Blood in the Stool — what is it?
Blood from the anus is a reliable sign of a serious disease. It can occur due to multiple reasons but most often pathological processes in the inferior region of the large intestine are responsible for anal bleeding during defecation. This is the sign of an acute phase of some disease. There are the following causes of anal bleeding during defecation:
- Pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract;
- Infectious diseases;
- Blood pathologies.
Digestive disorders causing anal bleeding
Digestive disorders accompanied by anal bleeding include the following diseases and symptoms:
- Gastroduodenal ulcer. Exacerbation of the disease leads to perforated duodenal ulcers and bleeding. Intensive ulcerous bleeding leads to tarry loose stool and bleeding during defecation. Pallor, dryness of the mucous membranes, and hunger pangs are also typical symptoms for this disease;
- Hemorrhoid is a condition accompanied by anal varicose veins. Patients with hemorrhoid notice blood scarlet red in color during defecation. As a rule, they do not suffer any pain. After defecation blood can be seen on toilet paper or on the fecal matter. The rupture of the external hemorrhoidal vessel leads to copious bleeding. Regular scarlet red anal bleeding in a small amount may lead to such a complication as anemia. Additionally, hemorrhoid can also be accompanied by anal itching and burning and in case with the infection by painful sensations;
- Rectal fissures. This pathology occurs due to a mechanical injury of the rectal wall jam-packed with fecal matter and ruptures, fissures and perforations. Because of the wall damage, the vessels are ruptured and scarlet red blood appears during defecation. Where there is a fissure, a patient may experience local pain when the fecal matter is passing out. Pain and bleeding can appear both during defection and after a physical activity or in constipation. In rectal fissures blood is not mixed with fecal matter.
- Colon polyps are formed on the rectal wall and this is a benign condition. The condition is referred to the non-inhibited chronic inflammation affecting the intestinal mucous membrane. Usually, bleeding during defecation occurs if in the intestinal lumen there is a multiple polypous affection as single polyps do not manifest any symptoms. This disease requires an urgent treatment as a polyp can further grow into a malignant tumor;
- Colon cancer. Major manifestation of this disease is anal bleeding, flatulence, involuntary defecation and abdominal pain with palpation. In terminal cases, a patient can suffer cramp-like abdominal pains, vomiting and intestinal obstruction.
- Diverticulosis is a disease with peristalsis disorders, increased pressure in the intestinal lumen and, as a consequence, with pouches developing on the wall of the colon. The problem is that intestinal content is accumulated in these pouches leading to the inflammation and intestinal wall rupture. A patient suffers pressure and severe abdominal pain, he has fever and anal blood clots. The color of blood depends on the localization of a pouch, the higher it is located, the darker is blood clots.
Infections causing anal bleeding
Among the infectious diseases and invasions causing anal bleeding are:
- Typhoid fever;
Other causes of blood in the stool
Various blood disorders (leukemia, thrombosis, systemic blood diseases, poor coagulation) are also a common cause of anal blood clots of different color and consistency.
Blood during defecation may be observed in pregnancy because of changes in the diet and additional loads on a woman’s body.
Endometriosis can also be responsible for anal bleeding during the period in women.
Diagnosis of the disease
Blood admixture in the stool or blood on the toilet paper after defecation indicates a serious disease which requires immediate diagnostics and therapy. The most accurate diagnostic procedures are:
- Colonoscopy is used to examine the colon wall and detect any changes in its structure;
- Rectoscopy examines the inferior region of the digestive system;
- Irrigoscopy is an X-ray examination with the use of a contrast agent;
- Gastroduodenoscopy is a method of diagnostics to examine the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, detect erosions, ulcers, and vessel ruptures;
- Coprogram stool test;
- Fecal occult blood testing;
- Common and biochemical blood test;
- Bacterial testing.
Principles of treatment
Blood from the anus requires immediate treatment. A therapeutic regimen depends on the cause of bleeding:
- Medication therapy is prescribed in case with helminthic invasion or infections. Elimination of the pathogenic factor, the symptoms also disappear. Medication therapy is only effective in early diagnosis of the disease.
- Surgical treatment is required in polypous affection of the intestines, tumors and chronic non-inhibited hemorrhoid.
- Contact therapy is indicated for gastroduodenal ulcer treatment and involves electrocoagulation.
- Combination therapy is used most often. It includes surgical treatment and the use of medical drugs.
Follow these recommendations to prevent anal bleeding during defecation:
- Proper nutrition and healthy diet (eat more fiber rich foods) to avoid constipation;
- Drink, at least, 2 liters of water a day;
- Go pooping each time you need to;
- After pooping wash the anal area with a cold water whenever possible;
- Moderate physical activity.
You should be aware that in you notice blood in the stool, you should immediately visit a doctor. The timely and accurate diagnosis helps to avoid possible complications. Never begin self-treatment. Only a qualified specialist can choose proper treatment if you have anal bleeding.