Blood in the stool can be frightening, whether you find it while wiping after a bowel movement or from an evaluation ordered by your health care provider.
While blood in the stool can signal a serious problem, it does not always.
Here is what you want to know more about the possible causes of bloody stools and also what your doctor should do if you find an issue.
Blood in stool means there is bleeding somewhere on your digestive tract.
At other times it may visible on toilet tissue or in the toilet after a bowel movement as bright red blood.
Bleeding that occurs higher up in the digestive tract can make feces look black and tarry.
In this article we discuss facts about blood in stool.
Possible causes of blood in stool include:
These are some main causes of blood in stool.
Diverticula are small pouches that project from the colon.
Normally diverticula do not cause problems, but sometimes they could bleed or become infected.
A small cut or tear in the tissue lining the anus similar to the cracks which occur in chapped lips or even a paper cut.
Fissures are often caused by passing a large, hard stool and may be debilitating.
Among the common causes are infections or inflammatory bowel disease. A condition in which fragile, abnormal blood vessels contribute to bleeding.
An open sore in the lining of their stomach or duodenum, the upper end of the small intestine.
Many peptic ulcers are brought on by infection with a bacterium named Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
Long-term use or high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can also cause ulcers.
Polyps or cancer:
Polyps are benign growths that could grow, bleed, and could become cancerous.
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. It frequently causes bleeding that isn’t noticeable with the naked eye.
Varicose veins of the thoracic or tears in the esophagus can result in severe blood flow.
It is important to have a physician evaluate any bleeding from the stool.
Any information you can give about the bleeding will help your doctor find the site of bleeding.
By way of instance, a black, tarry stool is probably an ulcer or other difficulty in the upper portion of the digestive tract.
Bright red blood or maroon-colored stools normally indicate a problem at the lower portion of the digestive tract such as hemorrhoids or diverticulitis.
After obtaining a medical history and performing a physical exam, the health care provider may order tests to determine the cause of bleeding.
Tests can include:
A test that may tell your physician whether bleeding is at the upper or lower digestive tract and what are the main causes of Blood in stool.
The procedure involves removing the contents of the stomach through a tube inserted into the stomach via the nose.
If the stomach doesn’t contain evidence of blood in stool, then the bleeding might have ceased or is much more likely from the lower digestive tract.
Some important tests for Blood in Stool includes:
A process that involves inserting an endoscope, or flexible tube having a small camera on the end, through the mouth, and down the esophagus to the stomach and duodenum.
The doctor can use this to look for the origin of bleeding. Endoscopy can also be used to accumulate small tissue samples for examination under a microscope (biopsy).
A process like an EGD except that the scope is inserted through the rectum to see the colon.
A process like EGD and colonoscopy used to inspect the small intestine.
Sometimes this involves swallowing a capsule with a small camera inside that transmits images to a video screen as it passes through the digestive tract.
A process that uses a contrast material called barium to produce the digestive tract show up within an X-ray. The barium may either be swallowed or inserted into the rectum.
A process that involves injecting small quantities of radioactive material into a vein and then using a particular camera to observe pictures of blood circulation from the digestive tract to discover where bleeding is happening.
A procedure that involves injecting a special dye into a vein that produces blood vessels visible in an X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan.
The procedure finds bleeding as dye leaks out of blood vessels at the bleeding site.
A surgical procedure where the physician opens and examines the abdomen. This may be required if other tests fail to locate the cause of bleeding.
Health care providers also order lab tests when there is blood in stools. These evaluations may look for clotting problems, anemia, and the existence of H. pylori infection.
An individual with blood in the stool could be oblivious of bleeding and may have reported no symptoms.
On the other hand, they may also have abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, palpitations, fainting, and weight loss based on the cause, location, duration, and severity of the bleeding.
Blood in Stool Treatments:
For the treatment for blood in stool your doctor may use one of several techniques to stop acute bleeding.
Often endoscopy can be used to inject chemicals into the site of bleeding, cure the bleeding site using an electric current or laser, or employ a ring or clip to close the bleeding vessel.
If endoscopy doesn’t control bleeding, the physician may use angiography to inject medicine into the blood vessels to control bleeding.
Beyond stopping the immediate bleeding, if necessary, treatment entails addressing the cause of bleeding to keep it from returning.
Treatment varies depending on the reason and might include drugs such as antibiotics to treat H. pylori, ones to curb acidity in the gut, or anti-inflammatory drugs to treat ailments.
Based on the cause, however, treatment can involve simple things you can do on your own.
These such as eating a high-fiber diet to ease constipation that can cause and aggravate hemorrhoids and anal fissures, and carrying a Sitz bath, so sitting in warm water to relieve fissures and hemorrhoids.
Your doctor will prescribe or prescribe treatment based on the diagnosis.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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