What are the causes of Hematochezia?
is the passage of fresh blood in stools giving the appearance of maroon colored feces. It is associated with bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract from organs closer to the anus and rectum. Sometimes infrequent bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract can also cause this.Gastrointestinal bleeding, be it upper or lower is one of the leading problems associated with the digestive tract. In the US alone, 60 to 70 million people are affected by digestive diseases.
Causes of Hematochezia
- A primary symptom of advanced colorectal cancer.
- Bacterial enterocolitis causing inflammation and associated infection of the intestines can lead to lower gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) would be the inflammation and associated infection of the colon and small intestine causing it. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two types of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Any recent injury or trauma.
- Benign colon polyps are masses of extra tissue sticking out of the mucous lining on the surface of the colon.
- Hemmorhoids, which are mostly benign in nature. Hemorrhoids are inflamed and painful veins in the lower portion of the rectum and anus. When an individual gets constipated, stools have to forced out. The resulting friction can cause the veins to hurt and swell up causing hemorrhoids.
- Diverticulosis is the condition when weakened muscles of the colon causes the mucous lining of the colon to bulge out forming pockets. Mostly occurs in the sigmoid colon which is the location of enormous pressure. Excessive pressure can also cause the diverticulum to rupture and set forth infection. A symptom of this disease would be the appearance of fresh blood in stools.
- A condition known as Bowel Ischemia can also cause this. The abnormal narrowing or deformities in blood vessels can restrict blood flow in the large intestine causing the discussed symptom.
- New born babies may swallow maternal blood during delivery and hence, show the symptom or it could also be a symptom of a more grave condition involving destruction of bowel tissue known as necrosis.
- Diagnosis is mainly done through tests like endoscopy, colonoscopy, scans, ultrasounds and rectal exams.
- Stool tests are done to confirm the presence of visible as well as the less apparent occult blood.
- Blood tests are done to gauge the volume of blood loss.
Treatment of Hematochezia
As this is more of a symptom than disease, it is very important to detect the underlying disease and carefully monitor and treat it. In case of Crohn’s disease, Hemorrhoids or Ulcerative colitis, along with medications it is also important to follow the recommended diet laid down by the physician.