Skip to content
Font Size
A
A
A

Stool Analysis

Results continued...

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Stool analysis test results usually take at least 1 to 3 days.

Stool analysis
Normal:

The stool appears brown, soft, and well-formed in consistency.

The stool does not contain blood, mucus, pus, undigested meat fibers, harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.

The stool is shaped like a tube.

The pH of the stool is 7.0–7.5.1

The stool contains less than 0.25 grams per deciliter (g/dL)[less than 13.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)] of sugars called reducing factors.1

The stool contains 2–7 grams of fat per 24 hours (g/24h).1

Abnormal:

The stool is black, red, white, yellow, or green.

The stool is liquid or very hard.

There is too much stool.

The stool contains blood, mucus, pus, undigested meat fibers, harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites.

The stool contains low levels of enzymes, such as trypsin or elastase.

The pH of the stool is less than 7.0 or greater than 7.5.

The stool contains 0.25 g/dL (13.9 mmol/L) or more of sugars called reducing factors.

The stool contains more than 7 g/24h of fat (if your fat intake is about 100 g a day).

 

Many conditions can change the results of a stool analysis. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and past health.

Abnormal values

  • High levels of fat in the stool may be caused by diseases such as pancreatitis, sprue (celiac disease), cystic fibrosis, or other disorders that affect the absorption of fats.
  • The presence of undigested meat fibers in the stool may be caused by pancreatitis.
  • A low pH may be caused by poor absorption of carbohydrate or fat. Stool with a high pH may mean inflammation in the intestine (colitis), cancer, or antibiotic use.
  • Blood in the stool may be caused by bleeding in the digestive tract.
  • White blood cells camera.gif in the stool may be caused by inflammation of the intestines, such as ulcerative colitis, or a bacterial infection.
  • Rotaviruses are a common cause of diarrhea in young children. If diarrhea is present, testing may be done to look for rotaviruses in the stool.
  • High levels of reducing factors in the stool may mean a problem digesting some sugars.
  • Low levels of reducing factors may be caused by sprue (celiac disease), cystic fibrosis, or malnutrition. Medicine such as colchicine (for gout) or birth control pills may also cause low levels.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
 
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
 
top foods for probiotics
Slideshow
couple eating at cafe
Article
 
sick child
Slideshow
Woman blowing bubble gum
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with crohns in pain
Slideshow
Woman with stomach pain
Slideshow
 
diet for diverticulitis
Video
what causes diarrhea
Video