Diarrhea with blood: 7 causes and what to do
The diarrhea with bleeding for the general is caused by an infection in the intestine, being in these cases called dysentery; It can be caused by viruses, parasites and bacteria. If this problem is not dealt with quickly, it can cause health complications; such as malnutrition and dehydration, for example.
In most cases, the organism itself is able to solve the diarrhea with blood, being important that the person stays hydrated and has an easy digestion diet.
In addition to being caused by infections, diarrhea with blood can be a sign of ulcerative colitis, intestinal cancer or can appear as a side effect of the ingestion of some medication; It is important that if other associated symptoms arise, go to the doctor to carry out an evaluation and, if necessary, indicate the most appropriate treatment.
See Dr Antonio Carlos Moraes for some causes of diarrhea with blood:
Diarrhea with blood can have several causes, including the main ones:
1. Rotavirus infection
Rotavirus infection is one of the main causes of gastroenteritis, being common to cause diarrhea with blood in babies and children under 5 years old. This type of infection occurs mainly due to the ingestion of water or contaminated food and is characterized by: liquid or soft evacuations more than 4 times a day, which can contain much or little blood, mixed with a secretion similar to the pus or the phlegm, which you are like a mucus. In addition, the child can mention that he has abdominal pain, fever and vomiting. See how to recognize the symptoms of rotavirus infection.
What to do: You should take the child to the doctor as soon as possible, if it is possible, you must take with you a specific country or take photographs of the children so that the doctor can evaluate the color and the amount of blood that may be present. The rotavirus infection can cause intense diarrhea with a very bad odor and lasts up to 14 days. During this period, the baby should be fed soups, purées and low-fat meats, but the most important thing is to offer water, homemade suero or coconut water, always after an episode of diarrhea to avoid dehydration.
2. Infection by Escherichia Coli
La gastroenteritis caused by la Escherichia Coli It is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in adults, causing in addition to dysentery, intense abdominal pain.
La E. Coli is a bacterium that is found in the body and is not harmful to health, however, some types of this bacterium, especially those found in contaminated food, can cause damage to health. Know the symptoms and how the infection is diagnosed Escherichia Coli.
What to do: to relieve the symptoms caused by it Escherichia Coli and to avoid new gastroenteritis crisis, it is recommended to have an easy digestion diet, to avoid stimulating the intestine, and to ingest probiotic supplements, because these will help to restore the healthy bacterial flora.
3. Infection by Shigella spp.
Another common cause of diarrhea with blood and fever in adults is the presence of bacteria of the genus Shigella spp., which enters the body through the consumption of food or contaminated water. Symptoms of shigelosis last 5 to 7 days and, in addition to dysentery, infected children can also have convulsions that cease when treatment begins.
What to do: You should not take medication to stop diarrhea because they can worsen the symptoms, as they prevent the bacteria from being eliminated naturally through the heces. For this reason, you should increase your fluid intake and consume foods that are easy to digest, such as white rice, cooked zanahoria, soups, among others. However, in some cases, the doctor could recommend the use of antibiotics to fight the bacteria, the medication to be used will depend on the sensitivity and resistance profile of the microorganism.
4. Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are characterized by chronic diarrhea that can contain blood or urine, as well as intense abdominal pain, especially after eating. However, the cause of these illnesses is not known, but they can arise in any age and the symptoms arise in alternating periods of crisis and long-term remission. The exams that can confirm these illnesses are barium enema, colonoscopy and computerized tomography.
What to do: The treatment for intestinal diseases must be carried out with medicines to stop diarrhea and through a specific diet, which could include the use of nutritional supplements, it is important to consult a nutritionist to carry out an evaluation and prepare a nutritional plan adapted to the needs of the individual, avoiding the new crisis and the nutrient deficit.
In the most serious cases, in which the inflammation of the intestine is extensive or when the treatment does not improve, the doctor could indicate the performance of a surgery to remove the affected part of the intestine.
Learn more about the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
5. Intestinal parasites
The presence of intestinal parasites can cause diarrhea with blood in children or adults, especially when the parasite load is high. This type of parasitic infections are more common in areas with poor hygiene and basic sanitation, where people walk barefoot and feed with their hands, consuming contaminated food.
In addition to diarrhea with blood, other symptoms associated with swollen and painful abdomen can also appear, as well as lack of appetite.
What to do: in case of a parasitic infection, the doctor could request tests to investigate the presence of the parasites and recommend the use of some drugs that promote elimination and help to combat the symptoms.
It is also important that the person improve their hygiene habits and have an adequate diet rich in probiotics, this will allow to restore the intestinal microbiota and prevent new infections.
See more about the treatment of intestinal parasites.
6. Secondary effect of drugs
Some medications, including antibiotics, can cause diarrhea as a side effect, however, this can be more frequent when a person has acute diarrhea and takes an antibiotic without receiving medical advice, favoring the proliferation of harmful bacteria for the body.
What to do: In case, while taking antibiotics, diarrhea occurs with blood, the medication must be discontinued. If you have been prescribed by a doctor, you must go to the consultation again so that the doctor can indicate the intake of another antibiotic.
See how to fight diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
7. Bowel cancer
The diarrhea with blood that is not being caused by any of the alterations mentioned above could indicate the presence of a tumor in the intestine or very close to it, in the abdominal cavity. To make sure that it is a cancer that is causing the presence of bleeding in the heces, you can ask for several exams such as the heces exam and colonoscopy. Know all the symptoms of intestinal cancer.
What to do: it is necessary to go to the doctor as soon as possible so that he can indicate the performance of diagnostic tests, these allow to identify if there is or in the presence of any tumor; in case the hallazgo is positive, the doctor will indicate the treatment to be followed according to the case, which may consist of performing radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgery. The transplant of heces can also be indicated in some situations.
Other possible causes
Other serious causes of diarrhea with blood include intestinal obstruction, poisoning or severe abdominal trauma, requiring immediate medical attention because the diarrhea comes on suddenly, being very intense and could put the person’s life at risk.
Radiotherapy can also cause diarrhea with blood, being a secondary effect that appears when it is performed in the abdominal region. In this situation, you should consult the treating physician so that he can indicate the most appropriate treatment to alleviate this discomfort; by lo general, suele indicates the use of supplements to restore the normal bacterial flora and medications to stop diarrhea.
When to go to the doctor
Diarrhea with blood is not always a serious change, especially when it is an isolated episode, or when it occurs in a person who has hemorrhoids but has gone through a period of stress. However, it is recommended to seek medical help if you have diarrhea with blood:
- More than 3 times the same day or the same week;
- In case of fever above 38.5ºC;
- Vomit with blood or very dark;
- Intense pain in the stomach;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Rigid abdomen without being possible to press it;
- Weak immune system, by AIDS or cancer, for example.
Diarrhea with blood can cause complications such as dehydration, iron deficiency anemia, changes in kidneys or sepsis, which is a serious condition that can lead to death, so its diagnosis and treatment must be quickly indicated.
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