What is Stool Bleeding?
Blood in the stool or dark black stool is a medical condition, which in medical language is known as Melena. Bleeding in the stool is not a disease by itself, but it can be a sign of many internal physical problems. In other words, melena means bleeding in the stool is only a symptom. The main reason for the stool turning black may also be that a lot of blood has been mixed in it.
Bleeding in the stool is the result of bleeding in the digestive system. Blood flows from the upper part of the esophagus or small intestine, especially the stomach. The digestive system incorporates a small amount of blood into the digestive system like foods, due to which the stool starts to look black and tar.
If there is excess blood in the stool, it is a medical emergency. If the stool is black and tar-like, it should always be examined by a doctor.
Bloody Stool Symptoms –
What are the symptoms and signs of bloody stool?
Symptoms of bleeding in the stool are mainly dark dark colored or dark colored stool like charcoal, it depends on the cause of the disease. The stool due to common causes can be dark black color, but if bleeding is excessive, the stool is dark colored like charcoal. In addition, tar-like feces may also occur due to exposure to digestive juices.
It may also present other symptoms associated with internal bleeding, such as –
- Flatulence (Feeling full)
- Shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
- Fast heart rate (Tachycardia)
When these symptoms appear, it can usually be a sign of an excessive amount of bleeding, which needs to be checked immediately.
When should the doctor see?
If you notice some change in the color of your stool or the presence of blood in it, then the doctor should be seen at the same time. If you believe that hemorrhoids are the reason for bleeding in the stool, then go to the doctor for confirmation.
Small amounts of blood coming in children’s feces are often not a serious problem. The most common reason for this can be constipation. If you still see this problem then you should tell it to the doctor.
Causes and Risks of Bleeding in Stool –
What are the causes of blood in stool?
Bleeding in the stool can be caused by both external and internal factors.
External or common cause:
Black stool is also caused by common causes. Common causes include the following conditions –
- Excessive consumption of chocolate substances, usually foods that are dark black, green or blue, stool made from them becomes dark and black in color.
- Consuming iron in the form of dietary supplements or as a treatment for iron deficiency anemia.
- Consuming medicines like Bismuth subsalicylate (these medicines are used for chest irritation and stomach disease).
The stool of a newborn baby who has swallowed the mother’s blood during delivery may also be dark colored. It is not a problem like bleeding in the baby’s body, this problem ends automatically.
Bleeding inside the body or any internal reason:
Serious causes of black stool include bleeding into the upper digestive system. The dark color of the stool is usually because the blood keeps circulating from the upper digestive system to the lower digestive system until the waste material turns into feces.
If blood flows inside accumulates the stomach or the first part of the small intestine, the stool is often black in color. When blood mixes in the digestive fluids, it forms a tar-like form.
Bleeding in the upper part of the digestive system is mostly the cause of bleeding in the stool, the following reasons can be:
- Unusual blood vessels.
- Perforation of the esophagus due to an acute vomiting.
- Stomach ulcer that causes bleeding.
- Stopping blood supply to the intestinal tract.
- Stomach inflammation (gastritis).
- Wide and highly dilated veins in the stomach and esophagus, these are called varices.
- Small intestine cancer or polyps (inner polyp).
- Swallowing of blood during nose bleeding etc. can also start this problem.
- Intestinal worms.
Prevention of bleeding in the stool –
How can bleeding in the stool be prevented?
The problem of bleeding in the stool can be reduced by drinking plenty of water and consuming plenty of fiber-rich foods. Water and fiber make the stool soft, so that there is no disturbance to the pathways leading out of the stool. Some fiber-rich foods include:
- Whole grains
Talk to your doctor to determine a fiber-rich diet that can work better with your underlying causes or conditions. If you are taking blood thinner medicine, then follow all the guidelines given by the doctor. Avoid using non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), these medicines can damage the protective lining of the stomach, causing problems such as bleeding.
Blood Stool Test –
How to diagnose the problem of blood in stool?
To determine the reason for the change in the color of your stool, the doctor will try to find out about your previous medical information and perform a physical examination of you. The doctor may also order you to give a stool sample. Imaging tests such as MRI, X-rays and CT scans can help to see the blood flow in your digestive system. These diagnostic tools will detect the blockage that is causing the bleeding.
The doctor will do colonoscopy to find out the condition of the colon. Colonoscopy is often performed in an unconscious state. A tube is used in it, it is thin and flexible and a camera is attached at its end. This tube is inserted inside the body and the inside view is seen with the help of a camera.
You may need to have one or more tests done to identify the cause of the problem, including:
- The presence and amount of blood in the stool is detected by the Fecal occult blood test.
- Bleeding scan (nuclear medicine).
- Blood tests, include complete blood count, differential and study of clots.
- Stool culture.
- Tests for the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection.
- A capsule endoscopy, a capsule with a camera in it, this capsule is swallowed and it goes into the body to record a video of the functions of the small intestine.
- Double balloon enteroscopy, it is a small camera mounted on a scope (balloon-like device), which records video by reaching parts of the small intestine.
Blood in Stool Treatment –
How is treatment of stool bleeding?
There is a need to correct the underlying problems by stopping the bleeding and the problem of bleeding in the stool. Treatment of bleeding in the stool depends on its cause, some arrangements can be made for this problem.
- This problem can be remedied by eliminating the root of the main source of blood in the stool. However, there is no need to worry about the consumption of foods and supplements etc. Patients are usually instructed to consume certain types of foods and supplements etc.
- Treatment is conducted according to internal reasons, that is, it is treated according to the cause of the problem in the body. Stomach ulcers and gastritis are managed by gastric protectants to prevent any further bleeding. The patient is also advised to eat soft foods to avoid swelling and irritation etc.
- To prevent blood flow, esophageal varices is managed by inserting the catheter balloon. Gastric lavage (a type of internal washing) is also used with the use of cold saline solution to prevent blood flow by tightening the blood vessels in that area.
- If you have had an excessive amount of blood flowing through your stool, you may be at risk of developing anemia. In cases of excessive bleeding, blood may be transfused.
- To treat stomach ulcers, doctors may suggest acid reducing medicines. Antibiotics and immunosuppressant medicines also calm inflammatory intestinal diseases and infections etc.
- (Polyps / polyp-like shape / deformity) in the colon can also cause blood in the stool, which may indicate a pre-cancerous condition and in some people a cancerous condition. In some cases it is very necessary to remove polyps. If cancer is present, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be required to remove other polyps.