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Blood in stool, heavy drinker, depended on alcohol for anxiety. Is this liver damage or dehydration?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hey doc. Im 25, 250 pounds, and used to be a heavy drinker (rum/dietcoke) (7-10ish drinks a night through college and two years afterwards until now). Id take some days off and some more than others.

One morning on vacation I began drinking rum/coke after drinking all night. That night (July 2) I then noticed blood in my stool for the next three days (Friday night-Monday night). It wasnt really in the water as far as I could tell, just red on the tissue and stool. It was a normal red color like I cut my arm. Obviously the stool looked a little darker. I did not drink any and it went away to the visible eye. Three weeks afterwards I had 5-7 beers and noticed blood in my stool two mornings ater that night, though this time there did not appear to be as much. It went away after a day or so to the viable eye and I have checked daily for 2.5 months and have not seen any, nor have I had any alcohol since then.

I do not have any other abnormal symptoms that I am aware of. Im just really worried and can't sleep and Im hoping I dont have liver damage, and hopefully it was just dehydration or something. I no longer depend on alcohol for anxiety and have lost 40 pounds since then and want to start a new healthy life. I just want to get the worries out of my head first and/or treat my problem.

Thank you for the help. XXXXXXX
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Passing blood in stools with a strong history of alcohol intake is usually due to bleeding from gastric ulcers due to excessive acidity associated with alcohol intake. In such cases bright red blood is associated with black colored tarry stools.

Since the bleeding stopped after stopping alcohol intake, most likely the ulcers would have healed in the time span of two months.

Other causes which need to be ruled out include-

1. Anal fissures- An anal fissure is a crack or tear in the skin of the anal canal. Anal fissures may cause severe periodic pain after defecation but with chronic fissures pain intensity is often less. Hemorrhoids are likely associated.

2. Diverticulosis- Diverticulosis is formation of pouches in the lining of the large intestinal epithelium, due to the weakened areas.

3. Irritable bowel syndrome- IBS can be helped by eating a proper diet and taking medication.

4. Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative colitis- These are autoimmune gut disorders. This causes sores in your intestines, stomach, and/or throat which causes blood and mucus in the stool.

Other causes include- Lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, intestinal polyps, etc.

You need to consult your Gastroenterologist for further investigations like colonoscopy and proper treatment.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.

Wishing you good health.
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