In medical terms, blood in urine and stool indicates the presence of blood cells in them, and the condition is called hematuria. In some instances the presence of blood cells in the urine can actually mean that the person is suffering from something serious, other times it may not be that threatening and can be cured with medication.
Blood in urine and stool in normal amounts is not visible to the naked eye. Normal levels of blood are usually present and it means no harm, but if the blood is present in large quantities, the color will appear pinkish, red or dark brown. An average individual with a healthy urinary tract excretes more than a million blood cells via urine and stool every single day. Excess blood in stool and urine can occur once or many times in an individual's lifetime.
Hematuria is common in women; in men majority patients belong to the age group of 38-49. People suffering from an enlarged prostate or cancer might also suffer from high traces of blood in stool and urine.
There are many health conditions which can serve as a potential cause for blood appearing in stools and urine. Some common causes are disease, trauma, infection, tumors or some abnormalities. Under normal conditions, the blood quantity present in urine should not be visible to the naked eye.
Infection: Blood in stools and urine is mainly caused by urinary tract infection. This infection gradually swells up the urethra, bladder lining, ureters and various other renal tissues. This infection and swelling damages the blood vessels to such an extent that they become thin and delicate, which results in bleeding.
Trauma: Any kind of accident or injury can cause blood to appear in stool and urine. Vehicle accidents and injuries may cause a direct impact to the abdomen and lower back, which can cause some damage to the bladder and kidneys. In some cases, trauma can lead to temporary bleeding which could be a result of a bruised kidney.
Gastric Ulcers: Gastric ulcers can cause serious damage to stomach lining. Hydrochloric acid present in the abdomen can cause severe irritation to these ulcers. When small blood vessels in the stomach lining are damaged, they begin to bleed, and these blood cells are thrown out of the body in the form of stools, but by this time there is no oxygen left in these blood cells, which makes the color of the stool dark.
Enlarged Prostate: The prostate gland is located below the bladder and surrounds the initial part of the urethra. As men age, the prostate gland enlarges and compresses the urethra, which prohibits urine flow. The enlarged prostate and accumulated urine builds up pressure and destroys renal tissues which leads to the appearance of blood in stools and urine.
Different Cancers: Prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and renal failure are also contributing factors for dark-colored stools and urine. Tumors are the main reason of the breakage of various body tissues causing them to bleed, and frequent bloody stools can be a potential symptom of colon cancer.
The most common sign of hematuria is the color of urine which changes to pink, red or dark tar. Apart from the color change, the following symptoms may be experienced:
- Pain in the stomach and back
- Frequent urination
- Pain while urinating
- Fever with or without chills
- Rapid pulse
Treatment usually depends upon the cause of bleeding. In most cases, no clear reason is found for hematuria. A change in stool color doesn't mean that the individual is suffering from a life-threatening condition. If blood in stools and urine are accompanied with high fever and flank pain, it may be a sign of kidney infection. Patients are usually recommended to go on a balanced diet and drink lots of liquids. If the problem still persists, medical treatment is advised.
Most doctors don't consider hematuria as a serious threat, however, frequent occurrences of different colored stools and urine is a sign of caution and should be taken seriously.