Did you notice blood in your stool the last time you went to the bathroom? It could indicate a bigger problem. In fact, 58% of people with blood in their stool are at serious risk from a condition other than colon cancer.
Keep reading to discover five causes of blood in stool.
With this list, you can prepare yourself and determine whether you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Continue on to find the answer to, “what is causing blood in my stool?”
What is Rectal Bleeding?
Rectal bleeding occurs when blood passes through the anus. The blood is sometimes a bright red, maroon, or black within the stool. Sometimes, the bleeding isn’t visible to the human eye.
Rectal bleeding can originate from higher in the intestinal tract, including the:
- Small intestine
- Meckel’s diverticulum
While rectal bleeding isn’t always painful, it can often accompany other symptoms such as abdominal cramps or diarrhea.
Most bleeding episodes are mild. They’ll likely stop on their own. However, you should still have an urgent care doctor evaluate your condition. Read this before your visit.
Moderate or severe rectal bleeding can cause symptoms such as
- Near-fainting or fainting
- Signs of low blood pressure
- Orthostatic hypotension
If you experience reduced blood volume, you might need emergency hospitalization and a blood transfusion. In fact, 30 to 50% of people with rectal bleeding are referred to a hospital.
You might experience blood in your stool because of a major health concern. Here are five possible causes of blood in your stool.
1. Anal Fissure
An anal fissure is a small cut or tear. This cut is located in the tissue lining of the anus and appears similar to a paper cut or chapped lips.
Passing a large, hard stool can often cause an anal fissure. As one of the common causes of blood in stool, anal fissures can cause pain each time you go to the restroom.
Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue in your anal canal that contain blood vessels. When these cushions enlarge, it can cause problems, including bleeding after a bowel movement.
3. Colon Cancer & Polyps
Benign tumors on the wall of the large intestine are called polyps. Colon cancer and polyps are both potential causes of blood in stool. Over time, this bleeding can cause moderate or severe iron deficiency anemia.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, you can develop inflammation, irritation, and ulcers in your colon. Besides causing blood in your stool, symptoms include:
- Belly pain/cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Skin sores
There is no cure for ulcerative colitis. However, there are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
This disease can impact your digestive tract by causing inflamed pouches to form in your intestine’s inner lining. These pouches are known as diverticula. When the diverticula or inflamed or infected, they can tear, which is what causes blood in your stool.
Don’t Ignore These Causes of Blood in Stool
If you’re experiencing rectal bleeding, don’t stress. Instead, visit your doctor to discuss these five causes of blood in stool. A physician can assess your symptoms before making a diagnosis.
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