Common Causes of Blood in Stool

Common Causes of Blood in Stool

Blood in stool, also known as rectal bleeding or hematochezia, can be a concerning symptom that warrants prompt attention and evaluation. While it may be alarming to discover blood in your stool, it’s important to understand that there are several common causes, ranging from minor issues like hemorrhoids to more serious conditions such as colorectal cancer. Recognizing the underlying factors contributing to blood in stool is crucial for appropriate management and treatment. In this guide, we will explore the common Causes of blood in stool. Keep on reading to know about all of this in detail!

Common Causes of Blood in Stool:


Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the rectum or anus that can cause bleeding, especially during bowel movements. They are a common cause of blood in stool and are often accompanied by itching, pain, or discomfort.

Anal Fissures:

Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the anus, typically caused by passing hard or large stools. These tears can bleed and result in blood in the stool. Anal fissures often cause sharp pain during bowel movements.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

Conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are types of inflammatory bowel disease that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Inflammation and ulcers in the intestines can lead to bleeding, which may appear in the stool.

Diverticular Disease:

Diverticula are small pouches that can form in the colon. When these pouches become inflamed or infected, it’s known as diverticulitis. Bleeding can occur from these inflamed pouches, resulting in blood in the stool. Diverticular disease is more common in older adults.

Peptic Ulcers:

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus. These ulcers can cause bleeding, which may appear as dark or black stools (melena) or as bright red blood in the stool. Peptic ulcers are often caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria or the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Colon Polyps:

Colon polyps are growths that develop on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. While most polyps are benign, some may bleed, leading to blood in the stool. Over time, certain types of polyps may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer refers to cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. It can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, resulting in blood in the stool. Colorectal cancer often presents with other symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss.

Infectious Diarrhea:

Certain bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections can lead to diarrhea with blood in the stool. Examples include infections with Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, Shigella, or Campylobacter bacteria, as well as infections with viruses such as norovirus or parasites such as Giardia.

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FAQ – Causes of blood in stool

1. What are the common causes of blood in stool?

Blood in stool can be caused by various factors, including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), diverticulosis, gastrointestinal infections, and colorectal cancer.

2. When should I seek medical attention for blood in stool?

It is advisable to seek medical attention if you notice blood in your stool, especially if it is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, weight loss, or fatigue. Prompt evaluation by a healthcare professional is essential to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

3. What lifestyle changes can help manage blood in stool?

Making dietary modifications such as increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, and avoiding spicy or irritant foods can help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Additionally, practicing good hygiene, avoiding straining during bowel movements, and incorporating regular exercise into your routine can contribute to bowel health.

4. Can over-the-counter remedies help with blood in stool?

Over-the-counter treatments such as stool softeners, fiber supplements, or hemorrhoid creams may provide relief for mild cases of blood in stool caused by conditions like hemorrhoids or constipation. However, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication or supplement, especially if you are unsure of the underlying cause.

5. How can I prevent blood in stool in the future?

To help prevent blood in stool, maintain a healthy and balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, and stay adequately hydrated. Regular exercise and avoiding habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also promote overall gastrointestinal health. Additionally, attending regular screenings for colorectal cancer, especially if you are at increased risk due to factors. This includes age or family history, is essential for early detection and intervention.