Bleeding from the Stool
Blood in the stool can signal a serious problem and it can be caused by many different conditions, if you experiencing bleeding from a bowel movement, you may need to see a doctor immediately.
About Bleeding when Defecating
Bleeding when defecating can be bright red, maroon in color or occult (not visible to the naked eye). Causes of bleeding once defecating range from harmless, annoying conditions of the gastrointestinal tract like hemorrhoids and anal tears (anal fissures) from straining against hard stools with constipation to serious conditions like cancer. Blood in the stool should be evaluated by a health care professional and the blood is found only by testing the stool for blood (fecal occult blood testing) in the laboratory. Occult bleeding has many of the same causes as rectal bleeding and may result in the same symptoms like rectal bleeding and it is often associated with anemia that is due to loss of iron along with the blood.
Causes of Fresh Blood in the Stool
Bloody stool and bloody diarrhea are both signs of colorectal cancer, and therefore they should never be ignored. The sooner you are diagnosed, the more effective treatment options will be. There are other causes of blood in your stool, such as:
Hemorrhoids otherwise known as piles are swollen blood vessels in the rectum. They often cause itching or burning sensation, and they may bleed. The blood seen with hemorrhoids is usually bright red.
Gastroenteritis is an infection in the stomach or intestines caused by a virus or bacteria, such as norovirus or food poisoning. It can lead to bloody diarrhea. Nausea and vomiting may also be present.
Diverticula are tiny pockets or bulges in the lining of the lower bowel. They can get infected and cause pain, and if they rupture, they can cause bleeding. In some cases, there may be significant bleeding even without pain.
Polyps in the bowel Polyps are clumps of cells that can grow in the lining of the colon and rectum. Polyps don’t always cause problems, but they can develop into cancer if not removed. They may also bleed a little during bowel movements and proctitis occurs when the tissues that make up the rectum become inflamed, often resulting in pain and bleeding.
Colitis occurs once the tissues lining the colon become inflamed. A type of colitis known as ulcerative colitis may also cause ulcers, or open, progressive sores, that are prone to bleeding.
Angiodysplasia is rectal bleeding caused by abnormal blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract. It usually happens in elderly people, and it doesn’t normally cause pain.
Anal sex and STIs damage to the anus from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or anal intercourse will cause bleeding in the rectum and this blood is typically bright red.
Anticoagulant medications also are known as blood thinners can sometimes cause internal bleeding, which may be seen in the stool and blood that would normally cause black and tarry stools.
Risk Factors of Blood in the Stool
The risk of finding blood in your stool could increase if you have:
A history of stomach bleeding or hemorrhoids
Had previous peptic ulcers (open sores in the upper digestive tract)
Undiagnosed or diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease
The genetic, pre-disposed risk for colorectal or upper GI cancers
Diagnosis of Blood in the Stool
If bleeding is associated with an already diagnosed medical condition, our doctor will discuss ways to manage, reduce, and track symptoms. If the cause of stool bleeding is unknown, our doctor will normally ask questions about symptoms and the person's medical history, depending on the severity, frequency, and accompanying symptoms, the doctor will work out if further testing is required.
Common tests associated with stool bleeding include:
Physical examination of the anus and rectum
Analysis of a stool sample
Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy where the colon is examined by the insertion of a tube with a camera
Anoscopy where a device is inserted into the anus to examine the tissue
Biopsy or removal of a small tissue sample for examination
Heng Kang clinic works together to provide a coordinated care approach to achieve the best outcome for every patient.
For more information, you can visit Heng Kang Clinic at 517-519 Quintin Paredes St., Brgy.289, Binondo, City of Manila, you may also click the consultation box at the right side of your screen or call us at (02) 8356 - 0262 to set an appointment.