What Does Blood in Stool Look Like? How to Treat Rectal Bleeding?
While your dietary lifestyle may change from time to time, your digestive system will continue to adjust to these changes.
These adjustments will be reflected by the kind of stool you’re discharging.
But, seeing blood in stool is a clear indicator that you have a digestive problem. It can be a minor issue but if left unchecked, it may develop into a severe condition.
Rectal bleeding is uncommon, so most of us aren’t sure what does blood in stool look like. People suffering from rectal bleeding should usually consult to a proctologist.
In most cases, the blood in the stool is caused by some minor abnormalities.
Hence, one should be able to manage this condition by identifying the cause and adopting some effective home remedies.
What Does Blood in the Stool Look Like?
It is difficult for us to tell if its blood in our poop, or just red-colored fecal fluids.
As you may already know, a normal poop color ranges from yellowish brown to dark brown.
Sometimes, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal conditions may cause the stool to turn green or red.
So, it is important that you’re sure of seeing blood in the stool.
The most obvious answer to what does blood in stool look like is your poop changing its color.
Now, note that your stool will not necessarily turn red to indicate you are discharging blood.
Coagulated blood is usually a shade darker than red, and is discharged as blood clots in the stool. These clots are easily visible.
Another way to know what does blood in the stool look like is the way your stool is formed.
Rectal bleeding will cause the feces to disintegrate, and the amount of blood will be covering the majority of your discharge.
But, even still, you must be thoroughly sure that there’s blood in your poop. There are several ways to identify this.
How to Tell If There’s Blood in the Stool?
In some cases, rectal bleeding is profuse and you can even feel severe pain and loss of energy while discharging such stool.
Before you look for causes and remedies for rectal bleeding, knowing what does blood in stool looks like is important. Let’s take a step-wise approach to identifying the blood in the stool.
1. Careful Examining
Collect your stool in disposable containers. Collect the toilet water and check if it contains blood by using a tissue.
Dipping this tissue inside the stool or toilet water will cause the blood to get absorbed in it. If the stool shows some bright red fluids, then that could certainly be blood.
2. Finding Dark-Colored Stools
In some cases, coagulated blood might be discharged through stool. To identify the blood, collect the dark-colored stool in a container.
Remember, dark-colored stool will appear in the color of black licorice or blueberries. This fecal color may resemble blood, which could be mixed with urine or bile fluids.
3. Taking a Pharmacological Test
The best way to know what does blood in stool look like is to perform a fecal occult blood test. Buy this test kit from a pharmacy, review the instructions and place the flushable pad into the toilet. This pad resembles thick tissue paper.
Before using this test kit, make sure you wipe your genital and anal regions with an alcohol swab. This will ensure that any open wound outside the rectum is not causing the blood in the stool.
After the flushable pad is immersed into the toilet and gets mixed with the stool, it will change its color. No change after five minutes indicates the absence of blood.
If the flushable pad changes color within five minutes, then blood is present in your stool.
What Causes Blood In Stool?
These steps shall help you realize that your poop has blood in it, but they won’t help you discern the factors that have caused this condition.
Rectal bleeding is caused by various factors. Blood can come from the upper digestive region, which includes the esophagus and stomach. There can blood coming from the large and small intestine as well.
The cause of blood in stool depends on the color of blood being discharged. If there is blood in black or tarry stools, then it is usually resulting from upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
Such bleeding is caused by:
- A tear in the linings of esophagus
- Tissue rupture in the esophagus due to severe vomiting (also known as Mallory-Weiss tears)
- Abnormal growth of blood vessels
- Presence of foreign particles
- Overgrown veins or arteries in stomach and esophagus
- A bleeding stomach ulcer
If blood in stool is bright red in color, then the condition could be severe.
The causes of such condition are usually located in the small intestine or the large intestine.
Such rectal bleeding may be caused by:
- Anal fissures
- Bowel ischemia
- Colorectal cancer (polyps)
- Foreign body trauma
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Bowel inflammation caused by infections
These causes should be identified with the help of medical professionals. Without knowing the proper cause for blood in stool, you will not be able to choose the right treatment option.
There are lots of options for blood in stool treatment. You can go for a bleeding scan, a colonoscopy, a stool test or double balloon enteroscopy.
Upper endoscopy and infection tests are also viable methods to treat the blood in the stool. There are a few natural remedies to treat this condition as well.
4 Home Remedies for Blood in Stool Treatment
Conventional treatments for rectal bleeding might be expensive. Mild conditions of blood in the stool can be treated at home.
So, you can avoid these costs and opt for the following home remedies before consulting a doctor.
1. High Fiber Foods
If constipation is the cause of your rectal bleeding, then consuming high fiber foods and drinking excess water can help you stop the blood in the stool.
Green vegetables, beans, figs, squash, and prunes can be consumed. Drinking hot herbal teas or warm bone broths is also a part of this great remedy.
2. Essential Oils
Hemorrhoids can cause blood in the stool.
Use a cotton ball and soak it with 3-4 drops of these essential oils. Rub the cotton balls near the inflammation.
These oils contain anti-inflammatory agents that can cure the hemorrhoids.
3. Sitz Bath
Mild rectal bleeding is usually caused by a tear in the anal region or inside the rectum.
A sitz bath, which involves you sitting in warm water for 10 minutes, can cure the anal itching and burning. It can also cleanse the anal region from foreign particles.
4. Stool Softeners
If you are not pooping normally, then you can consider these hard stools to cause rectal bleeding.
Discharging hard stools might tear anal fissures further and cause bleeding.
Natural laxatives such as prune juice, Chia seeds, aloe vera, and coconut water should be consumed to soften the stools and ensure easy rectal passage.
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After trying out these remedies, if the rectal bleeding persists – consult a doctor. A proctologist will help you realize that this condition may become severe.
Finding blood in stool is a grave concern, so tend to it promptly.
Laine L, Jensen DM. Management of patients with ulcer bleeding. Am J Gastroenterol. 2012;107(3):345-360. PMID: 22310222 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22310222.
“Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form,” https://www.medicinenet.com/stool_color_changes/article.htm#stool_color_chart.
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