Blood in the stool refers to blood that can be seen when a person has a bowel movement. Sometimes this blood can only be seen on the toilet tissue and sometimes it can be seen on both the toilet tissue as well as in the toilet. When blood is present in the stool it often indicates gastrointestinal bleeding or rectal bleeding. Certain medical problems may cause blood in a person's diarrhoea if they are not producing solid stools. All causes of blood in the stool require medical advice and possible medical treatment.
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Gastroenteritis can cause blood in the stool. Gastroenteritis is a condition in which the intestines or stomach become acutely inflamed. In addition to blood in the stool, this condition may also cause nausea, weakness, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. If diarrhoea is present it may contain blood.
Internal bleeding can cause blood in the stool. Internal bleeding is defined as bleeding that is occurring internally, or inside the body. A number of things can cause internal bleeding, but the most common are trauma, bleeding ulcers and tears to the intestines or stomach. In addition to blood in the stool, this condition may also cause stomach pain, weakness and dizziness. Those who are bleeding heavily may lose consciousness.
Haemorrhoids can cause blood in the stool. Haemorrhoids occur around the anus and are defined as swollen blood vessels. They can protrude internal to the body or externally. In addition to blood in the stool, haemorrhoids may also cause anal swelling, anal itching, rectal bleeding and pain and discomfort. The pain and discomfort occur most often when sitting or when having a bowel movement. Some patients may also notice blood on their toilet tissue when cleaning up after a bowel movement.
Anal fissures can cause blood in the stool. Anal fissures occur when an area of the anal region is torn. In addition to blood in the stool, anal fissures may also cause bright red blood on toilet tissue or in the underwear, rectal bleeding and pain and discomfort. Most patients experience pain and discomfort when having a bowel movement, sitting or performing activities that stretch the anal area such as heavy lifting or bending over.
Ulcerative colitis can cause blood in the stool. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that affects the lower digestive tract. Those suffering from this disease will experience ulcers and inflammation that affects their rectum and colon. In addition to blood in the stool, this condition may also cause bloody or watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain, urgency to have a bowel movement, high fever, stools that are foul-smelling, mucus or pus in the stool, abdominal cramps or discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss, rectal bleeding, skin lesions, joint pain and dehydration.
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