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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Blood in the Stools: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Blood in the Stools

Alternate Names : Rectal Bleeding, Hematochezia

Blood in the Stools | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the symptom?

Treatment of blood in the stools depends on the underlying cause. In an emergency situation, intravenous fluids are given to replace fluids lost from bleeding or dehydration. Blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breathing rate are watched for signs of shock.

If the bleeding is caused by a condition that can be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications, the bleeding may stop on its own. Diet may help with some conditions, such as diverticulitis.

Surgery is needed in some cases of blood in the stools. Surgery may be used to repair the problem or remove a cancerous area. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used to treat cancer.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

All medications have possible side effects. Antibiotics can cause stomach upset and allergic reactions. Surgery poses a risk of infection, bleeding, or allergic reaction to anesthesia. Chemotherapy can have many side effects, such as stomach upset, hair loss, and weakness.

What happens after treatment for the symptom?

In many cases, no further measures are needed following treatment. The person is considered cured and can return to normal activities. In other cases, the cause is not curable and needs further treatment. Some causes of bleeding, such as colorectal cancer, may result in death.

How is the symptom monitored?

Underlying diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, may require lifelong medical treatment and monitoring. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Blood in the Stools: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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