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Whether you notice it while wiping after a bowel movement or getting a test your doctor prescribed, bleeding from stool might be disturbing. There could be a wide variety of causes for bright blood in stool, some of which are minor and do not require medical attention at all, while others might want immediate attention.
You might be wondering if blood in stool is bad. Hence, we have created this guide to explain the different reasons for bloody stools and what you and your doctor should do if you find a problem explained below.
When to Worry About Blood in Stool
If you notice blood in the toilet after pooping, on the toilet paper you use to wipe, or in the water in the toilet bowl, you might be suffering from rectal bleeding. It can be any color, including bright red, deep maroon, and even black.
If you see blood, you can use its color to pinpoint the source of the loss of blood.
- If you find bright red blood in stool, it’s likely coming from your lower colon or rectum.
- If your blood is a dark red or maroon color, it may be coming from a higher part of the colon or the small intestine.
- Melena (black, tarry stools) is a common sign of internal bleeding, most commonly from stomach ulcers.
- Bleeding from the rectal area is not always obvious to the naked eye and may require a microscope for diagnosis. Typically, a lab examination of a stool sample will reveal this kind of bleeding.
Rectal bleeding, however, is not always harmless and may indicate a more serious condition like colorectal cancer. Keeping track of how much blood you’re losing is crucial. Get it checked out by a doctor if you find a large amount of bright red blood in the toilet.
Why Are You Pooping Blood?
About 75% of your stool is water, but the remaining 25% is a mix of bacteria, mucous, dead cells, and undigested food. What ought not to be in your poop? Blood.
The symptoms of blood in the bowels can be caused by several different diseases or disorders, including cancer, and could progress rapidly if left untreated. Some are associated with autoimmune disorders, where the body’s immune system mistakenly assaults its own healthy tissue. Some people experience no pain or rather mild discomfort from conditions that develop over time, possibly as a result of their food or way of living.
Some of the conditions that cause blood in stool, not cancer are:
The term “anal fissure” refers to a split or tear in the skin around the anus and can be easily mistaken for a hemorrhoid. This occurs while passing a particularly solid, tough-to-pass bowel. Because of the additional strain, the skin breaks. You may notice blood in the toilet or experience pain when defecating if you have an anal fissure. Most cases of anal fissures heal by themselves.
A swollen or irritated anus and blood streaks on the toilet paper after many trips to the bathroom are possible outcomes of diarrhea brought on by illness, contaminated food, or overindulgence.
Infections spread through tainted food can cause severe stomach pain.
Diverticula are pouches that form in weak areas of the intestine and can lead to many unpleasant health issues. These diverticula have the potential to rupture the intestinal wall, resulting in internal bleeding and infection. Infection in these pouches can result in a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including a change in bowel habits, stomach pain, and fever.
Inflammation of the anal blood vessels causes hemorrhoids. About one in twenty persons have them, and half of all Americans over the age of fifty. They can show up on the exterior or interior of the anus as little pimples that bleed sometimes during a bowel movement or when wiping.
Hemorrhoid pain can be alleviated in several ways, including by taking regular warm baths, eating a high-fiber diet, and utilizing stool softeners.
Ulcers can form when there is an imbalance of digestive fluids in the intestines, which damages the lining of the digestive tract. These may bleed and cause you to defecate what looks like a tarry black stool.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
The intestines can swell up, either little or large, due to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of IBD. Inflammation of the digestive tract, seen as lumpy areas, is a symptom of Crohn’s disease. In colitis, the big intestine swells up. Fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, intestinal obstructions, and rectal bleeding are all possible symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
A polyp may appear to be a mushroom growing out of the intestinal wall. Rectal bleeding can be caused by polyps, especially if they are large and ruptured. Occasionally, polyps can develop into cancer if they are not removed. Rectal bleeding due to polyps should be evaluated because it can indicate colorectal cancer.
Colon or Rectal Cancer
Irritation, inflammation, and even bleeding might result from colon or rectum cancer. The blood might make the stool look darker or cause it to turn a bright red. Since colon cancer develops slowly, it is often curable if detected at an early stage. Rarer than colon cancer, rectal cancer can also be successfully treated if caught early enough.
There’s a chance that some of these problems could get better or go away on their own after a few days. However, you should always notify your doctor if you notice any blood in the stool.
What Does Blood in Your Stool Mean for a Woman?
Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum protrudes past or bulges out of the anus due to weakened rectal tissues. This condition is typically painful and frequently results in bleeding. The chance of getting a prolapse increases 6-fold for women over the age of 50 compared to the risk for men of the same age.
Blood in stool due to hemorrhoids is also more prevalent among women than men. Women who are pregnant, have chronic constipation, are overweight, or are above the age of 50 are more likely to develop hemorrhoids.
What Does Blood in Your Stool Mean for a Man?
Anal fissures (a tiny break in the anal canal lining) and chronic constipation are the most common causes of rectal bleeding in men. Hard stools. Hemorrhoids (swollen and inflamed veins in your anus or rectum) (swollen and inflamed veins in your anus or rectum).
For males, It’s normal to experience some bleeding after engaging in anal sex activity. Anal fissures occur when one partner tears the lining of the anus of the other. The next time the person engages in anal sex or has a bowel movement, the minor tears might cause bleeding and discomfort. Some people develop hemorrhoids after engaging in anal sex.
Why You Should Make a Doctor’s Appointment
It’s usually a good idea to call your doctor and schedule an appointment if you are bleeding from the anus with no pain. First, your doctor will assess the severity of the bleeding, and then they will determine the root cause.
The appointment is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have. Don’t feel awkward about discussing your bowel habits or poop in general. Even if it’s not pleasant to think about, being as honest as possible with your doctor about your symptoms is essential if you want to get better.
Keep an eye out on All American Hospice’s blog for more guides on diseases and illnesses.