Skip to content
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change your settings or learn more here.
Image: toilet via Shutterstock

Bowel diseases can now be diagnosed by smelling stools

Researchers in the UK say this form of diagnoses is very accurate.
Mar 30th 2014, 8:15 AM 27,837 32

UK SCIENTISTS HAVE found a way to diagnose different types of bowel disease by smelling patients’ stools.

The results were 76 per cent accurate in a study of 182 stool samples from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

The test, published in the Journal of Breath Research, recognises different bowel diseases by analysing the chemical compounds emitted from the stools.

Norman Ratcliffe is a professor in the University of the West of England where the study was carried out.

He said their specially-designed ‘odour reader’ would get even more accurate results with more samples to test. He told the BBC that,

The method could be particularly useful for diagnosing a group of diseases that are hard to distinguish.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have very similar symptoms but are very different conditions.

“IBD is an autoimmune disease caused by a response of the immune system to microbes in the gut, which is usually diagnosed by colonoscopy, while IBS is a disorder of the digestive tract with no known cause.”

The study had a 79 per cent accuracy distinguishing IBD patients from healthy patients.

Read: Research underway to develop blood test to detect bowel cancer>

Read: How to use the bathroom with no smell… according to this bizarre ad>

Send a tip to the author

Cliodhna Russell


    Back to top