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Why Do I Have Bright Red Blood In My Stool?

Last updated: Dec 9, 2021 Post in Gastroenterology in Brooklyn by Century Medical & Dental Clinic.

Do not ignore the blood on the tissue paper or water turning red in the toilet bowl after your bowel movement, as it may be something serious or a sign of some underlying medication condition. Discovering bright red blood in your stool is an alarming situation, and you must consult a doctor regarding its possible causes and effects. Schedule an appointment with the best gastroenterologists at the Century Medical and Dental Center to have your condition accurately diagnosed with advanced screen tests and scanning procedures. The top-rated specialist doctors in NY come up with the best treatment options based on the diseases and injuries to your digestive tract and help. They keep an eye on your progress to ensure you enjoy long-term health and wellness free of irritating symptoms that keep you away from eating foods you love.

Bleeding can occur anywhere along the digestive or gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. The longer the blood has been present, the darker it becomes by the time you discover it in the toilet. According to healthcare experts, bright red blood in stool usually indicates that it comes from a lower portion of the GI tract, such as the colon, rectum, or anus itself.

Rectal bleeding is a symptom of several conditions that include:

  • Hemorrhoids;
  • Anal fissures;
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD);
  • Ulcers;
  • Colorectal cancer.

Rectal bleeding can vary from being mild to becoming a sign of some severe condition, like colorectal cancer. Blood in your stool can be of different colors, ranging from bright red to dark maroon black. It is necessary to consult a primary care doctor if you experience rectal hemorrhaging as it could be a sign of some critical medical condition that needs immediate care.

Here are some of the most common reasons you may have bright red blood in your stool.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins inside the anus. They occur inside the rectum or the final part of the colon and around the outer area of the anus. They are the most common cause of bleeding in the stool. They are caused by issues such as constipation or childbirth that put a strain on this area, leading to inflammation of the veins.

Hemorrhoids are not dangerous, but if they do not heal on time or become a problem, they can lead to bleeding. Other symptoms include anal itching and pain, but some people do not realize they have hemorrhoids until they start to bleed.

In certain cases, anal pain due to a blood clot developing in a hemorrhoid can also lead to bleeding. This condition is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. There are several treatment options to manage and treat hemorrhoids.

Anal fissures and abscesses

Also called anal ulcers, these fissures are abnormalities of the anus. The tears and abscesses are pockets of infection that result in bleeding.

Causes of anal fissures include:
• Straining while having a bowel movement
• Diarrhea
• Large stools
• Anal sex
• Childbirth

Anal fissures are very common in infants as they face constipation shortly after birth and in the next few weeks.

Along with blood in the stool, you may also experience pain, during and sometimes even after having a bowel movement, anal spasms, itching, and a lump or skin tag. Anal fissures should not be ignored and must be checked by a physician to prevent further compilations and identify any underlying issues that might be causing or aggravating their development.

Diverticular disease

This disease results from a weakening in the bowel wall that leads to the formation of small pouches or diverticuli. These pouches can protrude through the walls of your bowels which results in bleeding with stool.

Many people with diverticuli live a trouble-free life as they do not have any marked symptoms of this disease. If these diverticuli become inflamed and infected, they can lead to bleeding, fever, and cramping, and abdominal pain.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe several diseases of the colon and bowel, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

It occurs when the small or large intestine becomes inflamed. It can also result from poor blood flow, radiation, or infection. It can lead to cramping, fever, weight loss or anemia, and diarrhea along with bleeding. You may feel the urge to have a bowel movement even when there is no need for it.

Polyps

Polyps are benign growths of the lining of the colon that can grow, bleed, and even become cancerous if they are not addressed timely. A polyp can look like a mushroom that is growing out of the side of your bowel. Large polyps can bleed and make you suffer rectal bleeding. Sometimes this bleeding is not noticeable with the naked eye, which makes polyps tough to detect easily.

Ulcers

Ulcers are erosions or damage to the lining of the intestinal tract. They are formed by an imbalance in the number of digestive fluids in your intestines. They usually occur in the stomach and small intestine, and due to this reason, the blood resulting from ulcers appears dark or tar-like by the time it reaches the stool.

Sometimes an ulcer may erode an artery, and rapid bleeding can occur, and it appears as bright red blood in the stool. It is a dangerous condition, and you need emergency medical care as too much bleeding can result in lightheadedness and even fainting.

Colorectal cancer

It is the cancer of the colon or rectum. Most of these cancers are associated with small polyps, non-cancerous tumors that grow on the lining of the colon or rectum. A change in bowel habits, very narrow stools, abdominal pain or discomfort, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue are noticeable symptoms of colorectal cancer and should not be ignored as they can lead to life-threatening consequences.

Other reasons for bloody stool

Other possible causes of blood in the stool include:

  • Colitis or inflamed colon;
  • Constipation;
  • Gastritis or inflammation in the stomach lining;
  • Proctitis inflamed rectum.

Occasional blood in the stool does not signify anything dangerous. But it can be critical if it is occurring from conditions like diverticulitis or even colorectal cancer and requires accurate diagnosis and treatment. You must consult your primary care doctor if you notice blood more than once in your stool. The sooner you get treatment, the better chances you have of preventing the problem from escalating or developing complications.

When to See a Doctor About Rectal Bleeding?

Rectal bleeding is not a healthy sign. It may be a warning sign of another health condition that needs proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, seeing blood in multiple bowel movements accompanied by abdominal pain, cramping, and itching down there, seeing a doctor may be necessary. Do not hesitate to discuss your condition with the doctor as the presence of bright red blood in your stool is not good and timely action may prevent serious complications.

Treatment of bloody stools depends on the possible causes behind this condition. The doctor examines you physically and takes your medical history to understand why you are going through this problem. He may also order tests to check for the presence of virus or bacteria in the stool that may be causing the issue, along with imagining and endoscopic procedures to look for the source of bleeding.

If you experience rectal bleeding, visiting your primary care doctor is the best option. The expert and board-certified gastroenterologists at Century Medical and Dental Center will discover the reasons behind your bleeding and develop a plan to stop the flow and ensure it does not trouble you again. The specialist doctor focuses on your condition and recommends the best treatments and therapies that control the inflammation, pain, irregular bowel movement, and other problems that lead to bloody stools.

SHARE THIS POST Page Updated on Dec 9, 2021 by Dr. Dvorkina (Primary Care Doctor) of Century Medical & Dental Center
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