Blood in the stool is due to bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It is an organ system that absorbs food, digests it, and eliminates waste. Because bleeding can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, bloody stools can have a number of causes.
Blood in the stool usually looks blood red or brown. Blood that comes from the upper gastrointestinal tract and is digested as it travels through the intestines may look different. This blood is called mane and it has a black, tar-like appearance.
Because blood in your stool can be a symptom of something serious, like cancer, it should never be ignored. Always consult your doctor if you find blood in your stool. Physical exams, lab tests, and your personal history can help your doctor find the cause.
This article looks at some of the possible causes of blood in your stool.
Blood in the stool can have several causes. Hemorrhoids and anal fissures are irritating and painful, but not harmful.
Some causes of gastrointestinal bleeding may require surgery, such as upper gastrointestinal bleeding, polyps, angiodysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease, and ischemic colitis.
Sometimes blood in your stool can be a sign of something serious, like cancer. Blood in your stool can also be a false alarm.
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If you find blood in your stools, see your doctor. It can be scary to see blood on toilet paper or in the toilet, and you may be tempted to ignore it and hope it goes away. But since colorectal cancer is a leading cause of death even in people under the age of 50, blood in the stool should never be ignored.