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What causes blood in stool in an elderly person?

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Posted on Sat, 7 May 2016
Question: I have fresh blood on my stool and on the paper when I wipe. It's not IN the stool, but more on it like I have a lesion in my rectum. I have a history of mild hemorrhoids. I'm in no pain and no blood is leaking out. I've been constipated the last few days and was wondering if a dry stool could have scraped my rectum? It started 2 days ago. I am a 53 year old male with no family history of colo-rectal cancer, but I haven't had a colonoscopy yet. I do get a yearly physical and prostate exam though. I recently lost my job and health coverage which is why I haven't been to an ER yet. I'm trying to find out how concerned I should be. Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Might be hemorrhoids; other causes to be ruled out

Detailed Answer:
Hello.
Welcome to HCM.
This is Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta answering your query.

I understand your concern.
Thank you for providing a detailed history.
From your description, it looks like mild internal piles which you already have a history of. The symptoms point towards it. However, other causes like fissures, diverticulitis, colitis etc should be ruled out to come to a diagnosis. It does not look like cancer or something you need to check out urgently in ER.
I would suggest the following-

High fiber diet, lots of oral fluid, avoiding spicy food, smoking and alcohol.
Stool softeners like lactulose, ispaghula etc for constipation.
If it is painful, local application of lignocaine jelly will be soothing.

I believe you can do the above and wait for some days as the symptoms are mild and the blood loss is less.

If it does not subside in few days, or symptoms increase then I would advise visiting a general surgeon for detailed clinical examination, digital and/or proctoscopic examination if required and a colonoscopy to confirm diagnosis and further management.

Dont worry as of now. It does not look very serious to me right now.

Hope this was useful.
Consult me for any further queries.
Regards.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 906 Questions

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What causes blood in stool in an elderly person?

Brief Answer: Might be hemorrhoids; other causes to be ruled out Detailed Answer: Hello. Welcome to HCM. This is Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta answering your query. I understand your concern. Thank you for providing a detailed history. From your description, it looks like mild internal piles which you already have a history of. The symptoms point towards it. However, other causes like fissures, diverticulitis, colitis etc should be ruled out to come to a diagnosis. It does not look like cancer or something you need to check out urgently in ER. I would suggest the following- High fiber diet, lots of oral fluid, avoiding spicy food, smoking and alcohol. Stool softeners like lactulose, ispaghula etc for constipation. If it is painful, local application of lignocaine jelly will be soothing. I believe you can do the above and wait for some days as the symptoms are mild and the blood loss is less. If it does not subside in few days, or symptoms increase then I would advise visiting a general surgeon for detailed clinical examination, digital and/or proctoscopic examination if required and a colonoscopy to confirm diagnosis and further management. Dont worry as of now. It does not look very serious to me right now. Hope this was useful. Consult me for any further queries. Regards.