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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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Ive had really bad stomach pain and blood in my stool for

Customer Question

I've had really bad stomach pain and blood in my stool for about 3 weeks now, it also smells like something died when I make a bowel movement. The blood in my stool looks pretty fresh, but it doesn't look like I have hemorrhoids. I know the blood color suggests that the bleeding is in the lower half that whole system so It can't be a stomach ulcer or something like that. Why does my stomach hate me???
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer Health.

If you are having rectal bleeding it is important that you see a doctor for evaluation. Losing blood over time like this can lead to anemia (loss of important blood components) which can become serious. The cause also needs to be determined. There are many different problems that can cause rectal bleeding and the cause can only be determined by examination. If no hemorrhoids are present, there could be a fissure, ulcers, or other problems that can be treated. It is better to get treated early rather than wait.

Please reply to this post if you have additional questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I went to my doctor on Monday and she said that everything looked fine, there was no evidence of fissure or anything like that and she said just take Mira lax, and omeperozal and referred me to a gastric oncologist(?).
I know you can only speculate because this is through the internet, but is there anything immediate that I should be concerned with? (I'm not very concerned about anemia because it's not an excessive amount of blood loss)
Sorry I'm being annoying, I'm just frustrated with the lack of answers with my current doctor.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 2 years ago.
You are not annoying at all, I'm pleased that you have f/u questions and I'm sorry I was away when you replied.

Have you had a colonoscopy yet?

Even if you had, the gastric oncologist will probably want to do more imaging studies to look carefully in the colon to find out why you are bleeding. This might include a more advanced forms of colonoscopy and visualization of the intestinal tract. With a basic colonoscopy i were you are sedated and a tube is inserted into the rectum with a tiny camera on the end to search the mucosa for anything unusual. This is usually done after you have had a prep to clean the colon out. This usually involves drinking a large amount of a fluid that will cause you intestinal tract to clear most stool. It is actually important that you follow the directions carefully for the bowel prep, so that none to little stool is left in the colon. This way the entire mucosa can be visualized and not be obscured by any stool. Sometimes you are given medicine by IV or mouth of that will help to visualize any abnormalities.

With mild ulcerative colitis, there is usually rectal bleeding, and this is due to inflammation of the colon, which can in severe cases becomes ulcerated. With moderate and severe cases of ulcerative colitis and there is diarrhea and a mucous discharge rectally, but rarely it may only cause bleeding. There are medications that can help stop the symptoms.

You might find this information helpful to learn more about this problem, although this may not end up being your diagnosis: http://www.medicinenet.com/ulcerative_colitis/page2.htm#tocc

What other questions do you have, I am more than pleased to continue to answer anything you may be curious about. If you have symptoms that you have not mentioned, that helps in determining possible diagnosis as well.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I took so long- I'm kind of in the middle of studying for finals. Anyway, I have not had a colonoscopy yet, but I'm positive when I go to the Gastric oncologist he will tell me to go get one.

I was looking up ulcerative colitis the other day and I definitely see similarities between my symptoms and those that were described as mild symptoms, but I haven't had diarrhea, and I've been actually dealing with the opposite, but I'm sure that's something that I can bring up during my appointment.

There has been some mucous mixed in with the blood, but that was when I was dealing with some slight constipation. I do think that my current sympomes have worsened due to an increase stress in the past couple of days (Finals).

The only thing that I'm really confused on now is the pain in my stomach is below the center of my ribs, to the left and right of that area, and rarely goes below my belly button. However, the bleeding I think, would be lower in my abdomen, so the pain and the bleeding wouldn't be related, would they?

Also, thank you so much! You have been more than helpful.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 2 years ago.
That is absolutely fine, i am doing other things to, so will keep checking back.

Pain in the body very often 'refers'. This means although you may feel the pain in one area, it is not necessarily the area where the problem is. Appendicitis, is notorious for this - people feel pain often in the lower left abdomen when they have appendicitis, but the appendix is actually in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.

It is more rare to have bleeding without diarrhea, but this does sometimes happen with ulcerative colitis. Of course I am not saying that this is what you have, we just can't tell right now, because your symptoms are not following any classic diagnosis. This is often the case though, and is why we do the various testing to determine the cause.

So, you have done very well in finding out what your symptoms might be related to on your own. And that is great that you are involved in wanting to understand this and do what you can to prevent the problem.

Yes, it is true that stress can make your problem and any physical conditions worse. This is because, when we are stressed we release 'fight or flight' hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones were intended to allow us to flee or fight danger. But in modern times, we are not stressed by an animal chasing us (as much) but are stressed instead by things such as deadlines and tests. The body still releases adrenalin and cortisol to bring circulation to muscles, releases glucose from the pancreas to give the muscles energy while you 'run' or fight off the danger.. So you may sweat, feel warm in the arms and muslces, while the circulation in your peripheral body opens up, yet at the same time, the circulation to the gut (intestinal tract) slows down, as the body believes the priority is for you to use your muscles and flee, rather than to flow to the intestinal tract to or to help digest your food. So this can cause inflammation in the intestine as well as constipation. Some people have constipation alternating with diarrhea related to the hormonal changes that occur when stressed.

This is why stress relief measures are really important for our health. It makes since, that a vigorous exercise regimen daily, especially when stressed, will help to use up the stress hormones, so that it does not effect your body. Exercises like deep breathing and relaxation can be helpful too, but some people don't really understand why exercise is so important in controlling stress, anxiety, and preventative for physical illness.

Be sure and report if you have increasing sharp pain in the abdomen or increase of blood flow.

Sometimes problems with the ovaries can cause pain to the left and right of the abdomen, and of course your kidneys can be involved at times when you have bilateral pain (pain on both sides of the abdomen) . But bleeding rectally does not fit in with ovarian or kidney problems, unless you have more than one problem.

Are you urinating regularly with clear or clear yellow urine?

Are your periods normal?

I would assume that your doctor already checked for kidney or ovarian problems, unless the pain you are reporting is a new pattern.

Are these new developments in the area of your abdominal pain? Also, how severe is the pain on a level from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable? If the pain begins to increase, it would be important to report this to your doctor.
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My urine is normal, and my periods are too. My doctor did checked for kidney and ovarian problems, and I did talk to her about the increase in pain (I've had this uncomfortable pain for like 2 months now) and she said that the pain might be due to ulcers and that because she couldn't see anything in her exam for the other thing that I should go to gastric oncologist(I was a little bit skeptical on that ulcers answer because my stool is neither tarry nor blackish in color)

I've had my abdominal pain for like 2 months now and usually, when I'm not doing anything it's around a 2, however this week it's gone up to a 4 and I've been getting sharp pains that reach levels to 6, 6.5 about three times a day.

I used to be under the impression that it was indigestion because I have a family history of stomach problems as such, but the pain is more of a sharp now and it lasts longer. It is worsened when I eat, especially spicy foods, so there might be some correlation with indigestion and that's where I can see my doctor thought it might be ulcers, but is it possible that it's just a really bad upset stomach?
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 2 years ago.
Your stomach is on the left side, right below the heart.

There are other ulcers besides gastric (stomach ulcers). Gastric ulcers are a different type of ulcer than the ulcers of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease (which is similar to ulcerative colitis but instead of the ulcers being only in the colon, they can appear any where in the intestinal track. Gastric ulcers are related to acidity in the stomach and even bacterial infection. Ulcers of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis are due to inflammation.

Another condition, is called IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and individuals with this problem do not have ulcers, but do have pain. They may have diarrhea or constipation, or both. They do not have bleeding. IBS is associated with anxiety, and in some cases it seems these individuals are more sensitive to the normal movements of the intestinal tract (the intestines are nearly always actively digesting food, moving gas, etc.) I mention this just so you realize that sometimes there can be pain just from the digestive process - gas in the intestinal track can be particularly uncomfortable at times, and even feel sharp and painful.


Something else to consider is whether you have ever been on antibiotics for any length of time, as this sometimes eliminate the natural bacteria that lives in the intestinal tract of which it's purpose is to helps you break down and digest food. Excess gas can be a sign of poor digestion. Sometimes people need to take pre and pro-biotics to return the intestinal tract to it's natural state (filled with healthy digestive bacteria). Until achieved, food may not digest easily, and excess gas can form and be painful. (This is not typically a cause of bleeding, unless depletion was quite severe.)

But yes, it is possible that some of your discomfort is caused by an "upset" digestive process, and may not even be related to the bleeding. It is just that bleeding can be a sign of something serious and you are reporting bleeding, your health care providers/doctors are evaluating your symptoms seriously, until they determine the cause.

Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Anna,

Thank you for accepting my answers and bonus and feedback last week.

How are you doing? Have you had any further testing and is the bleeding still present?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm the same, no changes. I found out that the earliest appointment I can get is July 12, but I'm trying to see if I can get anything earlier, and there's still bleeding.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry to hear you are still bleeding.

To prevent anemia, be sure to try to eat things with plenty of iron such as:
Egg yolks, Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards), Dried fruit (prunes, raisins), Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check labels), Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops), Turkey or chicken giblets, California Avocado, Potato with skins; Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans; Liver, Artichokes, Goji berries

 

Also, it helps to eat these iron-rich foods along with foods that provide plenty of vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron.


Please feel free to give us another update once you see the doctor, and of course feel free to ask any questions.

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