Blood in the stool is caused by a haemorrhage from the intestine. Haemorrhoids, scratches, chronic intestinal inflammation and tumours in the intestine are the most common causes for blood in the stool. The first time you detect blood in the stool, you should always contact the doctor. If you have both pains in the stomach and blood in the stool, you must call the doctor immediately.
Blood in the stool can be a sign of serious illness – like cancer or chronic inflammation of the intestine. However, in most cases, blood in the stool is sign of less serious illnesses – like haemorrhoids or scratches in the rectum.
If you have blood in the stool the questions below are important:
Is the blood red or dark?
If you cut yourself in the finger with a knife, the blood that trickles will be red. If you leave the blood in a cup for some time, the blood changes colour and turn dark or black. So fresh blood is red while old blood is dark or black.
Haemorrhoids and scratches appear typically as fresh red blood. In the case of tumours and chronic inflammation of the intestine the blood will typically be dark and chunky.
Is there blood on the toilet paper, everywhere in the bowl or mixed with the stool?
Red fresh blood on the toilet paper after you have wiped yourself or red fresh blood everywhere in the bowl is often caused by haemorrhoids or scratches in the intestine.
Blood mixed with the stool or in chunks can be sign of inflammation or tumours in the intestine.
Are you in pain?
If there are pains near the rectum when you defecate it can be sign of a scratch in the rectum. If you have pains in the stomach, it can be sign of chronic inflammation of the intestine or tumours in the intestine.
Blood in the stool is caused by a haemorrhage form the intestine. It is important to locate the cause of the haemorrhage because it can be sign of a serious illness. Below are the most common causes of blood in the stool described:
Haemorrhoids occur frequently. Constipation can lead to the formation of haemorrhoids. Haemorrhoids are varicose veins in the lowest part of the rectum. If the varicose veins burst, it bleeds. The blood is fresh and red and will often splatter the whole toilet bowl in blood. Haemorrhoids can be treated with suppositories and ointment. If this is insufficient, surgery can be necessary.
Chronic inflammation of the intestine: Scratch:
Constipation or hard stool can lead to scratches in the rectum. When you defecate, the scratch expands and cause strong pains in the rectum. Fresh red blood in stripes in the stool or just fresh red blood on the toilet paper is also typical for scratches in the rectum. Scratches can be treated with suppositories and ointment. If this is insufficient, surgery can be necessary.
Chronic inflammation of the intestine appears in periods with bloody, slimy, thin stool and stomach pains, succeeded by periods with normal stool. Chronic inflammation of the intestine can be treated with medication. In a few cases, it can be necessary with surgery.
Tumours in the intestine can be benign (polypi) or malignant (cancer). Tumours in the intestine appear in different ways. The blood in the stool can be both red, dark or black. With stomach pain, weight loss or dark chunky blood mixed with the stool can be sign of tumours in the intestine. Tumours in the intestine are removed by surgery.