Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding) (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
In this Article
- Definition of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)
- What symptoms are associated with rectal bleeding?
- What are some of the causes of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- Anal fissures
- Diverticulitis, IBD, AVM, ischemic colitis, cancer, intussusception
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Ulcers or gastritis
- Esophageal bleeding
- Other causes
- When should I call a doctor for blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- How is the cause of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding) diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- Can blood in the stool (rectal bleeding) be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What are some of the causes of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
Blood in the stool can originate anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
Hemorrhoids are the most common cause of blood in the stool. Blood vessels located in the walls of the rectum can swell, become inflamed and bleed. Hemorrhoids can be caused by straining at stool, diarrhea, pregnancy, obesity and prolonged sitting on the commode. All these factors increase the pressure within the hemorrhoidal vessels causing them to swell. The bleeding is often associated with anal burning or itching.
Bleeding can also occur because of an anal fissure, or a split in the skin of the anus. Hard constipated stool may cause the skin to split. Other causes include pregnancy and anal intercourse. Anal fissures are also associated with other diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), cancer and infections. Anal fissures tend to be very painful, even when sitting.
Viewers share their comments
Get the latest treatment options.