You have noticed blood in your stool and are a little worried. You may have heard that this type of bleeding is a sign of cancer. This is not always true. Cancer is unlikely to cause bleeding and pain in the lower part of the GI tract (gastrointestinal tract). Bleeding due to cancer will typically come from the lower right side of the abdomen, toward or past the belly button. Small amounts of bright red blood in your stool are common and can happen for many reasons. While having little blood is not unusual or dangerous, it is important to know the cause and get proper treatment as soon as possible to prevent a more serious condition or illness.
Keep reading to learn the most common causes of blood in the stool, and how to treat it.
Blood in stool is a symptom of a medical condition. These symptoms can occur with different conditions and co-exist with numerous health problems. The cause is often an obstruction or cancer of the digestive tract, as well as infection, or inflammatory bowel disease. Rectal bleeding is also a symptom of colon polyps and cancer.
What are the Causes of blood in the stool
Here are multiple causes of blood in the stool-
Due to Haemorrhoids
You may have noticed blood in your stool. Hemorrhoids are the most common reason for bleeding from the anus or rectum. They may appear as bright red dots or streaks within the stool or toilet paper, or as a small amount of fresh blood on the surface of the stool. It is best to consult a health care provider if you notice blood in your stool since there are other diseases and conditions that can cause it.
The most common cause of blood in the stool is due to hemorrhoids. This condition occurs when veins in the rectum or anus become swollen and inflamed. Blood may be visible on the surface of the stool, or it may show up on toilet paper after wiping.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in the rectum and anus, usually caused by pushing too hard or straining during a bowel movement. There are many symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, including bright red blood on the stool and anus.
Might be Anal fissures
Anal fissures often have no signs or symptoms. Mild cases may cause you to have small amounts of bright red blood on the toilet tissue when you wipe, especially after a bowel movement.
- Anal sex
- Large stools
- Straining while having a bowel movement
You may also experience:
- Anal spasms
- A lump or skin tag
- Pain during or after having, a bowel movement
Symptoms of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Blood in stool, also called haematochezia, is when you see blood in your stool. Blood in the stool can be alarming, but it is not always causing panic. It is a common symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a group of conditions that occur when the immune system attacks the lining of the intestines. Common symptoms include pain, weight loss, and diarrhea or constipation. Blood that shows up in your stool can be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but it can also happen for other reasons.
Blood in the stool is a symptom of IBD, but you can also experience other symptoms, depending on the cause. These include: –
- Weight loss
- Abdominal cramping or pain
- The urge to have a bowel movement when not needed
May be Colorectal Cancer
The first symptom of colorectal cancer is usually blood in the stool, which happens because a tumor sheds cells into the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer may also cause constipation, diarrhea, or pain in the lower abdomen.
In addition to bleeding from the anus, you may also experience:
- Unexplained weight loss
- A change in bowel habits
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Stools that are very narrow, like a pencil
Sign of Infection
Blood in the stool can be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal problem or it has its origins in an intestinal infection. The condition can be painful and cause you to lose a lot of blood. This in turn can cause your body to become weak and dehydrated.
Bacterial causes, which typically result in foodborne illnesses, include:
- The haemorrhagic type of E. coli, known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli
Other symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
Other possible causes
- Colitis (inflamed colon)
- Proctitis (inflamed rectum)
- Gastritis (inflamed stomach lining)
- Diverticulitis (inflamed digestive tract)
Conditions that may cause blood in the stool and blood in the vomit include:
- Gastric ulcers
- Duodenal ulcers
- Oesophageal varices
Gastric and duodenal ulcers are types of peptic ulcers. They are commonly caused by:
- Alcohol misuse
- Helicobacter pylori
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Knowing the cause of blood in your stool can ease the anxiety of not knowing. Ulcers, oesophageal varices, and bright red rectal bleeding are all causes of bloody stools that require medical attention immediately. The good news is most of these situations can be resolved with little knowledge and some medical intervention.
There are many possible causes of blood in the stool, and it is best to rule out more serious problems first. Several types of bacteria live in the digestive tract and may cause red blood cells to break down. This can cause tiny amounts of blood to appear in the stool. The presence of blood in the stool may mean that you are having a flare-up of ulcerative colitis or colon cancer. We will teach you about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options and allow you to ask questions in a respectful, non-judgmental environment.
Diagnosis of blood in the stool
Blood in your stool can have many causes, including colorectal cancer. Blood in the stool could be your only sign of colorectal cancer, but only a doctor can tell you if you have this type of cancer. Many things can cause blood in stool: Have any unexpected changes in your bowel movement? If so, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Blood in the stool can be a symptom of various conditions, which may cause abdominal pain and cramping. The most common cause is colorectal cancer, which can be prevented by having regular colonoscopies.
Blood in the stool (haematochezia) can be from serious causes or simple ones, so knowing the red flag symptoms may suggest where to look. Diagnosis begins with a complete medical history and physical exam. Your doctor may also test for anemia and inflammation, and order imaging tests such as a CT scan to look for tumors or growths in your digestive tract.
Blood When Wiping
Blood when wiping is a common complaint in people with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen, irritated veins in the rectum and anus. They may be caused by an increase in pressure in the veins (straining to move stool), or because of a decrease in the time between bowel movements. Also called piles, hemorrhoids tend to bleed easily and often during bowel movements and after physical activity, such as standing up or sitting down.
Treatment for blood in the stool
Blood in stool is a symptom of many medical conditions. Treatment of blood in the stool will depend on its cause. If your fecal bleeding is bright red, active, and occurring suddenly, then you should see a doctor promptly as this might be an indication of internal bleeding or blood disorder.
Treatment for hemorrhoids
Lifestyle changes can help ease or even prevent hemorrhoids.
- Avoid waiting too long to go
- Haemorrhoid prevention tips
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- Add fibre to your diet to prevent constipation
- Use wet wipes or wet toilet paper to clean the area completely and ease irritation
- Do not strain or force yourself to go, as the pressure can make it worse
Hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable, and even painful. Some situations that lead to hemorrhoid formation include straining too much to have a bowel movement, repeated diarrhea or constipation, heavy lifting, receiving an anal exam, or being pregnant. Lifestyle changes you can make to prevent and relieve hemorrhoids include drinking plenty of water, eating fiber-rich foods, wiping from front to back after a toilet visit, and sitting on the toilet for a few minutes after a meal or when you sense the urge to use the bathroom. OTC medications and over-the-counter topical creams are also good options in addition to lifestyle changes.
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