Fecal fat

Fecal Fat

What is Fecal Fat?

Fecal fat is a measure of the amount of fat that has been released into the stool from digestion. It is used to diagnose malabsorption disorders, such as celiac disease and pancreatic insufficiency. It is also used to monitor the success of dietary changes for conditions like obesity.

Preparation for Fecal Fat Tests

Before undergoing a fecal fat test, the patient should follow a high-fat diet for three to seven days. Avoiding foods that are high in fibers, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, is recommended for about a day before the test. Additionally, a fat-soluble medication should be discontinued before the test. Patients will be instructed to collect three stool samples over a period of three consecutive days.

Procedure for Fecal Fat Tests

To perform a fecal fat test, a patient must collect three samples of stool for testing. The stool is mixed with a solution in a special container and then placed in the laboratory for processing. The lab technician will examine the sample to check for a certain type of fat called triglyceride. The technician will also analyze the fat to determine its pattern.

Types of Fecal Fat Tests

There are two types of fecal fat tests. The first type is the qualitative analysis, which helps determine if fat is present in the stool. The quantitative analysis can give an indication of the amount of fat present in the stool.

Risks of Fecal Fat Tests

The risks associated with a fecal fat test are minimal. There’s a slight risk of infection from handling the sample. There’s also a risk of ingesting potentially harmful bacteria, so patients should use gloves and wash their hands thoroughly after handling the sample.

When to Perform Fecal Fat Tests?

Fecal fat tests are typically recommended when a patient is experiencing symptoms of malabsorption, such as diarrhea, bloating, or weight loss. The test can also be used to monitor the success of a dietary change.

Why Perform Fecal Fat Tests?

Fecal fat tests are used to diagnose malabsorption disorders like celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, or pancreatic insufficiency. The tests can also be used to monitor the success of a dietary change, such as a low-fat diet, for conditions like obesity.