I had dinner with a friend of mine who’s been going through a very stressful time: emotional stress; challenges with kids and homelife, and physical stress; not sleeping well and lots of travel. In the last couple of weeks, she’s noticed blood in her stool a few times. Sometimes it’s part of the feces, but then she’s also seen some loose blood in the toilet bowl. She asked for my advice.

She doesn’t have an anal fissure or external hemorrhoids. So that leaves two possibilities: Internal hemorrhoids or ulceration/wounding of the intestinal wall.

Internal hemorrhoids don’t usually hurt at all. If you don’t have any pain in your rectum, but find yourself straining to poo (even though the bowel movement may be soft or liquid), OR, you have a bowel movement and there’s no blood whatsoever and then all of a sudden, at the end, there’s anywhere from half a teaspoon to several tablespoons of blood; you may have a bleeding internal hemorrhoid. If you suspect this is the case, then I have very effective treatment instructions for both internal and external hemorrhoids.

Colonic bleeding – If you suspect the blood is coming from your colon (blood from your stomach or small intestine will be green or black by the time it exits your rectum – as will iron supplements and blueberries) then you may think you need a colonoscopy and to get in to see your doctor immediately.

Personally, if it were me…

1. I would see a Naturopathic or Integrative physician and I would only consider a colonoscopy after all other tests had been performed, or if I had a strong suspicion I might have colon cancer. My free Colonoscopy Dangers report has all the details, along with instructions of what you can do before and after a colonoscopy to protect against the damage.

2. I would either go on an elemental diet to rest the bowel and use the opportunity to create a healing spa for my gut. Or, I would use these well-tolerated food-based shakes to give my gut a break. Or, I would go on a half-elemental diet; so half of my intake would be