Blood in Stool - Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Posted On Oct 18, 2022

Dr. Rohit Sureka

Consultant - Gastroenterology

Manipal Hospitals-Jaipur

Gastroenterology treatment in Jaipur

Blood in stool, also known as hematochezia, is a fairly common phenomenon that various conditions can cause. Gastroenterology is the medical field that treats all issues related to the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. This article highlights the causes and symptoms of blood in stool and how expert gastroenterologists treat it.

What is Blood in Stool?

Blood in stool is also known as hematochezia and is common among people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The symptoms of IBD include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, fever, fatigue, rectal bleeding and blood in the stools.

Most of us don't think about our bowel movements very often, but when blood is present in the stool, it's essential to know what that means and how to deal with it.

Blood in the stool can result from different things, including haemorrhoids, anal fissures and polyps. The symptom is often painless and may go unnoticed until a doctor or physician examines the patient. Are you experiencing blood in your stool? Book an appointment with our best gastroenterologist in Jaipur as soon as possible so they can determine the cause.

Blood in Stool- Causes and Symptoms

Some common causes of blood in stool are:

  • Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids, or piles, are a common medical condition that causes blood in the stool when veins in your anus and rectum bulge. People are often embarrassed to seek treatment. However, haemorrhoids can be extremely painful and even life-threatening if left untreated. There are two types of haemorrhoids: internal and external. 

  • Internal haemorrhoids occur inside the anus and are usually painless. 

  • External haemorrhoids occur outside the anus and can be painful if they get irritated or swollen.

Internal haemorrhoids usually don't cause any symptoms as there is no blood in the stool. Still, when an internal haemorrhoid becomes inflamed or prolapsed, you may experience painless bleeding similar to a heavy period, also known as occult bleeding, meaning it is not visible on the toilet seat or paper.

  • Anal Fissures

A common cause of blood in the stool. Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the anus and rectum that occur when you strain to have a bowel movement. The symptoms of anal fissures include pain during bowel movements, bleeding from the anus after a bowel movement, and pain around your anus that worsens when you sit down.

Although most anal fissures heal independently, some require medical treatment such as medication or surgery to help them heal faster.

  • Polyps

Small, fleshy growths occur on the lining of the colon or rectum. They can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Although they can occur in any part of the colon or rectum, they're more common in the lower parts of these organs.

Polyps vary in size and colour, but most are less than 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) long. They can be dark red to light pink or white, depending on the type of tissue they contain. Polypseudopolyps are another type of polyp with a dark red appearance at first but then turn white as they grow larger and older.
Most polyps don't cause symptoms to stay undiscovered until removed during surgery for another reason. However, some polyps can bleed easily and cause rectal bleeding or pain during bowel movements if you have them in your colon or rectum. Visit Manipal Hospitals for
Gastroenterology treatment in Jaipur.

  • Colorectal Cancer

One of the most common types of cancer starts in the colon or rectum and affects about 50,000 people each year. Colorectal Cancer is also one of the deadliest cancers: most patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer die within five years. The good part is that it can be detected before it spreads to other body parts and becomes untreatable. 

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A chronic condition affecting the digestive tract, IBD causes inflammation in the lining of the intestines.
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two main types of IBD, which can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, fever, weight loss, bloody or watery stools and other symptoms.

While there is no cure, treatments available can help manage symptoms and keep your condition under control so it doesn't interfere with your daily life.

  • Diverticulosis

A painful condition that can cause complications if left untreated. The large intestine has several sections, including the colon, which is the longest part of it. In this part, food travels through your digestive system for absorption into your body. The colon has several tiny sacs called diverticula that can develop inside it. These are often caused by straining during bowel movements or constipation for long periods.

The sacs can become inflamed or infected if they don't heal properly after forming, leading to bleeding inside the colon wall. The result is pain and discomfort when you go to the bathroom or pass gas (flatulence). Consult with our gastroenterologist in Jaipur to know more.

  • Peptic Ulcers

The most common cause of blood in stool, Peptic ulcers are small erosions in the stomach lining, the first part of your small intestine. A bacterial infection, stress or a physical injury can cause peptic ulcers.

When an ulcer forms, it can cause pain, nausea, vomiting and even bleeding from the stomach or duodenum into the digestive system. The blood may appear as bright red streaks in your stool or vomit. 

Diagnosis of Blood in Stool

If you observe blood in your stool, it's essential to get a diagnosis from a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. The symptoms of blood in the stool can be mistaken for other illnesses. Some diagnosis options for blood in stool are:

  • Blood in the stool

Black stool can be an ulcer or other issue in the upper digestive tract. Bright red blood usually indicates a nuisance in the digestive tract's lower part, such as haemorrhoids or diverticulitis.

  • Nasogastric lavage

Test to identify the bleeding area- upper or lower digestive tract.

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

A flexible tube containing a tiny camera goes from the mouth and down the oesophagus to the stomach, looking for the origin of bleeding. EGD may also collect tissue samples for examination under a microscope 

  • Colonoscopy

Similar process as EGD to view the colon with insertion through the rectum.

  • Enteroscopy

Another similar process to EGD is for examining the small intestine.

  • Barium X-ray

A barium material gets swallowed or inserted into the rectum to make the digestive tract emerge on an X-ray. 

  • Laparotomy

A procedure involving surgical opening and examining of the abdomen.

Treatment of Blood in Stool

The expert gastroenterologists at Manipal Hospitals, Jaipur, treat the patient as per their diagnosis and condition. The treatment involves relieving symptoms using medications and lifestyle changes.

How to Stay Prevented?

The conditions might aggravate in the monsoon season due to the spread of contaminated food and water. Some common preventions are:

  • Eat fibre-rich food.

  • Avoid exposure to contaminated food and water.

  • Get regular health checks.

  • Drink eight or more glasses of water in a day.

  • Clean the skin around the anus regularly.

  • Avoid straining during bowel movements.

  • Avoid staying in the toilet for prolonged periods.

Best Gastroenterology Hospital in Jaipur

Manipal Hospitals, Jaipur, has an extensive line of facilities, diagnoses and treatments for digestive disorders and blood in stool conditions. We have India's leading gastroenterologists, endoscopy specialists, and minimally invasive surgeons to help patients recover at the earliest.

Are you or your loved ones experiencing any symptoms? Book an appointment with our best gastroenterologists in Jaipur now.

Dr. Rohit Sureka

Consultant - Gastroenterology

Manipal Hospitals, Jaipur

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