Diagnostic Tests for Diarrhea
Diagnostic Test list for Diarrhea:
The list of diagnostic tests
mentioned in various sources as
used in the diagnosis of Diarrhea
- Physical examination
- Abdominal examination for tenderness and a mass e.g. a mass in the right lower abdomen may suggest bowel cancer or diverticulitis; a mass on right, left or upper abdomen may also suggest bowel cancer; tenderness in the left lower abdomen, with or without a significant mass may suggest ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome
- Examine rectum for hemorrhoids and anal fissure that may be causing a positive occult blood test
- Examine for signs of systemic diseases that may cause diarrhea e.g. tremor and increased heart rate of hyperthyroidism; considerable flushing of carcinoid syndrome; hyperpigmentation of the skin in Addison's disease; and dermatitis and dementia of pellagra
- Blood tests
- Full blood count and ESR, Electrolytes and thyroid function tests - if systemic disease is suspected to be the cause of diarrhea.
- Salmonella antibodies - not useful in acute situation.
- Amoeba antibodies - not useful in acute situation.
- HIV test - if suspected on history.
- Gastrin level - if suspect a gastrinoma (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome).
- Stool tests
- Test for occult blood (if positive may suggest infectious disease of the large intestine or small intestine, ulcerative colitis, bowel cancer, diverticulitis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome)
- Stool microscopy for ova, parasites and culture for bacteria
- Giardia antigen
- Clostridium difficile toxin B - if history of antibiotic use.
- 24 hour Stool analysis of fecal fat - if steatorrhea is present (i.e. fatty, pale colored, extremely smelly stools that float in the toilet and are difficult to flush away due to excess fat in the stool).
- Urine tests
- 5-HIAA - if suspect Carcinoid syndrome.
- Radiological investigations
- Sigmoidoscopy and/or colonoscopy with or without a small bowel aspiration and biopsy - if diarrhea persists or if blood is present ( may be required to detect bowel cancer, bowel polyps, celiac disease, Giardia infection.
- Medical history
- Physical exam
- Stool culture
- Blood tests
- Fasting tests - for various food allergies.
Home Diagnostic Testing
These home medical tests may be relevant to Diarrhea causes:
- Colon & Rectal Cancer: Home Testing
- Food Allergies & Intolerances: Home Testing:
- Digestive-Related Home Testing:
Tests and diagnosis discussion for Diarrhea:
Diagnostic tests to find the cause of diarrhea
include the following:
- Medical history and physical examination. The doctor will need to
know about your eating habits and medication use and will examine you
for signs of illness.
- Stool culture. Lab technicians analyze a sample of stool to check
for bacteria, parasites, or other signs of disease or infection.
- Blood tests. Blood tests can be helpful in ruling out certain
- Fasting tests. To find out if a food intolerance or allergy is
causing the diarrhea, the doctor may ask you to avoid lactose (found in
milk products), carbohydrates, wheat, or other foods to see whether the
diarrhea responds to a change in diet.
- Sigmoidoscopy. For this test, the doctor uses a special instrument
to look at the inside of the rectum and lower part of the colon.
- Colonoscopy. This test is similar to sigmoidoscopy, but the doctor
looks at the entire colon.
(Source: excerpt from Diarrhea: NIDDK
Conditions listing medical symptoms: Diarrhea:
The following list of conditions
have 'Diarrhea' or similar
listed as a symptom in our database.
This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete.
Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause
of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which
include a symptom of Diarrhea or choose View All.
Conditions listing medical complications: Diarrhea:
The following list of medical conditions have 'Diarrhea'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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