Blood in Stool – Causes

Wondering about the blood in stool causes is normal whenever a person finds traces of blood in his or her feces, which usually makes one wary about the existence of a serious disease. A bloody stool could be a warning sign of a digestive problem, but this is not always the case. The stool may be tinged with blood due to a variety of reasons, and in some cases, the foreign color may not be blood after all.

A bloody stool requires a consultation with a doctor to determine the real blood in stool causes. He or she will conduct a thorough examination to come up with the right diagnosis.  The treatment is based on the individual needs of the patient, depending on what is causing the traces of blood to appear in the stool.

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What does blood in stool indicate?

A bloody stool is typically a sign of a digestive tract disorder. It also occurs following injury to any part of the digestive system. If a person frequently passes bloody stool, this calls for immediate medical attention because it could be a sign of a serious health condition.

What role does the color of the blood play in determining the blood in stool causes?

A blood-tinged stool is a marker of bleeding within the digestive tract. The hue of the blood provides insight regarding the location of the bleeding. This is very important for doctors to determine not only the location but the specific blood in stool causes as well. A bloody stool may come in two colors, which include:

  • Bright red

When the stool has a bright red color, the bleeding site is close to the rectum or anus. A bright red colored blood in the feces is either due to Crohn’s disease, anal fissure or hemorrhoids.

  • Dark red

When the stool has a dark, tarry red color, this is an indication that the bleeding originated farther into the rectum, perhaps in the duodenum, stomach and esophagus. This could be due to gastritis, esophageal varices, bleeding ulcer and tearing in the esophagus as a result of violent vomiting.

In some cases, the color of the blood can be only determined through blood testing. The bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract could be very slow to trigger rectal bleeding. Patients suffering from this type of rectal bleeding also suffer from anemia which is why blood is not perceptible to the human eye.

What are the causes of blood in  stool?

Blood in stool causes are numerous, and some of these are:

  • Anal fissures

Anal fissures occur when someone is having hard stools, diarrhea and constipation causing tears in the anal lining resulting to bloody stool. This occurrence is quite common among women especially after giving birth.


  • Hemorrhoids

These occur as a result of an inflamed blood vessel in the anus which is itchy, painful and sometimes bleeding. The stool is coated with bright red blood and equally found in both gender but is more prevalent in people aged between 45 and 65.


  • Inflammatory bowel disease

This is one of the common blood in stool causes which equally affects both men and women. Inflammatory bowel disease is a collection of inflammatory conditions affecting the small intestine and colon resulting to blood in stool.


  • Diverticulitis

This condition occurs due to the rupturing of the diverticuli within the colon resulting in tissue infection surrounding the colon. Sufferers will have to deal with fever, abdominal pain and tenderness. Doctors believe that the diverticuli burst as a result of weak colon or high pressure in the colon.


  • Internal injury

Injury anywhere within the gastrointestinal tract could give rise to blood-tinged stools which could be due to a damaged blood vessel.


  • Colon cancer

Colon cancer is what most people fear of among the blood in stool causes. People who are over 40 years old are at risk of having this disease. It is ranked the third and fourth cancer-related death in men and women, respectively; and bloody stool is one of the common symptoms for this condition.

How are the blood in stool causes determined?

The blood in stool causes are properly ruled out by the doctor by conducting a series of diagnostic tests such as endoscopy, barium studies, stool culture, colonoscopy and angiograph. The doctor may also request for an x-ray of the abdomen. Carcinoembryonic antigen test (CEA) may be conducted is the blood in stool is linked with cancer.

Blood in stool treatment

Effective treatment methods for blood in stool are available and these depend on the cause. The treatment may simply involve ingesting over-the-counter medications, or the more complicated surgical intervention to resolve the problem. Furthermore, the treatment is more effective when blood in stool causes is diagnosed early.

The blood in stool causes vary from one case to another and it is for this reason that patients should visit the doctor for proper diagnosis. Passing bloody stool could be a red flag for digestive problem that requires immediate medical attention. The patient should discuss treatment options with the doctor based on the diagnosis made and the patient’s overall health when designing a suitable treatment plan.

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