Blood in Stool
Observing blood in stool all of a sudden could be scary, so you must immediately inform your doctor about it. You will be asked to undergo a stool test and various other diagnostic procedures to detect the exact reason behind it.
We shall provide you the details in the upcoming segments of this article.
The color of your stool might change to red or maroon; a condition medically described as hematochezia. Sometimes, you may also observe blood clots in your stool. Associated symptoms include chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, rapid breathing, pale skin, fever, black stools, vomiting, weakness, etc.
Causes of Blood in Stool
The red-colored stool is a result of inflammation or infection of the lower gastrointestinal tract, or it could also arise from bleeding inside the stomach.
The reasons could be:
The tissue lining of the anus (lower rectum) tears due to pressure on the sphincter muscles of the anus, constipation, etc. and this leads to bleeding.
It is a disorder in which the lower part of the intestine gets damaged due to the cut of blood supply. This causes internal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which comes out through the anus.
Hemorrhoids: The blood vessels of the anus become swollen. It's more common during pregnancy and post-childbirth. Hemorrhoids cause pain and itching in the rectum, and blood in stools is one of the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
It is a condition wherein pouches develop from the intestine's inner lining (diverticulosis). Blood is observed in the stool when these protruding sacks become inflamed.
cancerous polyps grow in the colon (large intestine), or it might also develop in the rectum
Colitis: Inflammatory bowel disease or infection of the colon, ulcerative colitis are some conditions wherein blood in stool is observed
Bacteria like Helicobacter pylori often invade the lining of the stomach due to an overdose of anti-inflammatory drugs. This leads to ulcers in the stomach.
Diagnosis of Blood in Stool
Your doctor will ask you several questions about your health and lifestyle and also about medical history.
The following tests are performed by doctors to detect the exact reason.
In this process, a flexible endoscope with a small camera at its end is inserted through the mouth to examine the source of bleeding, which could be the stomach, small intestine or the lining of the esophagus. Enteroscopy is the term for detecting disorders in the small intestine.
It's a similar procedure like EGD, but the colonoscope is inserted through the rectum to detect underlying disorders of the colon or the large intestine and also in the rectum.
The specimen of the stool is collected from the patient to culture. The test detects organisms that might be responsible for inflaming the gastrointestinal tract.
Your doctor advises you to swallow barium, or he might insert through the rectum. This makes the digestive tract visible on being X-rayed, and thus any inflammation can be detected.
use of radioactive substances inside the vein to detect the source of bleeding. The digestive tract is scanned with a camera to find out the bleeding point.
It's a complete surgical procedure done when other diagnostic tests fail. The abdomen is openly operated to detect the disorder.
A dye is inserted in the vein to make the blood vessels easily visible to X-ray. If there's bleeding inside the vein, the dye will leak out from that site.
When to see a doctor?
When you notice even a pinch of blood in your stool or on tissue paper, please visit the doctor. If you have already diagnosed with ulcers, hemorrhoids, or colon cancer, you must consult your doctor about the bleeding and get proper treatment done. In any case, you should not neglect it.
Treatments for Blood in Stool
The treatment is dependent absolutely on the severity of the symptoms and the cause behind the abnormality. Some common treatments doctors usually suggest are:
- Anti-acid medications to heal the ulcers.
- Antibiotics and immunosuppressant drugs for treating inflammatory bowel disease and other types of colon infections.
- Radiation therapy may be recommended to remove cancerous polyps.
- Surgery is an option to treat anal fissures and vein abnormalities.
- Treatment is known as "interventional radiography embolization" is performed to block bleeding veins.
- A blood transfusion may be required if too much blood has passed out from the body.
Therefore, we suggest you get yourself diagnosed properly and get the correct treatment to heal your body quickly.