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    What causes blood in stool?

Posted on Fri, 28 Jul 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: small amount of blood on surface of stool today - not occurred in years. History of hemorroids but no recent issues until today. Have concern this may be something worse.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Blood on the surface of stool rather than mixed in is usually means that the bleeding happened near the end of the gastrointestinal tract, such as from a rectal tear from passing a large or hard stool, or from hemorrhoid irritation. Less common in someone your age (and presuming no colon cancer in a first degree relative) would be a growth in the colon. It can also happen from inflammatory bowel disease, but you didn't mention any symptoms that would indicate that.

I recommend you go in to see your primary care doctor who can do an exam of the anus and rectum to see if there are obvious causes for the bleeding.

If there is more concerning family history, or no evidence of abnormalities of the anus or rectum (such as a visibly irritated hemorrhoid), then your doctor may want you to have either a flexible sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy. I have had colonoscopies because my sister had colon cancer, and I can tell you that the prep is unpleasant but the actual procedure is not because you will be out, and will not have discomfort afterwards.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3136 Questions


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