Q. What does it mean if the stool test shows traces of occult blood?

Answered by
Dr. Ajeet Kumar
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 20, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am currently confronting some problems with my digestion that are not recovering.

My complete medical history is as follows;

I have been eating many unhealthy foods for two to three months. My main symptoms were irregular bowel movement and diarrhea for two to three times after each meal. So, I went to see a doctor. He did some blood tests, which came back normal, but the stool test showed traces of occult blood. He prescribed me Levofloxacin, Clostridium butyricum, Azinthiamide, and probiotics. After medication, my symptoms improved, but I am still worrying because it has been one month already, and I am not recovered completely.

Will I recover sooner, or will it take more time? Is there anything wrong that my doctor missed to find?




Welcome to

I do not think you have any severe problems. The bowel movements and slight cramping in the lower abdomen are very common. Although you have some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is not very severe. There is nothing to worry about as there is no weight loss or alarming symptoms such as bleeding in the stools.

Clostridium butyricum is not for humans, and I suggest you stop it. There are certain other probiotics species like Lactobacillus and Fusobacterium species that are healthy for the human gut.

Secondly, I do not think you need to take Azinthiamide as it increases your stomach's motility. It is beneficial in people having significant post-meals bloating or burping. So, I suggest you take capsule Rifaximin 200 mg thrice daily for three weeks. This antibiotic helps control the harmful bacteria in your intestine and thus improve bowel movement and overall gut health.

I hope this answers your concerns.

Take care.

Thank you doctor,

Many thanks for your reply. I just got one or two comments over it.



Welcome back to

So the degree of Weight loss is not serious at this moment without other worsening symptoms or anything else whatsoever. So do not worry, just keep monitoring. It is theoretically said that polyps and tumors cause altered stool forms, but practically it is not a common thing to see. A stool can change its form based on the diet you take, the water you drink, and very rarely deformed by tumor or polyps- particularly polyps of very large size such as in 3 to 4 cm, and those which develop in the rectum. It is very uncommon to have only changes in the form of stools in the case of a person who has polyp, without any other symptoms. The one important symptom of polyp or tumor are bleeding, which you do not have. Similarly color of stools varies in day-to-day life, this again depends upon the diet you take. So yellow color is absolutely normal, some degree of change in color is a normal phenomenon. I hope this answers your concerns.

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