Help! I Have Blood in My Stool

Though seeing blood in your stool is a bit alarming, the underlying cause is rarely life-threatening. That being said, you shouldn’t ignore the symptom.

Our team of experienced gastroenterologists at GastroMed in Miami, Florida recommends you schedule a consultation if you have blood in your stool so you can get an accurate diagnosis and treatment, and alleviate any unnecessary worry. 

What a bloody stool looks like

For some people, it’s easy to spot blood in the stool. You may see bright red drops of blood in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement or notice a smear of blood on the toilet paper after you wipe.

However, stools that are dark and tarry are also signs of blood in your stool. In addition, it’s possible to find red blood mixed in with your stool that may not be as obvious as the bright red drops you see in the toilet water.

Yet another possibility is having blood in your stool and not knowing it. This is called occult or hidden bleeding.You may learn about hidden blood in your stool after completing a fecal occult stool test, which is a colon cancer screening tool. 

Whether the blood in your stool is discovered after a bowel movement or from a stool test, you need to make an appointment to come and see us so we can identify the source of the bleeding. 

The many causes of blood in your stool

Though any part of your digestive system may cause blood in your stool, if you see bright red blood in the toilet bowl or the red blood coats your stool, it’s likely from an issue related to your large intestine, or colon. 

Some of the most common causes of blood in the stool include:

If your stools appear black and tarry, that may mean the bleeding is occurring in your stomach or small intestine. This type of bleeding may be signs of an ulcer or Crohn’s disease

Diagnosing your bloody stool

Like you, we want to know what’s causing the blood in your stool. The good news is, we have access to many innovative, minimally invasive and non-invasive tools that help us diagnose gastrointestinal conditions.

Before we run any diagnostic tests, we first review your symptoms, medical history, and family history. We may then conduct a physical exam and evaluate your anus to look for signs of hemorrhoids or an anal fissure.

We then request a stool sample, and may suggest an endoscopy to evaluate your esophagus, stomach, and upper portion of your small intestine, or a colonoscopy to look at your large intestine. 

To more closely examine your small intestine, our experienced gastroenterologists may perform an enteroscopy.

Once we’ve located the source of your bleeding, we provide care to address the underlying cause. 

You’re not alone if seeing blood in your stool makes you feel a bit on edge. But we can provide the answers we need to treat the problem and you need to ease your anxiety.

For comprehensive and compassionate gastroenterology care, call any of our Miami locations, or book an appointment online.

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