Seeing bright red blood in your stool can be alarming and concerning. It's a symptom that can have various underlying causes, some of which may not be serious, while others may require our immediate medical attention.
Dr. Oforbuike Ewelukwa and our team at Imperial Digestive Health Specialists PLLC in Katy, Texas are here to help you understand the possible reasons behind this occurrence and when it’s time to seek help.
Reasons for bright red blood in your stool
Bright red blood in the stool often indicates you have bleeding in your lower digestive tract.
There are several potential causes for this symptom, ranging from minor issues to more severe conditions, which may include:
Swollen blood vessels in your rectum or anus are a frequent cause of bright red blood in stool. Hemorrhoids can result from straining during bowel movements from constipation or increased pressure on the veins in your rectal area.
These are small tears or cracks in the lining of your anus, often caused by passing hard or large stools. They can lead to bleeding and discomfort during bowel movements.
Infections like bacterial or viral gastroenteritis can cause inflammation and irritation in your digestive tract, resulting in bleeding.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Conditions like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis can lead to inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract, causing bleeding.
When small pouches in your colon become inflamed or infected, they can bleed, leading to bright red blood in your stool.
While these causes are relatively common and might not be immediately dangerous, don’t ignore this symptom, especially if you experience additional concerning signs.
Symptoms of concern
Signs that indicate you need urgent medical attention include:
- Persistent or severe bleeding
- Blood mixed in with your stool
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in your bowel habits
- Unintentional weight loss
When you come in to see us, we’ll ask about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical examination. To diagnose the underlying cause accurately, we may also recommend further tests, such as a colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood tests, or imaging studies.
While bright red blood in your stool can be frightening, it doesn't always signify a severe health issue. However, it's essential that you address it promptly by making an appointment with our team to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Ignoring the issue or delaying medical attention may lead to complications or result in a severe condition that requires timely intervention.
Taking care of your digestive health and seeking our medical advice when needed is vital for your overall well-being. If you’re experiencing blood in your stool or have other concerning symptoms, make an appointment today by phone (832-639-5725) or book an appointment online at any time.