Hematochezia, or maroon colored stools, is almost always a condition that you MUST notify your doctor as soon as possible. The term refers to stools that are maroon in color and often associated with loose stools, but can also be related to constipation or normal bowel movements as well.
If you see other symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain or cramping, stomachache, nausea etc, use that information to open a discussion that includes the color of stools. This may be difficult to discuss, but it is important.
Having maroon colored stools can be a sign of underlying issues that must be dealt with immediately. It is not something to be ignored.
There is one exception:
Eating beets can cause both maroon colored stools which may be mistaken for hematochezia as well as pink urine. Give it a couple days and if it all clears up, there is nothing to worry about.
The other causes can be very serious and, in some cases, life threatening. It is not a condition to be ignored.
I will discuss some of the causes and treatments here so you can become more familiar with the condition. But please, notify your doctor immediately.
When you call the doctor, have the following information ready and able to give to them. If you don't get the response you want, which should be an immediate appointment, ask to speak to a NURSE, an LPN or an RN, not a medical assistant or the receptionist.
This is a condition that needs to be taken very seriously. Keep pushing until you get the response you want.
Make sure to give them ALL of the following information:
- Are they experience constipation or diarrhea as well?
- Have they been weak or overly tired lately?
- Are they pale?
- Do they have abdominal cramping or stomachaches?
- Do they have a fever?
- Is there any nausea or vomiting?
- Do they have any history of ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding or hemorrhoids?
Since maroon colored stools is a symptom itself of an underlying condition. It is not a condition in and of itself.
It may also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, gastrointestinal pain or upset and weakness.
This condition is evidenced by stool that is maroon in color, not black stools or bloody stools.
It indicates that there is some sort of GI bleeding in the lower digestive tract and the blood has been partially digested as it has passed through the intestines.
Any bleeding in the gastrointestinal track needs to be taken very seriously, but even more seriously in the elderly. The elderly can rapidly deteriorate with blood loss.
There are many causes of this condition, but the cause can not be determined simply by symptoms.
You are going to have to notify the doctor and have some tests run to determine what the underlying condition is.
Some of the tests that may be run include a complete blood count to determine how much blood loss has occurred, stool testing, and most likely a colonoscopy. Other, more invasive testing, may need to be done as well.
There are several conditions that can cause hematochezia. Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract has to be caused by something. It doesn't just happen and it is not a normal sign of aging.
Some of the causes are associated with
, ulcers, colon cancer, colitis and internal hemorrhoids (although this usually causes bright red stools).
The most important information you need to get from this page is that you must contact your doctor immediately.
Some conditions can wait ... some you can treat at home. But this is a condition which can only be diagnosed accurately by a physician.
Don't panic. Most likely the cause can be identified quickly and treated effectively. But the diagnosis can't be made if you haven't contacted a doctor.
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