Discovering blood after a bowel movement is a worrying experience, especially if it’s accompanied by pain or difficulty evacuating. Rectal bleeding of any kind is abnormal and is a sign that something is wrong.
This article will explore some of the causes of rectal bleeding. We’ll let you know when blood in your stool is a symptom of a mild condition and when you should see a doctor.
Check The Color Of The Blood
The color of the blood may be an important sign in diagnosing your condition and telling you where the blood is coming from. As your gastrointestinal tract runs from your mouth to your rectum, any bleeding will have to leave through your bowel movements. So, if the blood is coming from higher up in the system, it will go through the processes of digestion and metabolism before it’s expelled. This means it’ll have a darker color. On the flip side, if the blood is coming from closer to your rectum, it might be maroon, a darker red, or even bright red.
Blood In My Stool: What Can Cause It?
There are several reasons why you might have blood in your stool.
- Hemorrhoids. The most common cause for blood in your stool, hemorrhoids are veins that have swollen and protruded from the rectum. They may also be visible near the anus, and while they’re not always painful, they tend to bleed.
- Anal fissures. Small tears in the tissue surrounding your anus can cause bleeding and make passing bowel movements painful.
- Ulcers. Ulcers anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract can cause bleeding, along with other digestive issues.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS). Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can cause bleeding, particularly in chronic cases.
Is It Serious To Have Blood In My Stool?
Often, the cause of rectal bleeding is not an emergency. Even if you have bright red blood in your bowel movements, this is likely a sign of hemorrhoids, which are not life-threatening and quite a common occurrence. You can help hemorrhoids heal by not straining when using the toilet, using a bidet or damp – not dry – toilet paper to wipe, and increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. Also, drinking more water is a great way to improve your digestion.
However, unless you’re sure that the blood in your stool is coming from hemorrhoids, you should visit a doctor for any blood in your stool. Bleeding can also be a sign of serious conditions such as colon cancer. Visiting a doctor and receiving an early diagnosis improves the possibility of treating cancer successfully.
A gastroenterologist is a doctor that specializes in conditions and disorders that affect your digestive system. If you’re worried about having blood in your stool, it’s a great idea to visit your doctor. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem based on your medical history and symptoms. If you have a more serious condition, a gastroenterologist will be able to administer the appropriate tests. Then, you can get started on treating your condition properly.
At the Gastroenterology Diagnostic Center, we have significant experience in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with our board-certified gastroenterologists, please give us a call at (281) 357-1977. We will be happy to help you enhance your quality of life and show you why we’re the best GI in Tomball.