Most times, many people will usually ignore first onset of bloody stools until the next case happens again and again. With all the number of possible causes of bloody stool, only a few are known like constipation. Among children, seeing bloody stools is already a cause for concern, especially if the reason for it is Meckel’s diverticulum.
Many are not familiar with Meckel’s diverticulum simply because this health condition is not very usual. As a matter of fact, figures show that people with Meckel’s diverticulum comprises only about 2 percent of the population. There are also certain instances wherein people will go about their lives without knowing that they have Meckel’s diverticulum.
What causes Meckel’s Diverticulum?
So what exactly is Meckel’s diverticulum? Meckel’s diverticulum is one of the most common birth defects of the digestive system. This happens during the formation of the embryo. If some parts of the digestive tract fail to be absorbed once again by the body, this will transform into a little pouch at the end of the intestine. Meckel’s diverticulum is therefore considered a congenital disease.
Pressing Signs and Symptoms of Meckel’s Diverticulum
One of the main reasons why a person needs to be aware of Meckel’s diverticulum is that it can be really difficult and dangerous for children. However, the problem with Meckel’s diverticulum is that it is asymptomatic. In other words, the affected person will not feel anything unless the following symptoms appear:
- Rectal bleeding
- Melena or black stools
- Bloody stools
- Extreme pain in the lower abdomen
A person also with Meckel’s diverticulum may mistake the symptoms for appendicitis such as intussusception, intestinal obstruction, and volvulus. Once the Meckel’s Diverticulum progresses, the affected person may suffer from sleepless nights, given that the pain brought about by Meckel’s diverticulum is too much to take.
In children, the peak age for the signs and symptoms to appear is when the child is an infant and up to two years of age. If nothing was felt during this phase, it might happen again when the child is 10 years old. Boys are more prone at developing the signs and symptoms compared to girls.
One of the reasons why parents and physicians should address and be aware of Meckel’s diverticulum is that in children, the said disease can bring a lot of complications. For instance, if the child lost a lot of blood, he/she might go into a stage of trauma or shock. Moreover, serious complications might occur if the intestine will “dump” waste products in the abdomen.
Exams and Treatments Needed
If a patient begins to feel some of the signs and symptoms, going to a doctor is a wise move. The doctor will conduct the necessary exams to check whether the patient really has Meckel’s Diverticulum. This will also help the doctor assess what type of medical intervention and treatment should be conducted.
Some of the tests that are involved in this include the following:
- Technetium scan
- Hematocrit test
- Hemoglobin test
- Stool smear – This will help determine if there is really presence of blood in the stool. Sometimes, there are certain foods that when a person ate that will make his/her stool reddish that one can easily mistake for blood.
Regarding the possible treatment, most cases of Meckel’s diverticulum go away on its own so the doctors will just address the other health-care concerns that may worsen Meckel’s Diverticulum like constipation. But there are some people with the said disease who will have to undergo the knife, or in other words have a surgery done to remove the pouch in their intestine.