Numerous ailments are associated with blood in the stool (or in medical terms, hematochezia), but this symptom often indicates an injury or disorder in the digestive tract. The blood color may be bright red, maroon, or black, depending on how close the bleeding site is to the anus. The rule is that the closer the bleeding site is to the anus, the brighter red it will be. So if the bleeding is from the anus, rectum and sigmoid colon, the blood will tend to be bright red, while if the bleeding is from the transverse colon, the blood will tend to be dark red or maroon. If the blood is black then it signifies that bleeding is from the upper gastrointestinal tract.
The ailments associated with blood in the stool may range from harmless, such as hemorrhoids, to life-threatening, such as colon cancer. Other ailments include peptic ulcer, constipation, gastritis, or colorectal polyps.
What should you do when you notice blood in your stool?
Have yourself evaluated by a healthcare professional. Your condition will be treated based on your doctor's evaluation of your condition. During your check up, you will be asked by your doctor questions such as how long you've experienced having blood in your stool, what other symptoms are present, what color the stool is, etc. Based on the doctor's initial evaluation, you may need to take tests like an angiography, colonoscopy , or abdomen X-rays.
Usually, these visits are on an outpatient basis, however, if you experience serious bleeding, you may be admitted to a hospital for monitoring and evaluation. For massive bleeding, you may need to stay in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Try over-the-counter drugs. Again, depending on the doctor's examination of your condition, he may prescribe medicine such as antibiotics (like if you have helicobacter infection), or creams and ointments (if you have hemorrhoids). Make sure that you follow the doctor's prescribed dosage and schedule so you can prevent possible symptom recurrences.
Eat more food rich in fiber and avoid processed food. Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet to develop better digestion. As much as possible, avoid refined and processed food. Also, make sure that your meals are balanced and properly managed by refraining from overeating and avoiding skipping meals. Be consistent in your eating habits.
Stop using anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as those with ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, can irritate the stomach and cause ulcers. If you need to take these medicines for another condition, ask your doctor for his recommendations on more natural medication that are easier on the stomach.
Exercise regularly. To maintain overall excellent health condition, make sure that your body gets enough rest and exercise. Conditions like hemorrhoids usually occur with inactivity. Exercising three times a week is typically enough to maintain good health.
Avoid smoking. Smoking, apart from being a serious health hazard related to many other serious ailments, may also be linked to peptic ulcers.
Avoid too much stress. Too much stress, whether due to office work or social pressures, is related to the onset of ulcers and other stomach upsets.