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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What does presence of blood in stool indicate?

Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16699 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 21 Sep 2016 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I am 76 years old. 5'8" 175 #'s In pretty good health. I just went to the bathroom and passed some blood with my stools. There is no pain. What can be causing this? Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 51 minutes later
Brief Answer:
different possible causes

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Blood in the stool can be due to different possible causes.

The most common are: (1) hemorrhoids- if you have a previous history of hemorrhoids , then this can be a possible cause. Normally seen as bright red blood on wiping.

(2)divericular disease- this is common as persons age. Diverticula are out pockets or out pouches formed in the colon.
They can sometimes become infected or inflamed causing blood in the stool
The infection or inflammation can vary from mild to severe and treatment depends on the intensity

They are found by scope

(3)infection- viral or bacterial infection- usually diarrhea would be present

(4)cancer of the colon

(5)benign polyps- non cancerous growths can also cause bleeding to occur

(6)side effect of medication eg blood thinners

(7)inflammatory diseases such as crohns or ulcerative colitis

If you had a recent colonoscopy (within the last 3 to 5 years), it may not need to be repeated if you do not have a family history of cancer.

If you do not have a history of a scope/colonoscopy within recent years then it needs to be done to find the cause, even if the bleeding stops.

Though cancer is NOT the most common cause, it has to be ruled out. The scope also checks for the diverticular disease and inflammatory bowel disease

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions

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