There are few things more alarming then finding blood in your stool. The first thought is that something serious must be happening and one can’t help but panic as thoughts of all of the horrible things it could be run through your mind. Fortunately, not all blood in stool causes are serious.
This is not to say that you should brush it off and disregard it, but instead just remember that it may not be anything too serious.
Let’s look at some of the more common blood in stool causes now:
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels found in the anus or rectum which can cause bleeding during a bowel movement. They can cause symptoms such as itching, burning, and pain.
Generally when blood in your stool is a result of hemorrhoids, it is bright red in colour and is present on the toilet paper when you wipe or can even drip into the toilet during your bowel movement or immediately after.
A tear in the lining of the anus, known as an anal fissure, affects the area immediately inside the anus where your stool comes out. These can be caused by a hard bowel movement which you have trouble passing.
Along with causing bright red blood in your stool, anal fissures can also cause itching, burning, and localised pain.
Also known as diverticular disease, this refers to a fairly common condition in which tiny protruding sacs or pouches form in the lining of the intestine and become inflamed and infected.
While most people with diverticulosis don’t experience any symptoms, some can suffer from bloating, cramping, and blood in their stool. This is a condition commonly found during a routine colonoscopy and one which occurs in over fifty percent of Americans over the age of sixty.
Now let’s have a look at some of the more serious blood in stool causes:
Though colon polyps themselves are not life threatening, they can sometimes become cancerous and therefore should be monitored. They are basically small pieces of extra tissue which form and grow in your large intestine (colon).
They can cause blood in the stool which you will see as red streaks seen in your stool or your stool may look black.
This is the most serious of the blood in stool causes and the one that we most fear when we find blood in our stool.
The biggest known risk of developing colon cancer is age, being over the age of fifty to be more specific, followed by colon polyps are described above. Along with blood in stool, colon polyps can also cause thin stool, weight loss, and fatigue. In most cases, there are no symptoms until the cancer is in its later stage which is why regular screening is important.
If you are experiencing blood in your stool which hasn’t been caused by a known case of hemorrhoids, then you should seek the advice of a doctor to help rule out a more dangerous cause of the bleeding.