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By Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates
November 11, 2015
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Blood in Stool  

Finding blood in your stool can be a frightening experience for anyone. Whether you find it yourself or as the result of a blood test, bloody stool can be the sign of serious medical problems. Luckily, that is not always the case. Your Suffolk County Gastroenterologist Blood In Stool can assist you in diagnosing and treating any problem you may have.

How do I know if I have blood in my stool?
In some cases, you may be able to see that you have bloody stool. It may be visible as bright red on the tissue or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement. On the other hand, you may notice a black tarry substance in your stool, meaning that the bleeding is higher in the digestive tract. Sometimes, blood in your stool is unable to been seen by the naked eye, and can be detected by tests ordered by your doctor.

What are some causes of bloody stool? 
There are many causes of blood in the stool, ranging from mild to severe. While not every case requires immediate medical attention, it is important to get any abnormalities or sudden changes checked by your doctor. Some common causes of bloody stool are:

  • Angiodysplasia: This condition makes blood vessels fragile and prone to bleeding, which can cause blood in the stool.
  • Anal fissure: Anal fissures are a small cut or tear in the tissue along the anus. They often make it painful to pass a bowel movement.
  • Colitis: Inflammation of the colon can cause bleeding or inflammatory bowel syndrome, or IBS.
  • Diverticular disease: Small pouches, or diverticula, form on the wall of the colon, and usually do not cause any symptoms. However, sometimes the pouches can become infected and bleed.
  • Peptic ulcers: These open sores in the upper intestine or on the lining of the stomach are caused by bacteria or long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Polyps or cancer: Polyps are benign, and could potentially grow into cancerous growths. Blood in the stool caused by polyps or cancer is not able to been seen with the naked eye.

What do I do if I find blood in my stool? 
If you can see blood in your stool, it is never a bad idea to have an examination or colonoscopy preformed by your doctor. If the bloody stools are accompanied by a persistent fever, weight loss, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, or you are over 50 years of age, you should have testing done as soon as possible.

The best way to find out if your bloody stool is the result of something more severe is to visit your doctor at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in Suffolk County, NY. Call (631) 289-0300 to schedule your appointment today.