Blood in stool: What does it mean?

It may be alarming to find blood in the toilet or after wiping. There are many possible causes, and some are relatively harmless, some require treatment, and some may warrant emergency care. Below, learn more about the potential causes of bloody stool, including those more common in children. besides, find out how doctors diagnose and treat these issues.

Color of stool

The interior of a public restroom door to accompany an article about blood in stool. contribution on PinterestThe amount of blood in stool can indicate the severity of the underlying issue. blood in stool may result from bleeding in the upper or lower gastrointestinal ( GI ) tract — and the coloring material of the blood can help indicate its source .

Black, tarry stool

Black, pitchy stool may point to a shed blood in the upper GI tract. As a general convention, the dark the rake, the higher the informant of the shed blood. The upper GI tract includes the mouthpiece, esophagus, abdomen, and upper part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. According to the American College of Surgeons, upper GI bleed is more coarse than lower GI bleed, account for about 70 % of all GI bleeds .

Bright red blood

This is normally a sign of a run in the lower GI tract. This section consists of the large intestine, rectum, and anus .


An injury to the GI nerve pathway can cause discomfort that leads to bleeding. In early cases, ulcers form, rupturing the lining of an organ. In either consequence, the blood passes out of the torso with the stool. specific health issues may be involved, such as :


Gastroenteritis is a across-the-board term for conditions that cause an upset stomach. Most of these cases result from a bacterial or viral infection, according to the United Kingdom ’ s National Health Service ( NHS ). Depending on the circumstances and symptoms — which can include bloody diarrhea — a doctor may refer to the infection as food poison or abdomen influenza .

Anal fissure

anal fissures are small, slender tears in the trace of the anus. They may bleed and cause trouble during a intestine apparent motion .


Hemorrhoids are swell veins in the lower rectum. Straining or passing hard stool can rupture these veins, leading to bloody intestine movements .

Peptic ulcers

peptic ulcers are open sores that develop in the lining of the abdomen or duodenum. A peptic ulcer that forms on a blood vessel may cause bleed and bloody stools. These ulcers can result from contagion with Helicobacter pylori bacteria or from the long-run practice of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) .


Diverticula are small pockets that can form inside the colon. They are prone to infection and excitement and can sometimes rupture and run. The aesculapian term for infection and inflammation of diverticulum is diverticulitis .

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory intestine diseases such as Crohn ’ randomness disease and ulcerative colitis can cause bloody fecal matter .

Anal fistula

An anal fistula is a small burrow that forms between the end of the intestine and the skin near the anus.

It typically develops when an infection near the anus causes plutonium to collect in surrounding tissues. As the pus drains, it leaves behind the fistula, which may continue to ooze pus or blood .


A person may experience GI bleed as a side effect of blood-thinning medications, such as :

  • warfarin (Coumadin)
  • enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • apixaban (Eliquis)

Anyone who takes a blood-thinning medication and has a bloody intestine movement should notify their repair immediately .

Colon polyps

Colon polyps can lead to bloody stools. These small growths may be benign or precancerous .


cancerous tumors of the GI tract can weaken the line of the GI tissues, causing them to bleed.

Bleeding in children’s stool

bloody fecal matter may be particularly park in infants. Some causes include :

  • Food allergies: Allergies to proteins in food or milk can cause gastroenteritis that leads to intestinal bleeding.
  • Structural gastrointestinal abnormalities: Issues that cause the intestines to become twisted — such as intestinal malrotation and volvulus — may lead to bleeding.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis: This serious disease causes inflammation and tissue death within the large intestine, and it usually affects premature or newborn babies. The disease can cause:
    • bloating
    • vomiting bile
    • blood in stool


A doctor will first ask how a lot blood was visible in the intestine movement, and they may besides ordering a test called a complete blood count to help determine the extent of the blood personnel casualty.

The adjacent steps depend on how much blood was lost .

Emergency situations

If a person reports a bombastic measure of blood loss and has a gloomy blood consider, the doctor may perform an pressing endoscopy. This involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a television camera at one end into the GI tract to look for the source of the run. An upper berth endoscopy involves guiding the endoscope through the sass and down into the upper GI tract. A colonoscopy is a shape of endoscopy that involves inserting the endoscope into the anus and through the lower GI nerve pathway. once the doctor has identified the source of the bleed, they can insert bantam instruments through the endoscope and use them to repair the damaged tissue. If the doctor is ineffective to identify and resolve the bleed, they may recommend surgical removal of all or character of the damaged area .

Nonemergency situations

If the bleed does not appear to be life sentence threatening, the sophisticate may decree or perform a :

  • Fecal occult blood test: This involves analyzing a stool sample for the presence of blood.
  • Complete blood count: This blood test can help determine the extent of blood loss.
  • Digital rectal examination: This involves examining the rectum manually, to identify hemorrhoids or other causes of bleeding within the rectum.
  • Endoscopy: This procedure allows the doctor to view the inner lining of the GI tract.


The best access depends on the cause and source of the bleeding within the GI tract. If run results from an ulcer, infection, or inflammation, the repair may prescribe medications. In some cases, operation is necessity to prevent far bleed. The doctor may perform it using endoscopy or colonoscopy. The operation may involve :

  • injecting medicines to stop the bleeding
  • cauterizing the site using a heat probe, electric current, or laser
  • closing off the affected blood vessels using a band or clip

When to see a doctor

If any of the follow occur, search emergency checkup attention :

  • a large amount of red or dark blood in a bowel movement
  • dizziness
  • extreme fatigue
  • a pale appearance
  • a rapid heartbeat
  • shortness of breath

These symptoms could indicate that the person is losing a dangerous sum of blood. Some symptoms are less austere but still warrant investigation. A person should see a doctor if they experience :

  • unexplained abdominal pain
  • pain when passing stool
  • a small amount of blood in a bowel movement


blood in toilet can be alarming, but it is not constantly a cause for refer. The induce may be relatively harmless and mend on its own.

however, if the bleed is persistent, search aesculapian advice. This is specially important if the run accompanies annoyance. Anyone who notices a lot of blood in a intestine movement should receive hand brake worry, particularly if they besides experience dizziness, tire, a rapid blink of an eye, or shortness of breath .

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