Why blood in stool should be of concern to you
Posted Monday, October 28 2013 at 01:00
Blood in one’s stool can come from anywhere in the digestive tract, such as the stomach or intestines. Depending on where the blood is coming from and how fast it is moving, health experts say it may be bright red, reddish brown, or black like tar. People who are constipated, have liver disease or any condition that increases pressure in the abdomen, are at a higher risk of having blood in their stool.
Ronald Katerega, a resident of Kisugu, a Kampala suburb, spent three days passing bloody stool, and feeling stomach pain. Katerega, who is in his 20s says that he discovered it when he was cleaning himself after visiting the toilet.
“At first, I did not take it seriously. But on the third day, I saw more blood on the toilet paper after going for a long call. This worried me so much that I went to the nearby clinic for medical consultation,” he says.
At the clinic, the physician asked Kateregga what he could have eaten the previous nights.
“I told him chapatti and beans, popularly known as kikomando. He further asked me whether I take alcohol or smoke, and I said no,” Kateregga explains.
He was then given medicine that he would take for five days.
“Hours after swallowing the drugs, I developed a running stomach and went to empty my bowel. This time, I saw less blood in my stool, and on the toilet paper.”
This continued for the second day.
Nevertheless, Kateregga went ahead to take his medication until the dosage was over.
After feeling better, he returned to the doctor at the clinic to ask him what the cause of his condition was.
“The doctor told me that the complication was as a result of poor feeding. But he said that such a complication can also be caused by illnesses such as ulcers, typhoid and intestinal infections,” he says.
Kateregga was then advised to improve on his diet, and eat foods that contain fibre, fruits and vegetables, and also drink plenty of water.
According to Dr David Ebalu of Community Clinic and Laboratory in Wabigalo, a Kampala suburb, regular visual inspection of stool is recommended as a way of monitoring your health.
Passing bloody stool, he says, generally means that there is bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract, which includes the eosophagus, stomach, small intestines, colon, rectum and anus.
“Blood in stool is not a disease in itself, but rather, it can be a symptom of a health complication within the digestive tract,” he notes.
When diagnosing the cause of blood in stool, he says that it is important to establish the origin, and how much of that blood is actually in the stool.