Emergency Signs To Look For When Blood Is In Your Stool

Most people understand when they are experiencing a medical emergency. Uncontrollable bleeding, severe pain, and long-term diarrhea are all signs of a severe medical problem. However, there are some other signs that may not be so clear. This is true of blood in the stool. Keep reading to learn about a few things that you should look at or consider when you see blood in your stool.

The Color

Blood in the stool can be scary and overwhelming. Fortunately, the most common cause of blood in the toilet and on your toilet paper is the development of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are small swollen blood vessels in the rectum and around the anus. These blood vessels bulge and can easily rupture. The rupturing vessels do create visible blood, but the bleeding is often minimal and not nearly as serious as it looks. 

Hemorrhoid blood is bright red and accompanies a case of constipation. A history of straining to defecate and a family history of hemorrhoids are also indicative of the condition.

If the blood that you see is a dark red color or a more brownish tone, then there is a good chance that the blood is coming from somewhere in the GI tract. This blood is not bright red because it has been partially digested as it has traveled through the digestive system. The darker the blood, the higher up it is in the digestive tract and anything that does not look bright red is likely an emergency.

The Quantity Of Blood

GI bleeds can be extremely serious, and they can lead to shock and even death if they are not treated. This is something that can occur with esophageal varices where veins burst in the esophagus area and blood is moved through the stomach and into the intestinal tract. This type of issue, as well as ruptured vessels along the small and large intestine, cause large amounts of blood to expel from the body. 

Typically, a large bleed will cause diarrhea, and you will need to rush to the bathroom often to defecate. This is likely to turn into an uncontrollable situation and the fecal matter will appear red. The more diarrhea that is produced, the more serious the bleed and the larger the quantity of blood. 

If you have the first diarrhea episode and think that blood is mixed in with the fecal matter, contact an emergency health professional as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about GI bleeds or the types of things that require immediate medical attention, speak with a physician.