pH, Stool


Stool pH is dependent in part on fermentation of sugars. Colonic fermentation of normal amounts of carbohydrate sugars and production of fatty acids accounts for the normally slightly acidic pH.


This test is used to detect carbohydrate and fat malabsorption and to evaluate small intestinal disaccharidase deficiencies. High (alkaline) is seen in increased protein breakdown, secretory diarrhea without food intake, colitis, villous adenoma and possibly with use of antibiotics. Alkaline stool pH may be a risk factor for colorectal cancer. Low (acidic) is seen in intestinal lactase deficiency, high lactose intake, decreased absorption*of carbohydrates, and decreased fat absorption. A stool pH of <6 is suggestive evidence of sugar malabsorption.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions


Special Precautions

Normal Range

6.0 - 8.0

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