect blood in the toilet
bowl following a bowel movement, so that no stool
samples are required.
For several days before taking the samples, you
must avoid medicines that can interfere with the results.
These include NSAIDs and blood thinners (see
"Medication precautions," page 35) which can cause
minor stomach bleeding, thereby giving an abnormal
test result. If you have hemorrhoids, wait until
they stop bleeding before doing the test. Women
shouldn't collect stool samples near the time of menstruation.
Finally, avoid using toilet bowl cleaners
for several days before the test, because these chemicals
can affect the results if they come in contact
with your stool sample.
For several days before the test, you also need to
avoid foods and vitamins that can affect the test result.
Foods to avoid include red meat (the blood it contains can turn your test positive), radishes, turnips,
cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, uncooked
broccoli, and cantaloupe (all of which contain a chemical
that can turn the test positive), and citrus fruits
and vitamin C supplements (which can turn the test