Blood in the stools is one of the common problems of the gastrointestinal tract. It may indicate an underlying medical condition like ulcer or hemorrhagic disease. If untreated, it may progress to complications like blood loss or infection. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for presence of blood in the stools.
Presence of blood in the stools has various causes and these causes yield different tinges of blood. According to Health Line, black tarry stools indicate upper gastrointestinal bleeding, since blood mixes with digestive fluids and takes on a tar appearance; examples are ulcers, esophageal irritation, and gastritis. As per the publication, certain medications also lead to black tarry stools. These include iron supplements and bismuth-based medications. Even gastrointestinal circulatory abnormalities may lead to black tarry stools; these include bowel ischemia, vascular malformation, and varices. On the other hand, red blood stools are caused by bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Some associated conditions that manifest this kind of bleeding include benign or cancerous polyps, hemorrhoids, benign or cancerous polyps, and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulosis.
Signs and Symptoms
Blood in the stools may be dark and tarry or red and bright. The former may indicate bleeding in the upper portion of the gastrointestinal system while the latter suggest bleeding in the lower part of the system. According to Mayo Clinic, the blood appears in or on the stool and in the toilet bowl or on toilet tissue. It may be accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping, anal itching, change in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, frequent urge to have bowel movement, narrow stools, nausea, vomiting, painful bowel movements, rectal pain, and unintended weight loss.
The treatment for presence of blood in the stools depends on the cause. For example, stool softeners and sitz baths are recommended if the underlying problem suggests hemorrhoids. Also, medications like antacids are given for bleeding ulcers while antibiotics may be prescribed for inflammatory bowel conditions. Some remedies can also be done at home to manage bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
Water and Fiber
One remedy for presence of blood in the stools is drinking water and eating fiber-rich foods. According to Health Line, both promote stool softening, which enhances stool passage from the body. Some fiber-rich food sources include artichokes, beans, whole grains, pears, and raspberries. Water and fiber also prevents constipation, which may lead to pressure in the anal area while passing stools. However, one should seek medical consult with a doctor and discuss the applicable diet in relation to the existing medical condition. As per the publication, berries aggravate inflammatory gastric conditions.
Ginger, Buttermilk, Sesame Seeds
Ginger, buttermilk, and sesame seeds also help counter blood in the stools. According to Home Remedies for You, the person may mix dry ginger powder and dry senna leaves powder and put five grams of the resulting mixture in a glass of lukewarm water and is consumed before sleeping. Senna promotes gastrointestinal movement and easier stool passage, which prevents bleeding. A glass of buttermilk with salt and pepper can also be consumed for hemorrhoids while half tablespoon of sesame seeds and butter or poultice with sesame seeds can also be applied in the affected area.
Along with the aforementioned remedies, blood in the stools may necessitate diagnostics examinations, which aid determines the cause of the bleeding. As per Manhattan Gastroenterology, a person may undergo colonoscopy, a procedure that involves checking the gastrointestinal structures for evaluation. As per Dr. Khodadadian, as cited by the publication, one may undergo infrared coagulation as definitive counter to hemorrhoids.
Presence of blood in the stools may suggest medical problems in the body, such as gastric ulcer or dengue hemorrhagic fever. To prevent complications, it is best to consider seeking medical consult from a doctor for proper assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, health education, and evaluation.