How to Treat Hematochezia?

  • December 13, 2023
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How to Treat Hematochezia?

What is Hematochezia?

Hematochezia, a medical condition marked by the appearance of bright red blood in the stool, differs significantly from melena, which presents as dark, tarry stools associated with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Unlike melena, hematochezia indicates bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, specifically originating from the rectum or anus, often visible during bowel movements. The presence of hematochezia can be disconcerting for individuals, signifying a spectrum of underlying health issues, ranging from benign to potentially serious. It is identified by the distinct feature of fresh, vivid red blood in the stool, serving as a prevalent sign of bleeding originating from the lower GI tract.

Why Does Hematochezia Occur?

Understanding the causes of hematochezia is essential for effective treatment. Several factors contribute to the development of this condition:

  1. Hemorrhoids: Swollen blood vessels in the rectum or anus, known as hemorrhoids, can lead to bleeding during bowel movements. Straining, chronic constipation, or other factors can cause these blood vessels to become engorged and bleed.
  2. Anal Fissures: Small tears in the lining of the anus, often caused by straining during bowel movements or passing hard stools, can result in hematochezia. While anal fissures are typically benign, they can cause discomfort and bleeding.
  3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Conditions such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis involve chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation in the lower GI tract can lead to bleeding, which may manifest as hematochezia.
  4. Diverticulosis: Diverticula are small pouches that can form in the walls of the colon. While diverticulosis itself may not cause symptoms, bleeding can occur if the pouches become inflamed or rupture, leading to hematochezia.
  5. Colorectal Polyps or Cancer: Abnormal growths in the colon or rectum, such as polyps or cancerous tumors, may bleed. The presence of blood in the stool can be an early sign of these conditions, necessitating further investigation.
  6. Gastrointestinal Infections: Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites can lead to inflammation and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Hematochezia may be one of the symptoms associated with these infections.