Observing blood in the stool is obviously worrying. However, the amount of blood is not necessarily related to the importance of pathology. Let’s find out the possible causes of anal bleeding and let’s also find out the solution.
Do you have red or black blood in your stool? In fact, there can be many reasons behind anal bleeding. It may be due to haemorrhoids or constipation or inflammatory bowel diseases, or in rare cases colorectal cancer or something else.
The Most Possible Causes Of Blood In The Stool
Haemorrhoids Causes Blood In The Stool
Haemorrhoids are very frequent and correspond to dilation of the veins in the anal area. Furthermore, they can cause pain and bleeding without being dangerous. In fact, in this case, bleeding maybe sometimes very heavy. However, in the case of haemorrhoids, you should consult your general practitioner. The latter will carry out a local examination called an anoscopy and will prescribe a drug treatment if it is necessary. As a general rule, bleeding stops within 48 hours.
Constipation can tear the mucous membrane and cause anal fissures. Thus it may cause blood in the stool. Constipation is often benign. You can treat constipation by taking fruits and vegetables. You also need to consume fibre daily. Furthermore, you may take drugs also if necessary.
Hemorrhagic rectocolitis, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, are conditions that can lead to mucus and bloody stools. After confirmation of the diagnosis of one of these inflammatory diseases, close medical follow-up is obviously essential. Finally, a person with colonic diverticulitis, a benign disease common after age 60, may also have blood in the stool. A diet rich in fibre and especially bran is recommended.
Oesophagal Varicose Veins
Oesophagal varicose veins are linked to abnormal circulation caused by excessive pressure from the portal vein in the liver. In fact, their rupture results in the appearance of blood. Often asymptomatic, oesophagal varicose can cause potentially serious digestive bleeding. In 90% of cases, the presence of these varicose veins is correlated with cirrhosis of the liver.
It can be treated with beta-blockers that will limit the risk of bleeding but have significant side effects. Sometimes, an endoscopic ligation is considered. This in fact consists of drying the varicose veins by compressing them with rubber bands. But it can be painful. The patient will face difficulty eating for 24 hours and temporary chest pain.
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Stomach or duodenum ulcers cause bleeding in the stool. In addition, bleeding can be accompanied by pain, cramps, burns, twisting in the area of the stomach cavity and under the ribs on the right, but also nausea or vomiting and digestive disorders (dyspepsia). The doctor will prescribe drugs to prevent the secretion of gastric acid as well as hygienic and dietary measures to be respected. In some complications, surgery is also considered.
Note: If the stools turn black and the patient vomits with blood with difficulty in swallowing, weight loss and/or abdominal pain occurs, these signs should lead the patient to an emergency consultation.
Colorectal Cancer Also Cause Blood In The Stool
In fact, in rare cases, the presence of blood in the stool may be a symptom of colorectal cancer (rectum and colon). Then screening is done using a test (Hemoccult) that consists of identifying bleeding in the stool, which is invisible to the naked eye. The patient applies a few stool fragments to a platelet, which is then analyzed in the laboratory. In the event of a positive test, i.e. the presence of blood, the general practitioner refers the patient to the hepato-gastroenterologist who will perform a colonoscopy to check for polyps or cancer cells.
In Addition To The Blood In The Stool, Other Symptoms Should Also Be Noticed:
- Intermittent intestinal colic-like pain with bloating
- Feelings of flatulence, weight, abdominal bloating
- The alternation of diarrhoea and constipation
- An alteration of the general state (fatigue, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever)
- Hypochromic anaemia (indicating occult bleeding)
- Traces of black blood in the stool (melaena)
Blood In The Stool Of Pregnant Women
During pregnancy or childbirth (or even a few weeks later), women may find blood in their stools. This is often due to constipation or hemorrhoidal outbreaks, which are favoured by pregnancy. In general, bleeding usually is not severe in such a situation. However, it is best to consult your doctor if this happens to you. He will prescribe you an appropriate treatment.
Blood In The Stool: When To Consult?
The causes of blood in the stool are therefore numerous and not very obvious to diagnose (apart from haemorrhoids and constipation). Only your doctor can make a precise and reliable diagnosis and the best treatment. So, if you observe blood in your stool, only one reflex to have: consult your doctor! The same is true for children as well.