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When should we be concerned about blood in our stool?

 It's a good idea to speak with your doctor about any blood in your stool. For most people, it is not a cause for medical concern.

When should we be concerned about blood in our stool?


 It's a good idea to speak with your doctor about any blood in your stool. For most people, it is not a cause for medical concern. In the meantime, you may want to look at our Second Medic online consultation chat platform that lets you talk privately and comfortably with experts from all leading medical specialties.


If blood appears as black smears or clots on the toilet paper after a bowel movement, there may be an anal fissure or hemorrhoid-related bleeding nearby in the anus. This is usually treated by placing an ice pack on the areas of pain for 10 minutes, taking ibuprofen 600 mg 3 times daily.


You should see a doctor straight away if you see blood in your bowel movement. This isn't like seeing blood from a cut and assumes it will heal on its own unless you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, or other worrisome symptoms. Bloody stool is not something to ignore because it could be another symptom of an even more serious condition. Consuming lots of iron pills may also cause it. If you think this could be the cause for concern, please consult with your doctor.


First, you should understand the two different conditions which can result in blood in the stool:

Bleeding from an internal organ, such as a bowel ulcer or colorectal cancer. Bleeding is usually more severe than what might happen with constipation. If you have severe rectal pain and bloody stools, some blood may show up on toilet paper. This condition needs immediate medical attention to rule out life-threatening conditions that require surgery or colectomy if diagnosed.

Blood is passing through undigested food after a recent change in diet--less common but just as important to recognize because it does not need any other medical intervention beyond returning back to a normal diet and stopping any laxative use if needed.


With any of the following, you should consult a medical professional:


-Blood found on toilet paper or in the bowl after a bowel movement

-A single episode of blood from the rectum that is bright red in color

-Sudden unexplained weight loss, diarrhea for more than 2 weeks with no other cause identified, new onset diabetes mellitus

-Common signs and symptoms such as progressive vomiting or severe abdominal pain.


For accurate diagnosis opinions or treatment recommendations, your doctor may refer you to an appropriate specialist. Common specialists include colon and rectal surgeons who remove polyps, colorectal surgeons who perform surgeries for colorectal cancer treatment; gastrointestinal (GI) doctors.


Brown stool may contain blood when you have a bleeding ulcer, bowel strangulation (toxic megacolon), Crohn's disease, colitis or hemorrhoids. Dark red stool that contains fresh blood might be caused by gastrointestinal cancer with fresh bleeding, caecal perforation, colorectal cancer in the distal right colon, and sigmoid volvulus. Black stool may contain bile and should be checked out with your doctor for other possible causes of dark stools such as liver disease - black bile pigment melanmucin is usually produced from fat digestion in the intestine or gallbladder problems - this type of condition can cause yellowish black feces called melena.


If bleeding continues, it is a good idea to go see your doctor. Of course, you should be aware that if children have bloody stool from time to time (especially after consuming red food) there might not be anything wrong at all.


For adults who bleed frequently or for those who are experiencing pain or suffering from constipation — which can lead to a trip to the ER thinking that they have something like diverticulitis — this signal warrants a second opinion and go back to see their physician.


Diagnosing black stool can be quite difficult, and the period of time you need to wait for a diagnosis could depend on your age. If you're in your late 20s or early 30s, a waiting period of 2-3 days is necessary to guarantee yourself some peace of mind.  It's normal for our stools to have red blood due to the bleeding from holes in the intestine lining that were caused by non-specific irritation or inflammation. A typical doctor's visit would include a visual exam, blood tests (to check iron levels), stool sample analysis (to check pH levels and evidence of infection).


Contact your physician immediately if you're experiencing blood in your stool or "bright red blood". For less severe cases, use our free second opinion from an experienced team of doctors online.


If the blood is bright red, mixed with stool or stool that smells like it has gone bad, contact your physician. Otherwise, you are not likely to receive any treatment for this symptom.


It's important to talk about blood in the stool with a doctor or medical professional, even if it's just once and you're not sure what it means. Particularly if there is any pain associated with the blood in the stool. It may be an indication of something serious, such as anal cancer or Crohn's disease. So please don't wait to speak out! The good news is that both diseases are very treatable when caught early enough.


A few common signs and symptoms of intestinal bleeding present themselves as generally either a change in volume of bowel movements, usually more than normal but less than bright red bleeding; acute abdominal pain outsides the kind you might have from constipation; fever for no apparent reason; lightheadedness.


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