MUCUS AND BLOOD IN STOOL
Just about anybody would be highly concerned, if they found mucus or blood in their stools. There are many factors that could have led to the presence of mucus in stools and fortunately, not all of them are a huge cause of concern. Given below are some of the most common factors that could lead to a mucus-like secretion in your stool:
- Inflammation in the intestines: There are certain factors that could lead to intestinal inflammation, such as constipation, diarrhea, bacterial infection and hypersensitivity towards certain food. Inflammation in the intestines is one of the major mucus and blood in stool causes and this could also result in problems related to excess gas.
- Crohn’s disease: This is a fairly common disease, which attacks your digestive tract and leads to an inflammation. The most common symptoms of this condition are abdominal pain, diarrhea and mucus in stools.
- Celiac disease: This condition can be described as an autoimmune disease of the little bowel, which can affect people of all ages, including little babies. It often leads to chronic diarrhea, fatigue and blood or mucus in stools.
Melena, more commonly known as blood in the stool, can occur because of many factors. In fact, parents may also see small amounts of blood in stool in children, toddlers and infants, especially if they are suffering from constipation. Given below are some of the most common reasons for blood in stool:
- Diet: Eating foods that are very spicy or oily, on a regular basis. Eating high amounts of processed and refined foods can lead to severe constipation, which is one of the causes of blood in the stools.
- Unhealthy habits: Studies indicate that people who engage in unhealthy habits like drinking excess amounts of alcohol, smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco could see many health problems, like bleeding in their stools.
- Intestinal problems: The presence of blood in the stools should never be left unchecked as it could be a result of amoebic dysentery (food poisoning), duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis or intestinal worms.
- Anal lesions: Piles or hemorrhoids and anal fissures are probably the most common causes of bright red blood in stools, often accompanied by itchiness and pain.
- Cancer: Colon or rectal cancer has been known to cause bleeding from the rectum, especially while passing stools.
A small amount of mucus in the stools is not necessarily an indication of a serious problem. However, the presence of large amounts of blood and mucus could be quite a concern, which requires immediate medical attention. In such instances, it is essential to go in for a mucus and blood in stool diagnosis, without any delay.
There are several different conditions and factors that trigger off the symptoms of blood in stools. The treatment for blood in stools could include medication, as well as over the counter creams and ointments. However, melena treatment is bound to vary, depending on the factors that have caused it. Hence, as soon as you notice either blood or mucus in your stools, you should waste no time in identifying the possible causes of it. Given below are the three steps that should be followed while treating bloody stools:
- Diagnosis: It is important for you to know if the bloody stool is a result of hemorrhoids, polyps, ulcers, cancers, inflammation or just simple dietary habits. The doctor may also need to carry out a few tests to determine the exact location of the bleeding. The color of the blood is usually an indication of its location; bright red blood in stools usually shows that the bleeding is in the anus or rectum. In case the bleeding is black and tarry, it is usually a sign that the bleeding is in the colon area.
- Addressing the root of the problem: There are ways in which you can stem the flow of blood, but it is important for you to make sure that you address the main cause of the problem. In case of an infection, you may be asked to take antibiotics; for hemorrhoids, you will probably be given a few topical ointments or creams. You may need to undergo a surgery, if the bleeding is a result of tumors or polyps in the colon.
- Dietary changes: A nutritious diet is very important for overall good health and it can also eliminate bloody stools, which are related to hemorrhoids, ulcers or other benign causes. However, you may be asked to eliminate not just unhealthy foods from your diet, but also acidic ones, like tomatoes, cranberries and other citric fruits.
There are several ways in which you can prevent the problem of bloody stools, using simple and natural home remedies. Some of the remedies stem the flow of blood, but others could actually address the main underlying causes of the problem. However, these home remedies should only be used after getting a go ahead from the doctor. Given below are some of the most commonly suggested home remedies for blood in stool:
- Increase your consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and other fibrous food, like whole wheat. This can reduce the problem of constipation and bloody stools caused by it. Foods that are refined, hot and spicy should also be strictly avoided, especially if the causes for bloody stools are ulcers or intestinal inflammation. Drink a lot of water to flush out the toxins from your body.
- Quit unhealthy habits like drinking alcohol and smoking. Consumption of excess tea and coffee is also an unhealthy habit, which should be strictly avoided.
- Relaxation techniques like Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and massage therapy help reduce stress and anxiety in the body, which is one of the main causes of ulcers. They could also prevent bleeding caused by ulcers
- In case of hemorrhoids, apply a poultice made of sesame seeds directly on the piles. Alternately, you could also consume half a teaspoon of sesame seeds mixed with a little butter.
There are several changes in the body that pregnancy can bring about and unfortunately, not all of them are pleasant. Some of the dietary and lifestyle changes that occur in pregnancy could cause the bowel movement process to get altered, which can lead to the presence of mucus in the stools. It is very normal for pregnant women to take certain medication and dietary supplements, which could also contribute to mucus and blood in stool during pregnancy. Some of the factors that could lead to bloody stool during pregnancy include digestive tract bleeding, rectal tears, hemorrhoids and constipation. These factors could be a cause for concern during the course of pregnancy and therefore, it is important to keep the doctor informed about it, without any delay. Some of the recommendations for stopping of blood in stool during pregnancy include:
- Increased intake of fluids, especially water and fresh fruit or vegetable juice (without sugar or preservatives). This not only allows smooth and regular passage of bowels but also means less strain on the rectal area
- Consuming a higher amount of fiber through certain fruits, leafy vegetables, whole grains and cereals. This helps prevent constipation, thereby reducing the chances of rectal bleeding caused by it.
- There are a few stool softeners that can help ease the movements of bowels. However, some of these stool softeners could have an adverse effect during pregnancy and therefore should be avoided.
In case you notice bright red blood in stool children or babies, it is best to seek help from a child specialist or a pediatrician without any delay.
If there is no underlying condition present, mucus in stool, abdominal bloating, and constipation may sometimes be improved by increasing fluid intake and taking herbal or food demulcents (substances that soothe irritation in the intestinal lining).
Demulcent herbs include slippery elm and marshmallow. A demulcent tea can be made by adding one cup of hot water to one teaspoon ground flaxseeds or chia seeds and soaking overnight until the mixture thickens.
If the tongue has a thick coating
According to Ayurveda, the traditional medical system in India, mucus in the stool may indicate a Kapha imbalance due to excess Kapha. Stool often sticks to the toilet bowl due to excess fluid and incomplete intestinal absorption or it is difficult to wipe clean. Typically, exercise is recommended to correct the Kapha balance. Meals should be regular with no snacking. The Ayurvedic herbs triphala or amalaki may also be recommended.
Excess consumption of spicy foods, coffee, highly processed foods should be avoided.