If you have blood in your stool, this could be a troubling sign that something isn’t right, or it could mean nothing at all.
If you notice blood in the toilet after you have a bowel movement or even after straining, you should reach out to our team at Imperial Digestive Health Specialists right away.
Our board-certified physician, Oforbuike Ewelukwa, MD, MSc, and the rest of our medical staff are specialists with the expertise to give you an accurate diagnosis for blood in the stool. They can begin to treat the root cause of your issue effectively.
Looking for causes of bloody stool
Here are eight reasons why you might have bloody stool:
Hemorrhoids are the most common reason for having blood in your stool. When the veins in your anus and rectum swell, they can cause rectal bleeding, in addition to itching and pain.
2. Anal fissures
Anal fissures occur when you have constipation or hard stools that cause small tears in the skin around your anus. You typically see bright red blood from them.
Polyps are benign growths that cause bleeding during bowel movements on occasion. They can also become cancerous. That’s why we encourage you to have a colonoscopy to determine if you have them. If so, we can also remove them at this time.
4. Colorectal cancer
If you have blood in your stool, it could mean you have a tumor in your colon or rectum. Look for bloody streaks in your bowel movement, or see if it’s unusually dark. It could mean you have bleeding higher up in your digestive tract.
5. Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease includes Crohn’s disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract, and ulcerative colitis that causes inflammation in your colon and rectum. Both can cause you to bleed during bowel movements, while causing other symptoms, such as diarrhea, pain, and weight loss.
If you have small pouches that form on the walls of your intestines, you have diverticulosis. However, when these little pockets get infected, you have diverticulitis. You might see blood on your toilet paper after wiping, and you might also experience cramping, fever, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.
7. Peptic ulcers
Peptic ulcers are sores that sit in the lining of your stomach and intestines that typically cause dark blood in your stool. You can also feel pain, have heartburn, feel nauseous, and need to burp frequently.
8. Esophagus problems
Your esophagus can be a source of why you have blood in your stool. One common reason is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you drink too much, you might also experience a tear in this tissue, which can cause bleeding.
Next steps for treating bloody stool
When you see blood in your stool, you might feel alarmed. The fact is, not all bleeding means something serious is going on. For example, if you see bright red blood, it could be a relatively minor issue. But, if you see dark red blood, there might be reason for concern.
Either way, it’s best to make an appointment with our team to rule out or confirm a diagnosis. During your evaluation, we spend time learning about your medical history and your symptoms to determine the reason for blood in your stool.
We can then determine the root cause of your condition and provide customized treatments that work.
If you have blood in your stool, don’t wait to make an appointment with our team. Call our office in Katy, Texas, today at 281-397-3499. You can also text us at 832-639-5725 or request a visit online.