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Dr. John Hsiang, Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist
Blood in stools, also known as rectal bleeding or hematochezia, refers to the presence of blood when passing stool. This can be seen as red streaks in the stool or dark, tarry stools.
While it may be alarming to see blood in your stools, it is important to understand that there are various causes and not all of them are serious.
Aside from the obvious signs of seeing blood in your stools, other symptoms may accompany this condition. These include:
If you experience any of these symptoms along with blood in your stools, it is important to consult a doctor for further evaluation and diagnosis.
A Gastroscopy, also known as an Upper GI Endoscopy, is a procedure to examine the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).
It is done by having a gastroscope safely inserted through the mouth and maneuvered by your Doctor.
A gastroscope is a flexible tube with a camera attached to it. This gives your Doctor an internal view of your upper digestive system to detect abnormalities such as polyps, ulcers, inflammation, or cancerous growths along the mucosal lining.
If your Doctor discovers these issues during an examination, they can remove any polyps or tissues to be sampled for further investigation.
There are several potential causes of blood in stools, ranging from mild to severe conditions. Some common causes include:
In some cases, blood in stools can also be caused by certain medications, such as blood thinners or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
It is always a good idea to consult a doctor if you see blood in your stools, even if it is just small streaks. Your doctor can help determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
Consulting a Gastroenterologist for your symptoms helps in obtaining an accurate diagnosis, giving you peace of mind. It also aids in detecting and ruling out more serious diseases like ulcers and cancer.
At Richmond Gastro, our team ensures a smooth and comfortable consultation and diagnosis, making the process less daunting than you may think.
Usually, a Gastroscopy is done while you are asleep due to the sedatives that will be administered to you. An anesthetic will also be sprayed into your throat to numb your swallowing sensation.
You will be placed on your side and given to wear a mouth guard to prevent yourself from biting on the scope. With the necessary preparations in place, your Doctor will proceed with the gastroscopy examination.
The whole procedure should take about 10 to 15 minutes and you should be discharged within the same day. You will be advised not to drive or operate machinery for the day due to the drowsiness you may feel from the sedatives.
The treatment for blood in stools depends on the underlying cause.
This may include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery. For example, haemorrhoids can often be treated with over-the-counter creams and ointments, while more serious conditions such as colorectal cancer may require surgery or chemotherapy.
It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and attend regular check-ups to monitor and manage your condition.
In some cases, dietary alterations may also be recommended, such as increasing fibre intake or avoiding certain foods that may irritate the digestive tract.
While waiting for a diagnosis and treatment, there are some steps you can take to relieve symptoms of blood in stools. These include:
However, it is important to consult with your doctor before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes.
MBChB (NZ), FRACP (Australasia), MD (Doctorate), FRCP (Edinburgh), FAMS (Gastro)
Dr. John Hsiang is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience in public and private practice.
Dr. John’s special clinical interests are in gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach conditions, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal cancer screening
Dr. John has spent more than five years in the Singhealth cluster serving in the Gastroenterology Department at Changi General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.
Indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, helicobacter pylori infection, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, hepatitis B, fatty liver disease, management of abnormal liver tests.
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Here at Richmond Gastroenterology Centre, we strive to ensure the most efficient claims process for our patients. To that end, our team works diligently with their insurers to obtain Letters of Guarantee and pre-authorization certificates prior to any procedures.
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Dr. John Hsiang is an Accredited Specialist Across All Private Hospitals in Singapore.