Used as a screening tool for colon and rectal cancer, a hemoccult test is most accurate when you follow the instructions of your doctor carefully. There are certain foods you should avoid while participating in a hemoccult test for the benefit of your health. These foods can interfere with test results causing false negatives -- a test that comes back clean for blood when blood was actually present in the stool.
A hemoccult test is a test completed at home to check for any signs of blood in your stool. This test is also referred to as a stool guaiac or stool occult blood test. During a hemoccult test, you take samples from three different bowel movements. Your doctor's office provides you with slides and sticks, which you use to collect stool samples. You then take the samples to your doctor's office. Within a few days, your results are available. If your test comes back positive for blood in your stool, your doctor may order further testing.
Hemoccult Test Diet
There is some preparation for a hemoccult test when it comes to your diet. Three days prior to your test and during your hemoccult test, there are certain foods you need to avoid. The Ohio State University Medical Center indicates you should not consume more than 350 mg of vitamin C daily. You should avoid raw fruits and vegetables -- including broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and melons. You should also avoid red and processed meats prior to and during your test. These meats include beef, liver and lamb. Chemicals found in these foods can interfere with your test results and lead to the possibility of a false negative.
During your hemoccult test, you should maintain a well-balanced diet, which includes plenty of fiber from fruits and vegetables, as well as bran cereals. Consume lean meats, poultry and fish. Low-fat dairy -- including milk, yogurt and cheeses -- can also be part of your well-balanced diet. Consume carbohydrates such as bread, rice and pasta. During your hemoccult test, it is also important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during your test.
There are other restrictions to ensure accuracy of a hemoccult test that do not include your food or diet. Women should not participate in a hemoccult test during their menstrual periods, nor should a woman participate in a hemoccult test during the three days after her menstrual period. If you are experiencing hemorrhoids, do not participate in a hemoccult test. You should avoid aspirin for one week prior to your test. Talk to your doctor about any other medications you may be taking.