Bloody stool is generally an indication that there is a bleed somewhere within the digestive tract (anywhere between the mouth and the rectum). Bleeding can be found after using the bathroom or during what is known as a fecal occult test (a test used to determine the presence of microscopic or invisible blood in feces).
The blood in the stool may vary in color. The color of the stool is typically an indication of where the bleed is occurring: the further up the digestive tract the bleed is, the darker and more vicious the excreted blood becomes. Bloody stool can be a symptom of a serious condition, so if you notice blood after going to the bathroom, you should meet with a physician at DHC so the cause of the bleed can be determined and addressed.
There are many reasons why you might experience blood in the stool. The causes can vary from common and mild conditions to more severe and rare conditions that require immediate medical attention. Bloody stool and rectal bleeding can be attributed to several conditions, such as:
The symptoms of bloody stool will depend on what is causing the bleeding. A person with blood in the stool may be unaware of the bleeding or might not experience any symptoms. Most causes of bloody stool are treatable and not serious. However, if you are experiencing blood in the stool, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation. Some common symptoms include:
It is important to determine the cause of bloody stool, as some causes can be serious and require treatment. Providing as much detail as you can about your bleeding will help your doctor determine its origin. For example, a black, tarry stool usually indicates an issue in the upper digestive tract, while a bright red or maroon-colored stool is most often associated with an issue in the lower part of the digestive tract. After completing an in-depth assessment of your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may order one or a combination of the following diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your bleeding:
In order to effectively treat bloody stool, the cause of the bleed must first be treated. To stop acute bleeding, an endoscopy may be performed to find the source of the bleed. Treatments may include:
Once the bleeding has stopped, a physician may recommend:
At Digestive Healthcare Center, our team of board-certified gastroenterologists is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of digestive health conditions and disorders, including bloody stool. We always use the most advanced technology and minimally-invasive techniques to ensure that patients are met with the highest quality of care. Each of our services will be tailored specifically to you and your needs, so you can feel comfortable and confident in the care you receive at DHC. Learn more about our gastroenterology services below, and contact us to schedule an appointment today!
Digestive Healthcare Center is committed to providing patients across New Jersey with comprehensive and compassionate gastroenterology care. Visit us at one of our three office locations in NJ, or schedule a virtual telemedicine visit today! We look forward to helping you live your healthiest and most comfortable life.