There are many possible causes of blood in stool. Some of the most common causes include:
- Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or rectum. They can cause bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
- Anal fissures: Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the anus. They can cause pain and bleeding during bowel movements.
- Diverticulosis: Diverticulosis is a condition in which small pouches develop in the colon. These pouches can become inflamed and infected, leading to bleeding.
- Ulcers: Ulcers are open sores in the lining of the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). They can cause bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD is a group of diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common types of IBD. Both diseases can cause bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
- Colon cancer: Colon cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the colon. It can cause bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
Other possible causes of blood in stool include:
- Food poisoning: Food poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. It can also cause blood in stool.
- Infections: Some infections, such as salmonella and shigella, can cause diarrhea and blood in stool.
- Medications: Some medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines.
- Constipation: Constipation can cause bleeding from the anus, especially if you strain during bowel movements.
If you notice blood in your stool, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions. Your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam. They may also order blood tests, stool tests, and imaging tests to determine the cause of the blood in your stool.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent blood in stool, including:
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet can help to prevent constipation and other digestive problems that can lead to blood in stool.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids can help to prevent constipation and other digestive problems that can lead to blood in stool.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements: If you have constipation, avoid straining during bowel movements. This can irritate the anus and cause bleeding.
- See a doctor for any underlying medical conditions: If you have any underlying medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids or IBD, see a doctor regularly to manage your condition and prevent complications.
If you have any questions or concerns about blood in stool, be sure to talk to your doctor.