Often when the blood one sees is bright red, the cause is a hemorrhoid. The blood from the hemorrhoid has not had time to change color. Darker blood comes from higher up in the colon or small intestine and is often called melena.
Constipation often results in having to use extra effect to expel and that extra pressure can produce bulging of a hemorrhoid and then bleeding. Straining can be a cause for blood in the stool. A hemorrhoid can be external or internal. The internal hemorrhoids are close enough to the opening to not allow the blood to change color.
Most people inquiring about causes for blood in the stool are more concerned with internal bleeding – somewhere in the colon or small intestine. The colon is about three feet long and connects directly to the rectum which is only several inches long. Bleeding in the colon, or higher up in the 23 feet of the small intestine (called 'small' because its diameter is smaller than that of the colon), will result in the blood turning black before it exits. This is much more rare an occurrence and requires a colonoscopy for the colon and sometimes a barium study. To see bleeding in the small intestine is more difficult. Consult with an intern about this if the blood you see is black and the colonoscopy is negative.
Lab Exams for Blood in the Stool
Learn what testing is all about. You want to be able to return to a state of health that you enjoyed before you began searching for a cure. Do not waste valuable healing time and money on a shotgun approach. Find out the cause of the problem.
Consider a thorough lab exam, have your results compared with those of others and then individualize the regimen leading to cure. Nutritional medicines are the best alternative in an integrative approach to natural care.
If blood is seen of any color it is time to take nutritional measures, and to take them soon. You can begin fabulous nutritional cures while you are waiting for the colonoscopy or coming up with temporary solutions to the hemorrhoids.
Sometimes congestion of the liver is responsible for too much back pressure in the veins that surround the rectum resulting in hemorrhoids. The liver and intestines have a unique relationship in how the blood flows. All of the blood vessels that are in the walls of the small intestine, about 23 feet of small intestine, are the vessels that the absorbed food from our diet enter. The body does not want this food to get to the rest of the body until it has been looked over by the liver. This is a safeguard.
All of the blood that digested food first enters must first head over to the liver in what is called the hepato-portal system. All of the blood from the intestines coalesces into the hepatic-portal vein, enter the liver and is spread out amid hundreds of thousands of islands of cells in the liver that decide whether the new food molecules may enter the systemic blood circulation and be distributed to the rest of the body.
Because of this unique arrangement, if the liver is congested and the blood coming from the intestines can flow freely through all the avenues between the islands of cells, then a back pressure will be created and could result in the bulging of veins with weak venous walls located in the rectum or near the anus. These are hemorrhoids.
A liver detox is in order here. Constipation often firms this and nutrition for constipation is a known smart way to go. Taking digestive enzymes and herbal laxatives are helpful. Talk to a professional to know just what to do about the causes for blood in the stool. This is not a condition that you should be treating by yourself.