How Can I Test My Bowels At Home?
Did you know that taking an at-home bowel test can help save lives? Research has found that detecting bowel cancer at the earliest stage makes you up to 9 times more likely to survive.
If you have clicked on this article, then you are probably wondering, how can I test my bowels at home?
Well, we will outline the importance of taking a bowel test in this article, which we hope you find informative.
What is the bowel?
Firstly, our digestive system breaks down the food that we ingest and subsequently gets rid of the waste.
The bowel (also known as the intestine) is a long, continuous tube, running from the stomach to the anus. Split into the small bowel and the large bowel, the organ plays a key role in digestion, as well as in fighting germs and regulating the body’s water balance.
So, the bowel helps the body absorb the minerals, nutrients and fluids from the foods we consume. Then, the leftover waste from the food is stored in the bowel, until they are emptied from the body in the form of a bowel movement.
What are the signs of bowel problems?
If you have any digestion-related symptoms, then this may be an indicator that there is an underlying issue with your bowel.
Here are some of the symptoms which suggest you may have a bowel problem:
- Blood in your stool or on toilet tissue
- Severe pain or discomfort after eating
- Severe stomach/abdominal pain or cramping, which does not go away
- Unexplained changes in bowel movements or urine
- Painful bowel movements
- Urgent need to have a bowel movement
- Diarrhoea or constipation, or both
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- Excessive wind
- Bloating, or discomfort and pain when swallowing
- Intolerance of certain foods
- Reduced appetite
- Swollen abdomen, or pain/tenderness when you touch your abdomen
- Severe heartburn
- Abnormal skin tags on the buttocks
- Burning or itching of the anus
- Mouth sores
- High temperature
- Fever or chills
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Swollen or painful joints
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unintentional weight loss
- Anxiety and depression
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a doctor as quickly as possible. The sooner you visit a doctor, the quicker you can get an accurate diagnosis and receive the help, care, support and treatment you need.
If you suspect your bowel is obstructed (blocked), this is a medical emergency, so you should go to your local Accident & Emergency (A&E) department straight away.
What is bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer (also known as colon or rectal cancer) refers to cancer that begins in the large bowel.
What happens is that a clump of cells called polyps develops in the inner lining of the colon (large bowel). If you have polyps growing inside you, this does not mean you will develop cancer. Polyps can be non-cancerous and they can go away on their own.
A few polyps may continue to grow, which eventually develop into bowel cancer, over a period of several years.
If bowel cancer is detected early, then the right treatment can cure bowel cancer and stop it from coming back.
It is a common misconception to believe that bowel cancer only affects older adults. However, bowel cancer can develop at any age, but the risk significantly increases as people get older.
The vast majority (94%) of new bowel cancer cases are diagnosed in people over 50 years old.
Between 2017 and 2019, the highest mortality rate for bowel cancer in the UK was in the 90+ age group for both males and females.
Young people under the age of 45 can still get bowel cancer. In the United States, at Yale Medicine Colon & Rectal Surgery, the youngest colorectal cancer patient diagnosed at the location was 18 years old. This demonstrates how bowel cancer can affect anybody, at any time.
Who is at risk of developing bowel cancer?
There are factors which might put a person at higher risk of developing bowel cancer. For instance, if:
- you are aged 50 or over.
- you have a history of non-cancerous polyps in your bowel.
- your diet does not contain enough fibre.
- you have longstanding inflammatory bowel disease.
- you are overweight.
- you have Type 2 diabetes.
- you eat too much red and processed meat.
- you have a history of bowel cancer in your family.
- you drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.
How can I test my bowels at home?
When it comes to looking after bowel health, many people wonder, how can I test my bowels at home?
Here is how. You can take an at-home bowel cancer test, which detects whether there is blood in your stool, which is too difficult to see with the naked eye. This aids in the diagnosis of bowel cancer.
Remember, the earlier you act if you experience any unusual symptoms, the better it will be for your health.
Here at Official Rapid Tests, we offer an Instant Bowel Cancer Home Test. This self-test is a rapid lateral flow test for the detection of human occult blood in faeces.
You can take the test in minutes, and then send it to our accredited lab for analysing, using the instructions provided. You will receive your test results and any recommendations very quickly, within just a few days, via email.
Please note: If your results are outside the normal range and are of concern, it is a priority that you contact your local GP or emergency service by calling 111 or 999.
If you feel unwell or are concerned about your health, it is your responsibility to get in touch with the emergency services as soon as possible, do not wait for results to be issued.
Click here to buy our Instant Bowel Cancer Home Test.
What should I do if my bowel test shows that I have blood in my stool?
You should speak to your GP as soon as possible and inform them of your test results. The doctor will ask you about any other symptoms you may be experiencing. You will be referred for further tests, to see what the cause is.
If you experience any further symptoms (such as fever, nausea, or vomiting), then use the NHS 111 service or visit your local A&E department.
Do not wait until your symptoms worsen to seek medical help. The earlier you are examined by a medical professional, the quicker you can receive treatment and advice.
Read more articles like this
To learn more about bowel health, health tests, healthcare and Covid testing, click here to read our blog articles on:
- What Age Does Bowel Cancer Start?
- What Are the Signs of Bowel Problems?
- How Do You Check Your Bowel Health?
- How Do You Know if You Have Damaged Your Bowels?
- How Does Strep A Get in Your Blood?
- Can I Enter the UK with an Antigen Test?
- What Is an In-Clinic Antigen Test?
- Do I Need an Antigen Test to Travel
- COVID Video Test for Travel: Telehealth Supervised Antigen Test for USA
- Welzo & NFC technology
- How Does Strep A Get in Your Blood?
About Official Rapid Tests
At Official Rapid Tests, we are a UK Government listed testing provider. We are a team of medical industry experts, with a combined experience of 40 years in the testing, diagnostic and medical services sector.
Click here to purchase our Instant Bowel Cancer Home Test, which aids in the diagnosis of bowel cancer.
Are you looking to test yourself for Covid-19?
Book a Covid test at one of our test centres, as we have over 120 clinics all over the UK. To book a Covid Test with us at your nearest test centre, click here.
Alternatively, buy a Rapid Antigen Test, Video Supervised Lateral Flow Test or a Covid Recovery Certificate, which you can use as proof that you are fit to travel abroad.
If you are not sure what kind of Covid Test you need, then click here to take our quiz. This will tell you which type of Covid test is suitable based on your travel requirements.
Our Covid tests are perfect for use as proof that you have negative Covid status if you are travelling. With every negative result, you will receive a signed note from one of our doctors, declaring that you are Covid-free and fit to travel internationally.
We hope we have answered the question, ‘how can I test my bowels at home?’
Read more articles on travelling, Covid tests and health tests on our blog here.