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10 Causes of Blood in Stool (Pooping Blood)

causes of blood in stool pooping blood
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Blood in Stool

Blood in stool (often described as pooping blood) can be associated to a lot of factors. Its occurrence may either indicate a serious medical condition or not at all. There are several causes that can result to blood in stool or pooping blood.

The amount of blood will vary from person to person which is usually influenced by the core causative factor involved. In extreme cases, some people experience large amounts of blood in stool which would indicate the need for immediate medical consultation.

Hematochezia, the medical term for fresh blood in stool, is actually a common occurrence where up to 15% of adults within the last six months already have noticed the presence of blood on toilet paper after passing stools.

Studies have shown that a person mostly becomes aware of the bleeding only upon seeing spots on toilet paper or toilet bowl after a bowel movement.

It’s a common initial fear for an individual to wonder, “Why is there blood in my stool?“. There are actually different factors that could lead to the presence of blood in the stool and in fact, eating beets can make it look like you have bloody stools but not.

Causes of Blood in Stool (Pooping Blood)

What causes blood in stool

Foremost, we need to have a clear understanding on what does blood in stool mean? Blood in stool is a hint that bleeding is present in the digestive tract. The bleeding is usually described either as dark in color or bright red blood on toilet tissue or stool. But in some occasions, the presence of blood can only be determined by a procedure known as fecal occult blood test.

The causes of bloody stool can also be determined using several other diagnostic methods. It is usually started with a check on medical history and performance of physical examination.

Laboratory diagnostic procedures may include colonoscopy, nasogastric lavage, enteroscopy, radionuclide scanning, barium x-ray, laparotomy, angiography, and esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).

You should take a look at the DANGER signs of internal bleeding.

What causes black stool? The location of the underlying digestive tract bleeding influences the color of blood in stool. Dark, tarry stools (medically called melena) indicate that the site of bleeding is at the higher or upper part of the digestive tract. People often pertain to the experience as black stools or black poop.

A bright red color indicates that it’s been recently added to the stool (fresh blood in stool), suggesting that it came from a location that is close to the anal area or usually around the anus. Bright blood in stool means that bleeding is in the lower intestinal tract, such as the large intestine or rectum. It is usually described as red stool. Below are blood in stool causes that are most common.

1. Anal Fissure.

It is described as a small cut or tear in the tissue lining of the anus that results to injury on the area thereby the presence of blood in your stool. It can easily occur in people who have a tight sphincter tone, resulting to the inability of the muscle to relax as appropriate.

This can be a painful occurrence which is usually followed by a burning sensation considering that the skin in the area is sensitive. It is usually caused by passing large and hardened stool.

The tissue damage usually heals in a few days. Since the damage is around the anal area, the bleeding is described as bright red blood in stool.

Anal fissure is common during forceful bowel movement or constipation. But it can also occur secondary to sexually transmitted infections affecting the anus, the state of pregnancy, and the presence of inflammatory bowel disease.

Chronic constipation can be dangerous. In fact, it has been associated to increasing your risk of having a heart attack. It pays to be readily knowledgeable on the following best natural laxatives for constipation relief.

causes of blood in stool pooping blood anal fissure

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2. Piles (Hemorrhoids).

It refers to the swelling of blood vessels in the anus or rectum which can be painful and itchy. These appears as clumps or masses of tissue in the anal canal.

With hemorrhoids, mild bleeding may occur when passing stools and it has commonly made individuals very worried, “Oh no, I really do have blood in my stool”, thinking they have a very serious underlying condition.

Any person may experience hemorrhoids but it is more common in pregnant women and individuals between ages 45 and 65. Only 1 out of 10 individuals with piles needs surgery.

Besides bright red blood in stool, other symptoms include soreness, redness, swelling and itchiness around the anus.

Most people may simply have to seek for basic treatment options like increased water intake, changes in diet, and use of hemorrhoid creams. Learn about home remedies for hemorrhoids.

3. Anal Fistula.

An anal fistula is one of many possible reasons for blood in stool. It is a small channel that forms between the skin near the anus and the anal canal. It also often causes pain and bleeding when passing stools.

In some cases, anal fistula causes persistent drainage. Surgery is the only cure for the medical condition.

Other symptoms include irritation around the anus, swelling, redness, tenderness, discharge of pus, fever and constipation.

causes of blood in stool pooping blood anal fistula

4. Gastroenteritis.

It is a bacterial or viral infection of the stomach and bowel. It can result to diarrhea with mucous and blood contents (described by patients as bloody diarrhea).

Other symptoms include stomach cramps, moderately high temperature, headaches, and vomiting.

Episodes of loose watery stools are passed for about 3-4 times in a day. Many cases of gastroenteritis does not necessitate medical consultation because the symptoms usually disappear in a few days.

5. Peptic Ulcers.

It is the presence of open sores in the lining of the duodenum (upper portion of small intestines) or the stomach. It is often a bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori.

There are certain medication that can also cause peptic ulcers like ibuprofen and aspirin.

Symptoms include burning pain, heart burn, nausea, bloating, dark blood in stool, vomiting, and weight loss.

To view the symptoms of ulcer, click here.

Stomach Ulcer Symptoms

6. Diverticular disease.

The diverticula are small pouches that bulges from the wall of the colon. It is common condition and increases with age.

Diverticula doesn’t likely result to any concerns but may possibly become infected or bleed due to weakened blood vessels. The presence of blood in poop can be sudden which appears red or maroon in color.

Most people who have diverticular disease does not display any evident symptom. However, the most common symptoms include changes in normal bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation), lower abdominal pain, bloating, or blood in stool.

7. Bowel cancer (rectal or colon) or polyps.

Rectal bleeding is the early symptom of bowel cancer. Bowel cancer or colorectal cancer is a condition that affects the colon and the rectum. It’s also considered as one possible cause of blood and mucus in stool.

About 1/3 of colorectal cancers happen in the the rectum where 2/3 occur in the colon.

When the medical condition is identified at an early stage, in about 90% of the cases, the treatment will be successful.

On the other hand, polyps are small benign formations on the inner lining of the colon or rectum that likely bleeds.

Common symptoms include blood in stool (pooping blood), a change in bowel habit that lasts more than 3 weeks, a lump in the stomach area, tiredness, weight loss, and abdominal pain. However, many of these symptoms can be due to a different cause.

It’s best to observe for any of these unusual changes and seek for medical consultation.

causes of blood in stool pooping blood bowel cancer

8. Angiodysplasia (Abnormal blood vessels).

Angiodysplasia is the presence of fragile, abnormal blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract which likely leads to bleeding. It is a condition common in older people due to aging and degeneration of blood vessels.

The most affected area is the right side of the colon.

Symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath due to anemia.

Individuals with angiodysplasia may display bright red blood in stool that comes from the rectum. No pain is associated with the condition – a blood in stool no pain situation.

9. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).

Long-term conditions characterized by inflammation of the bowel lining and has been associated with mucus and blood in stool.

The higher portion of the digestive tract, starting from the gut, is the site of problem when it concerns Crohn’s disease (the inflammation causes deep ulcers and scarring). The large bowel and the rectum further down the tract is the site of impairment for ulcerative colitis.

The most affected area for Crohn’s disease is the colon and the small intestine. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea (often contains blood, mucus and/or pus), abdominal pain, fever, weight loss, rectal bleeding, and feeling of fullness in the abdomen.

On the other hand, ulcerative colitis (also known as inflammatory bowel disease) is characterized by the formation of tiny ulcers and small abscesses in the colon and rectum which usually occur periodically and associated with the display of bloody mucus in stool. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, rectal pain, fever, weight loss, malnutrition, and blood in diarrhea. The bloody poop will appear darker red in color.

causes of blood in stool pooping blood inflammatory bowel disease

10. Esophageal problems.

The esophagus is a tube connecting the throat to the stomach. The onset of bleeding is caused by tears or varices in the esophagus. Any type of liver disease can cause the development of esophageal varices.

The bleeding will result to dark streaks in the stools. Heavy bleeding can result to light-headedness, vomiting, and paleness.

So Important To Know!
What are causes of blood in stool?
How to prevent rectal bleeding (blood in stool)?
How is blood in stool diagnosed?
How is history check and physical examination performed?
What to do if have rectal bleeding (blood in stool)?
When to call a doctor?
What are available treatment options for blood in stool?


PS: Hit LIKE to spread the knowledge that blood in stool does not necessarily or immediately indicate that the person has cancer.


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