What causes blood in stool?
Confirming the bleeding first is needed and some other tests also
Thank you for asking HealthcareMagic.
There are a few things to consider when a person says he has blood in the stool.
The first thing is if it is really blood. There are some food and industrial chemicals that might be in stool and give the impression it is blood and in fact, it is not. Unless it bright red blood (which is clear that it is blood). Other times the way to know if you are bleeding or not is having a stool occult blood test or a stool microscopy that will confirm the presence of blood with the stools.
Generally, blood coming from higher levels (stomach and small bowel) converts into a dark coal black colour due to the changes the blood has in the bowel. It is the bleeding from lower parts (colon) that will show as bright red blood.
Have you ever had a colonoscopy done? After the age of 50, it is recommended that all people should have a colonoscopy every 5-10 years. Even if you have had this test in the last 5 years it might be recommended to repeat it as you are having this bleeding if the stool tests confirm you are really bleeding.
A CBC would be a good test to be done if you suspect bleeding to see if you are developing anaemia as a complication of bleeding and need treatment for it or not.
So to conclude:
1. we need to be sure you are bleeding or not- a stool test like faecal occult blood test and or stool microscopy for blood will help in this.
2. if it is confirmed that you are bleeding then you will need a colonoscopy to find the cause of it.
3. if you have bright red blood while defecating (passing stools) this might also be due to haemorrhoids which are mostly due to constipation so in meantime please make sure you take extra fibre with diet and drink plenty of water.
4. if you had any massive rectal bleeding than an urgent visit to a doctor is needed.
I hope this is helpful and answers your questions but please feel free to reply in case any more clarification is needed on this.
Antoneta Zotaj, MD
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