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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does consumption of tomato sauce cause red stools?

Answered by
Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

Posted on Mon, 22 Aug 2016 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hi, last night I had a bowel movement. Faeces were light brown/normal colour (several small bits rather than sausage like) but after about a minute a light red liquid appeared to settle on the bottom of toilet bowl. No red in stool as far as I could see and when I wiped only light brown normal colour on toilet paper. I was very worried/nervous and went to the toilet again an hour later and the same thing happened. No red when I first looked in but after about a minute light reddish liquid had formed/settled at base of toilet bowl beneath the stool. Didn't turn the whole water red be a red liquid settled at the bottom. It wasn't XXXXXXX red, more like a light bright red. Again nothing red on toilet paper upon wiping etc. Today I had a bowel movement and the water was brown and cloudy and I couldn't see my stool or base of toilet. Lifted stool out, light brown and squishy but fully formed. Had lots of red bits through it but these were red tomato skins not blood. I am very anxious. I am mainly concerned about the reddish liquid last night. Could this have been blood? I had passata and cherry tomatoes two previous days leading up to yestersday's bowel movements, is it possible for the liquid passata to appear in the toilet bowl as a reddish liquid? Thank you for your time.
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
not likely from tomatoes

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for your question.
I have looked at the photo you included and indeed this could be from blood. It could also be from food. Tomatoes and tomato sauce do not usually turn the stool red unless it is from the peel as you mentioned earlier. It is impossible to tell without doing some testing. If this happens again try to get some of the red material. Put it in a jar and take it to your doctor. They can do testing on it in the office to determine if it is blood.
However, even if it is blood, at your young age it is most likely from an internal hemorrhoid and not from anything more serious. Cancers in the colon are very unlikely at your age. Unless you have had a lot of pain and cramping it is also very unlikely to be an inflammatory bowel condition.
The safest thing is to go to your doctor and let them know what has been going on. They can give you a rectal exam in the office and look for microscopic amounts of blood in the stool. They could also give you some cards to take home to put some stool on that you then return to their office and they can develop them and determine if blood is present.
Since it has happened multiple times it is best that you see a doctor and have some testing done just to make sure there is no problem.
Dr. Robinson

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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