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Diseases & Conditions

Blood In Stool

Blood In StoolCausesHistory and physical examinationPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTestsTreatment

What is Blood in Stool?

Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding occurs in wide variety of colors, including bright red, maroon and black. Majority of rectal bleeding episodes are mild in nature.

Causes of Blood in Stool

The main reason responsible for blood in stool is gastrointestinal tract. Other causes include anal fissures and hemorrhoids. Talking about hemorrhoids, it can be termed as swollen blood vessels in the anus that can give you plenty of pain. On the other hand, anal fissure is a tear in the anus lining. It can lead to bleeding at the time of bowel movement.

History and physical examination

The patient age may provide a significant evidence regarding the cause of blood in stool. It is worthwhile pointing that moderate to severe blood in stool in young adults occur because of a Meckel's diverticulum. Older people suffer from same condition because of diverticulosis or angiodysplasias.

Prevention of Blood in Stool

For prevention of blood in stool, make sure that you eat lots of green vegetables. Another important thing that you need to do is to use whole meal flour and stay away from spicy and fried items. Drink plenty of liquid first thing in the morning. If you happen to be a smoker, get rid of this habit. Last but not the least, do not take unnecessary stress.

Risk factors of Blood in Stool

While blood in stool is caused by the non-serious causes, keep in mind that bleeding can also be caused by cancerous or precancerous issues. Precancerous polyps near the colon end and can give you an impression of hemorrhoids bleeding. Interestingly, they are there in the colon for two to three years before they become cancerous. However, it can be erased without any problem from the colon. As you start aging, colon cancer become more common and therefore it is quite important that you take bleeding very seriously.

Symptoms of Blood in Stool

Some of the common symptoms associated with rectal bleeding are mentioned below:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hypotension

Tests for Blood in Stool

When it comes to blood in stool, you need to go through number of tests. It include rectal examination, anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Often, your health care provider can come up with the reason behind rectal bleeding through a rectal examination. For people falling under the age category of 20 to 28, rectal examination is more than enough. With the help of anoscopy, your health care provider can analyze the lower rectum and anus. With sigmoidoscopy, your health care provider analyze the lower large intestine. Talking about colonoscopy, it is a routine in which your health care provider take a look at your complete colon.

Treatment for Blood in Stool

With regard to treatment, your health care provider will initially correct the low blood volume. Diagnosing the bleeding location is also quite pivotal. Stopping active bleeding is the main plan of action. Rebleeding also need to be prevented. Individuals suffering from rectal bleeding need to be treated with intravenous fluids and/or blood transfusions to substitute the blood that has been lost. This is really important because then only diagnostic tests like angiograms can be conducted without any risk.

For the treatment of blood in stool, colonoscopy is the way to go. Majority of colonoscopies are conducted after oral laxatives administration in order to cleanse the blood clots. However, in emergency cases, your health care provider may opt for colonoscopy without doing any sort of cleansing. Another good thing about colonoscopy is that it can play a prominent part in stopping the bleeding, which is quite crucial. When colonoscopy cannot come up with the bleeding site, use of visceral angiograms is recommended. Surgery is the only option available when both colonoscopy and visceral angiogram does not prove effective.