Digestion | July 31, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist
When blood is discovered in stool, whether by the patient when wiping or by a test from a health professional, it can be quite scary. In some instances, blood in stool can be a symptom of a serious condition. However, this is not always the case. Therefore, it is important to understand the possible causes of blood in stool and what you need to do when it happens to you.
Blood in stool, which is also known as bloody stool, rectal bleeding and hematochezia, is the passing of blood through the anus that is mixed with stool. While the bleeding may be present in the rectum, it could also be present in other areas of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the small intestines, stomach or oesophagus.
Causes of blood in stool include:
The severity of the bleeding, or the amount of passed blood, can vary greatly. Some patients will only pass a few drops, which will turn the water in the toilet bowl pink or cause a few spots on the toilet tissue during wiping following a bowel movement. For other patients, the passage of blood can be as much as a couple of spoonfuls. In most cases, the bleeding is mild and will eventually stop without any medical attention required.
Mild bleeding can usually be treated without a need or hospitalisation or urgent treatment.
Moderate to severe bleeding from one or more bowel movements that contain a large amount of blood can lead to a number of other symptoms, such as:
Severe blood in stool that causes a reduced blood volume level will usually require emergency medical attention, which will usually include a blood transfusion.
The treatment for blood in stool will vary depending on the cause. Therefore, it is important to know what you need to do when you experience this condition, such as:
In close to a quarter of blood in stool cases, a cause is never found, even following a medical examination. This occurs often in cases where the symptoms resolve suddenly. However, it is critical to rule out any cancerous or other serious conditions when you discover blood in stool.
WebMD, Digestive Disorders Health Center, Blood in Stool
MedlinePlus; U.S. National Library of Medicine; National Institutes of Health, Health Topics, Bloody or tarry stools
MedicineNet; Onhealth.com, Digestion Center, Digestion A-Z, Rectal Bleeding Index, Rectal Bleeding Article Rectal Bleeding (Blood in Stool, Hematochezia)
Mayo Clinic, Symptoms, Symptom Checker, Blood in stool
Healthline, Symptom Checker, Black Stools What causes black stools? 17 possible conditions
Shiel, Jr. W; MedicineNet.com, Digestion Center, Digestion A-Z, Symptom Checker, Rectal Bleeding Symptoms Rectal Bleeding (Blood in Stool, Hematochezia)
Patient.co.uk, Professional Reference, Rectal Bleeding in Adults
Healthgrades, Symptoms, Bloody Stool
Roth E; Healthline Reference Library, Yahoo Health, Health Topics A-Z; Bloody or Tarry Stools
American Cancer Society, Find Support & Treatment, Treatments and Side Effects, Physical Side Effects, Dealing with Symptoms at Home, Blood in stool
Better Medicine from healthgrades, Digestive System, Blood Stool – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments and Causes
Med-Health.net, Digestive Disorders, Blood in Stool (Rectal Bleeding)
Boots WebMD, Digestive Health Centre, Blood in poo: Causes and diagnosis
University of Maryland Medical Center, Health Information, Medical Reference Guide, Medical Encyclopedia, All Articles, Bloody or tarry stools
Gastroenterology.com, Conditions, Blood in Stool
Bull-Henry K, Al-Kawas F; Georgetown University Hospital; American Family Physician Evaluation of Occult Gastrointestinal Bleeding; 2013
Laine L, Jensen DM; American College of Gastroenterology; Guideline; Management of Patients with Ulcer Bleeding; 2012