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Can Ulcers Cause Bloody Stool

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Other Reasons That Blood Might Appear In Stools

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A person may notice blood in their stools as a result of the following:

  • Anal fissures: These are tears or open sores near the anus. A person may notice blood on the toilet paper when they wipe.
  • Hemorrhoids: These are swollen veins around the anus, and they can result in blood in the stools. Severe constipation can lead to hemorrhoids. Following a high fiber diet and maintaining optimal hydration can help reduce the risk of developing constipation. People should aim to consume foods that are high in fiber if hemorrhoids appear due to chronic constipation. Some foods to limit or avoid include:
  • cheese
  • meat
  • processed foods
  • Diverticulitis: This refers to the inflammation of pouches in the wall of the colon, and it can cause GI bleeding. Most people with diverticulitis do not need to avoid any particular foods. In the past, people thought that nuts, popcorn, and seeds could worsen the symptoms. However, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests that these are not harmful to people with diverticulitis. A diet high in red meat may increase the chance of developing diverticulitis.
  • Colon polyps: Colon polyps are growths on the rectum or colon lining, and they can also cause GI bleeding. Foods that may increase the risk of colon polyps include fatty and fried foods, red meat, and processed meat.
  • Cancer: Bowel, colon, or rectal cancer can cause blood to appear in stools. In the case of cancer, stools may appear dark brown or black.
  • How Are Rectal Ulcers Diagnosed

    Your doctor will examine you and ask about habits that may have caused your symptoms . To check for rectal ulcers, doctors use physical examination, tests and imaging studies. These tests include:

    • Anoscopy: Your doctor may use a tool called an anoscope to examine you. An anoscope is a short tube that your doctor inserts into your anus. Your doctor uses a light to see through the tube and check for ulcers or lesions inside your rectum.
    • Sigmoidoscopy: Doctors insert a flexible instrument into your rectum during a sigmoidoscopy. The thin device has a camera on the end. With it, your doctor can see inside your rectum and the lower part of the colon.
    • Colonoscopy: To look at the entire colon, doctors insert a long scope with a camera. Like a sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure . It is a more invasive test than a sigmoidoscopy.
    • Rectal ultrasound: During this test, doctors insert a small probe in your rectum. The probe uses sound waves to show images of the inside of the rectum so your doctor can see ulcers and other growths.
    • Biopsy: Your doctor may take a biopsy of the tissue surrounding the ulcer and send it to a lab. The lab tests the tissue for other conditions, such as cancer.

    How Are Peptic Ulcers Treated

    Treatment will depend on the type of ulcer you have. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on what is causing your ulcer.

    Treatment can include making lifestyle changes, taking medicines, or in some cases having surgery.

    Lifestyle changes may include:

    • Not eating certain foods. Avoid any foods that make your symptoms worse.
    • Quitting smoking. Smoking can keep your ulcer from healing. It is also linked to ulcers coming back after treatment.
    • Limiting alcohol and caffeine. They can make your symptoms worse.
    • Not using NSAIDs . These include aspirin and ibuprofen.

    Medicines to treat ulcers may include:

    • Antibiotics. These bacteria-fighting medicines are used to kill the H. pylori bacteria. Often a mix of antibiotics and other medicines is used to cure the ulcer and get rid of the infection.
    • H2-blockers . These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
    • Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These lower stomach acid levels and protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum.
    • Mucosal protective agents. These medicines protect the stomachs mucus lining from acid damage so that it can heal.
    • Antacids. These quickly weaken or neutralize stomach acid to ease your symptoms.

    In most cases, medicines can heal ulcers quickly. Once the H. pylori bacteria is removed, most ulcers do not come back.

    Recommended Reading: How To Fix A Stomach Ulcer

    How Are Hemorrhoids Treated

    Medical treatment of hemorrhoids includes treatment of any underlying constipation, taking warm baths and applying an over-the-counter cream or suppository that may contain hydrocortisone. If medical treatment fails there are a number of ways to reduce the size or eliminate internal hemorrhoids. Each method varies in its success rate, risks and recovery time. Your doctor will discuss these options with you. Rubber band ligation is the most common outpatient procedure for hemorrhoids in the United States. It involves placing rubber bands around the base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. This causes the hemorrhoid to shrink, and in a few days both the hemorrhoid and the rubber band fall off during a bowel movement. Possible complications include pain, bleeding and infection. After band ligation, your doctor may prescribe medications, including pain medication and stool softeners, before sending you home. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice severe pain, fever or significant rectal bleeding. Laser or infrared coagulation and sclerotherapy are also office-based treatment procedures, although they are less common. Surgery to remove hemorrhoids may be required in severe cases or if symptoms persist despite rubber band ligation, coagulation or sclerotherapy.

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    What Treatments Heal Rectal Ulcers Without Surgery

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    To relieve symptoms of a rectal ulcer and help it heal, you should:

    • Drink plenty of water: Dehydration can make stool hard, dry and more difficult to pass.
    • Eat a healthy diet: Fiber-rich foods can relieve constipation. Fiber softens stool and helps it pass through your intestines faster.
    • Avoid straining: Straining or pushing too hard when defecating can cause rectal ulcers. Your doctor or physical therapist can show you how to control the muscles in your anus so you can have a bowel movement without damaging your anus or rectum.
    • Ask your doctor about laxatives: Your doctor may recommend taking a stool softener or laxative. These medications can relieve constipation by making your stool easier to pass. Talk to your doctor about which laxative you should take and how long you should take it.
    • Try a topical medication: A corticosteroid cream or suppository can reduce inflammation, relieve pain and help the ulcers heal. Talk to your doctor about how to use this medication.
    • Take antibiotics: If an STD or STI is causing rectal ulcers, your doctor will prescribe medicine to treat the infection.

    If you have an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan. Your plan may include a combination of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressant drugs and dietary changes.

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    What Are Rectal Ulcers

    A rectal ulcer is a painful sore that develops inside the rectum. The rectum is a tube connecting the colon to the anal opening . Stool passes through the rectum and anus when it leaves the body.

    These ulcers are related to several different conditions. People who have a condition called solitary rectal ulcer syndrome can develop rectal ulcers. Inflammatory bowel disease , including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease, may also cause ulcers to form in the rectum and intestines. Constipation and straining during a bowel movement can cause rectal ulcers to develop as well.

    Signs of a rectal ulcer may include:

    • Blood in the stool.

    Also Check: Do Ulcers Cause Weight Loss

    Causes Of Blood In The Stool

    Blood in stool is a symptom of several medical conditions, ranging from mild rectal bleeding to a sign of colorectal cancer. Some of these conditions require immediate medical treatment.

    Below are the possible causes of blood in stool:

    Haemorrhoids: This is the most common cause of blood in stools. Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels present in the rectum or the anus. Haemorrhoids can cause itching, pain and bleeding in the rectum or anus. Individuals who have haemorrhoids may have bright red blood that coats the stool or in the toilet.

    Haemorrhoids can occur due to straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation, lifting heavy objects, pregnancy, anal intercourse, and obesity.

    Anal fissure: An anal fissure is a tear or split around the anus. This can happen while trying to pass large, hard stools, which requires extra pressure on the bowel. This can result in the skin to tear or split open and cause bleeding. Along with bleeding, an anal fissure can cause a lot of pain and a sensation of tearing, ripping or burning after a bowel movement. Mild anal fissures usually resolve on their own with time.

    Diverticulitis: Diverticula are small pouches that protrude from the walls of the weakened sections of the intestine. These pouches cause bleeding and infections. Infection of the diverticula can cause Diverticulitis with symptoms like fever, abdominal pain, and a sudden change in bowel habits.

    Blood in stools can also occur due to:

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    Peptic Ulcer And Bloody Stools

    July 3, 2011 by rfcamat

    As mentioned earlier, peptic ulcer happens if there are abnormalities involving the intestines. Peptic ulcer happens once the lining surrounding and protecting the intestines thin down. Once the lining breaks, there will be a formation of ulcer.

    Most ulcers go undetected since they happen within the first lining. Once the lining gets thinner, a hole called perforation will be developed. If this happens, this warrants immediate medical concern.

    What makes a person at risk for developing peptic ulcer is if the stomach is infected by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Even though most people have this bacteria living in their body, not all lead to peptic ulcer unless the person is guilty of the following:

    • Too much alcohol intake
    • Constant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin
    • Smoking cigarettes or tobacco
    • Undergoing radiation treatments

    It is also said that high stress levels can lead to peptic ulcer. But there are no clinical studies up to date that supports this claim.

    Most common signs and symptoms of peptic ulcer

    Bloody stools can mean anything. Before a patient concludes peptic ulcer, here are other signs and symptoms that can happen as well that the patient needs to watch out for:

    • Discomfort and pain in the upper abdomen
    • Pain in the abdominal area that is very disturbing at night
    • Nausea

    What To Expect At Your Office Visit

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    Your provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. The exam will focus on your abdomen.

    You may be asked the following questions:

    • Are you taking blood thinners, such as aspirin, warfarin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto, or clopidogrel, or similar medicines? Are you taking an NSAID, such as ibuprofen or naproxen?
    • Have you had any trauma or swallowed a foreign object accidentally?
    • Have you eaten black licorice, lead, Pepto-Bismol, or blueberries?
    • Have you had more than one episode of blood in your stool? Is every stool this way?
    • Have you lost any weight recently?
    • Is there blood on the toilet paper only?
    • What color is the stool?
    • When did the problem develop?

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    Treating A Peptic Ulcer

    Medications are the most common treatment for peptic ulcers are:

    • Antibiotics. These kill H. pylori bacteria. In many cases, youll need to take at least two types of antibiotics.
    • Proton pump inhibitors. These block your stomach from making any acid.
    • H2 blockers. These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.
    • Bismuth subsalicylate. This helps protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum from acid.

    In severe cases, other treatments will likely be done. These may include procedures with an endoscope or surgery. Your doctor will tell you more about these treatments, if needed.

    What Is The Treatment For Ulcers

    If you have ulcer symptoms, see your doctor. Prompt treatment can prevent excessive bleeding and other complications.

    Ulcers are usually diagnosed after an upper GI endoscopy . An endoscope is a long flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. The tube is inserted into your throat, then to the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Learn how to prepare for an endoscopy here.

    Generally performed as an outpatient procedure, it allows the doctor to locate and identify problems in the stomach and upper intestine.

    Bleeding ulcers must be addressed quickly, and treatment can start during the initial endoscopy. If bleeding from ulcers is found during the endoscopy, the doctor can:

    • inject medication directly
    • cauterize the ulcer to stop the bleeding
    • clamp off the bleeding vessel

    If you have an ulcer, youll be tested for H. pylori. This can be done using a tissue sample taken during the endoscopy. It can also be accomplished with noninvasive tests such as a stool sample or breath test.

    If you have the infection, antibiotics and other drugs can help fight the bacteria and ease symptoms. To be certain you get rid of it, you must finish taking the medication as directed, even if your symptoms stop.

    If your ulcers are the result of taking too many NSAIDs, work with your doctor to find another medication to treat pain.

    Over-the-counter antacids sometimes relieve symptoms. Ask your doctor if its okay to take antacids.

    Also Check: How To Treat An Ulcer In Your Esophagus

    What Are The Complications Of Peptic Ulcers

    Ulcers can cause serious problems if you dont get treatment.

    The most common problems include:

    • Bleeding. As an ulcer wears away the muscles of the stomach or duodenal wall, blood vessels may be hurt. This causes bleeding.
    • Hole . Sometimes an ulcer makes a hole in the wall of your stomach or duodenum. When this happens, bacteria and partly digested food can get in. This causes infection and redness or swelling .
    • Narrowing and blockage . Ulcers that are found where the duodenum joins the stomach can cause swelling and scarring. This can narrow or even block the opening to the duodenum. Food cant leave your stomach and go into your small intestine. This causes vomiting. You cant eat properly.

    Can Ulcers Cause Blood In Stool

    Blood Streaked Stool

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    What Causes Blood In Stool

    Blood in the stool can be a symptom of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. The blood in an individual’s stool may appear dark, tarry, and black, or it may be brighter red or maroon. If the origination point of the blood is higher up in the digestive tract, it is typically darker in color. Lower origination point yields a brighter, lighter, and richer color. The bloody stool may be discovered in a fecal test ordered by a physician, when wiping, or may be seen on the outside of the stool. The majority of individuals who experience this symptom will only observe mild rectal bleeding. Moderate and severe rectal bleeding may be accompanied by clots of blood and serious complications for the affected individual, including hypotension, anemia, weakness, dizziness, and syncope.

    Blood in the stool can be caused by a common minor issue or could be a sign of a serious disease. Get to know the causes now.

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    New York Gastroenterology Associates is a premier independent gastroenterology practice in New York City. NYGA consists of caring gastroenterologists practicing in office locations around New York City. Recognized for providing top-quality GI care, all of our physicians are board-certified and affiliated with Mount SinaiLearn More »

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    How Common Are Stomach Ulcers

    Its not known exactly how common stomach ulcers are. They have become much less common since the 1980s because of much more effective treatments. So people with stomach ulcers now usually get better much more quickly.

    The term peptic ulcer is used to describe ulcers that are caused by too much acid in the stomach. This includes stomach ulcers and also ulcers in the first part of the gut known as the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are less common than duodenal ulcers.

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    Why Do I Have Bright Red Blood In My Stool

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    01-22-20 Abdominal Issues, Colonoscopy, GI Articles

    Maybe you noticed bloody toilet paper or the water in the toilet bowl turn red after your bowel movement. It doesnt matter how it came to your attention, discovering bright red blood in your stool can be alarming. But dont panic just yet, because it isnt necessarily something serious.

    Bleeding can occur anywhere along the digestive, or gastrointestinal , tract from the mouth to the anus. The longer the blood has been present, the darker it will be by the time it is deposited in the toilet. Bright red blood usually indicates that it comes from a lower portion of the GI tract, either the colon, the rectum, or the anus itself.

    Lets take a look at some of the most common issues that result in bright red blood in the stool.

    For most people, bright red blood in the stool doesnt mean a terrible disease is lurking in the shadows. When it does turn out to be a more serious condition such as diverticulitis or even colorectal cancer, good treatments are available. This is why it is so important to see your doctor if you notice blood in your stool. The sooner you begin treatment, the better the opportunity to prevent disease from advancing or creating complications.

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