Too many meds? Or something worse?
April 23, 2007 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Traveling health filter: I'm asking this for a friend who is working way...way...wayyyyyy out in the mountain regions of Pakistan with no access to proper health care at the moment. Definitely not for the squeamish...

A friend doing earthquake relief work wrote an email that I can't really answer but maybe those who are medically inclined can help out. She writes:

"OK…dear girlfriends who are not squeamish…need a worrisome (maybe) question answered. Today as I pooped I looked down and red blood just really coming out post poop. Enough volume so I thought I was having some diarrhea or something…but realized it was blood. Not a couple drips…a flow. I know black blood is the dangerous kind…but this was pretty substantial. Maybe just a broken capillary or hemorrhoid? No pain or indication that anything is wrong. My best second guess is that I have been taking cold meds (alka seltzer plus for colds)…had aspirin, plus my celebrex for arthritis, plus some ibuprophin for some extra joint pain coming from the rain and hiking. In other words, my blood is probably as thin as strawberry koolaid. Either that or it a delayed reaction from the de-worming tablets I took last week?? What do you think? You are the only ones I can ask."

In a later email she mentions it's not a straining-too-hard issue. Any ideas besides "get thee to a doctor" (which by the looks of the roads is more difficult than it seems!)?
posted by lil' ears to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
posted by seawallrunner at 10:33 PM on April 23, 2007

it could be cancer or a polyp or a hemorrhoid. without a camera up the bum, it's not possible to tell.

sorry to say it, but her only option is to get a colonoscopy. black blood means it's old, and higher up the intestines, nothing else. bright means lower and fresher. she needs to find the source.

although she may have thinned her blood, she'd be covered in bruises before she had rectal bleeding like that.

wish her the best of luck and tell her not to ignore it.
posted by taff at 10:50 PM on April 23, 2007

Aspirin often turns an asymptomatic hemorrhoid into a bleeding hemorrhoid.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:34 PM on April 23, 2007

Does she have any other gastrointestinal symptoms?

I had that but I was sick with paratyphoid fever at the time.
posted by konolia at 6:11 AM on April 24, 2007

Dehydration and change in diet might be factors, as well. Without getting into it, things... go.. more smoothly when you're hydrated and not under stress.
posted by mikeh at 7:11 AM on April 24, 2007

Could be ulcerative colitis. Seriously, get thee to a doctor.
posted by orangemiles at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2007

« Older Can a single homo adopt a baby?   |   Is raw honey from a beehive safe to eat? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.