Blood In The Stool: A Sign You Shouldn’t Ignore

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Blood In The Stool: A Sign You Shouldn’t Ignore

Parvathy

Parvathy

Updated on May 21, 2024

Medically verified by Dr. Arya

Fact checked by Dr. Pournami

Why Blood In The Stool

Proctology

7 min read

Are you noticing blood in your stool and wondering what it means? Mykare Health is here to help you understand why you shouldn't ignore this symptom.

In this guide, we will explain what might be causing the blood in your stool, from minor concerns to more serious issues.

Learning about this symptom is important for taking care of your health. Let's explore why it's essential to pay attention to blood in the stool and what steps you can take next

Bloody Stools- WHY?

There are diverse reasons due to which you could have blood in your stool. Most of the causes of Bleeding in stools are not life-threatening. Loss of blood in minimal amounts while passing stool is not a complicated issue.

Unhealthy food habits and excessive drinking habits may sometimes lead to this problem.

If an individual eats spicy food in excessive amounts it can cause bloody stools. An individual can resolve the problem by making certain alterations in their dietary habits.

It may be noted that people who are regular users of blood thinner medications are at more risk of having pigments of blood in their stool. Some of the critical conditions that result in blood in stools are as follows:

  • Hemorrhoids : When dilated and enlarged veins appear in and across the anus, such a condition can be termed as Haemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can appear either inside your anus (internal) or below the pores and skin around your anus (outdoor). It is a common ailment which can be observed irrespective of gender.

They are easily curable and may even resolve on their own. Women are more prone to hemorrhoids during pregnancy. The strain of carrying a child in the womb places a whole lot of pressure at the blood vessels within the women’s pelvic vicinity.

  • Anal fissures : Tears usually seen in the lining of your anal canal are referred to as anal fissures. It may be caused as a result of severe constipation, prolonged diarrhea and inflammation.

It may cause bleeding in stools and pain during bowel movement. It can be prevented by using medicines to avoid constipation and diarrhea.

  • Prolapse : Weakened rectal tissues may let a portion of the rectum to bulge outside of the anus. This usually result in severe pain and discomfort which also led to bleeding in stools. Rectal prolapse may affect people belonging to any age group.

Based on the survey reports of National institute of Health, it can be said that females who are above fifty are more prone to develop a prolapse than males.

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases : Certain conditions that are usually categorized under persistent gastrointestinal inflammation include Inflammatory bowel diseases.

Due to such irritation in the digestive tract, stools of patients generally carry pigments of blood in it.

  • Peptic ulcers: Inflammations that usually develop inside the stomach are called peptic ulcers. This results in the appearance of streaks of blood in the stool.

  • Diverticulitis : A severe condition where little pockets referred as diverticula which is present in the inner lining of your colon become infected and swells up is termed as Diverticulitis

Such Inflammation in diverticula can make the blood vessels inside more fragile. This often results in their rupture and bleeding.

  • Colorectal cancer : Certain overgrowth of tissues in the colon area,referred to as polyps, causes bleeding in your stool. If not treated timely,polyps can lead to colorectal cancer.

In the words of Dr.Toufic Kachaamy , “Colorectal cancer is on the rise in young adults, and we currently do not screen average-risk adults below the age of 45.

This means that to diagnose these diseases early, you need to be vigilant to early symptoms such as bleeding and not neglect these symptoms.”

Diagnosis

A physician can determine the cause of rectal bleeding through a proper examination of the areas around rectum.

This usually involves inspecting the outside area of the anus. By inserting a gloved finger into the rectum, doctors feel for lumps or other abnormalities.

In addition, certain diagnostic tests like colonoscopy may be conducted if the doctor feels mandatory.

In colonoscopy, the entire large intestine is exhaustively examined using a device called colonoscope, a long, flexible tube is placed into rectum up into the colon to check if there are any abnormal growths, sores or bleeding.

Through this tube the doctor can observe the lining of the colon and take out a tissue sample for further testing.

The biopsy samples thus obtained are taken to pathological labs for further investigation. If the presence of cancer is detected further tests like molecular tests are performed to analyse the intensity of cancer.

To diagnose the issue, doctors will ask questions about the bleeding, how frequently it happens, how much blood is there, colour of the stool and so on.

So, it’s best to keep track of times when you’ve had bloody stool. This information can help your doctor diagnose the cause of your bleeding accurately. Nothing should be hidden from the doctor and all problems that you undergo must be discussed in detail.

Since there are so many causes of bloody stools, the more detail they know, the better they can help in diagnosis and proceed to next steps in treatment.

Are you aware of the fact that the colour of the stool gives an idea at which part of your digestive tract is bleeding? In most cases, initially a physician examines the colour of the stool which helps to identify the source of bleeding.

If blood appears in stool in bright red colour, it signifies that the blood is from the colon, rectum, or anus. Dark red stools indicate that the source of bleeding is small intestine or upper part of the colon.

Black stools specify that the source of bleeding can be either oesophagus or stomach. Proper treatment can be started for haematochezia, only if the doctor identifies the exact source of bleeding.

  • A physician can determine the cause of rectal bleeding through a proper examination of the areas around rectum.

  • This usually involves inspecting the outside area of the anus. By inserting a gloved finger into the rectum, doctors feel for lumps or other abnormalities.

  • In addition, certain diagnostic tests like colonoscopy may be conducted if the doctor feels mandatory.

  • In colonoscopy, the entire large intestine is exhaustively examined using a device called colonoscope, a long, flexible tube is placed into rectum up into the colon to check if there are any abnormal growths, sores or bleeding.

  • Through this tube the doctor can observe the lining of the colon and take out a tissue sample for further testing.

  • The biopsy samples thus obtained are taken to pathological labs for further investigation. If the presence of cancer is detected further tests like molecular tests are performed to analyse the intensity of cancer.

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When To Seek Immediate Medical Help?

  • If the bleeding lasts more than a day or two

  • If bloody stool is accompanied by severe abdominal pain or cramps

  • If they notice black or dark red stool

  • If an individual experience extreme fatigue

  • If bloody stool is accompanied by nausea or vomiting

  • If one experience Chest pain and shortness of breath

  • If they notice Significant unexplained weight loss

  • If an individual experiences pain or discomfort in the pelvic region or rectum.

Treatment

In most cases bleeding in stools stops on its own and you may not want further remedy. However, if the situation is grave, treatment will rely upon the underlying cause and source of bleeding. If bleeding in stool is due to an ulcer, or infection the doctor may prescribe medications.

It may include antibiotics to treat H. pylori, if it is the causative agent. Doctors may also prescribe certain drugs that help to suppress the acidic content in your stomach. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also recommended to treat colitis.

If cancer is detected, they will recommend appropriate treatment, based on the intensity, stage and other factors. In certain cases, doctors will recommend to undergo surgery to close of the affected blood vessel using a clip to prevent further bleeding.

Key Takeaways

Blood in the stool is not a serious issue but it is always best to discuss it with a healthcare professional.

Most issues that result in bloody stool are curable.

Bear in mind that blood in your stool is an intimation given by your body which should not be ignored under any circumstances.

Starting your treatment sooner is always better than later. So do not hesitate and visit your doctor immediately.

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