Blood in stool is related to many factors. It can be nothing to worry about, or it can indicate a serious medical condition. The amount of blood passed can vary from person to person, and is dependent on the cause of the bleeding. In extreme cases, there may be a great deal of blood in the stool, which is a cause for concern and should be checked out by a doctor immediately.
Blood in stool indicates that there is bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract. Blood in the stool can appear as bright red, black or maroon in color. The shade of the blood is dependent on the location of the bleeding, with black blood being farther up the digestive tract, bright red being lower and maroon coming from somewhere in between.
The medical term for fresh blood in stool is hematochezia, which is a common occurrence, affecting up to 15% of adults. This type of bleeding can be visible in the toilet, or on the toilet paper.
It’s normal to worry and to ask yourself, “why is there blood in my stool?” so we’ve compiled a list of some common causes of blood in stool.
An anal fissure is a small cut or tear in the tissue lining of the anus. This is usually a result of injury and can easily happen in people who have a tight sphincter tone, which inhibits adequate relaxation of the muscle during a bowel movement.
Anal fissure can be painful, and bowel movements are usually followed by a burning sensation on the skin in the sensitive area. The most common cause of anal fissure is the forceful passing large and hardened stools.
Since the damage is around the anal area, bleeding from an anal fissure is bright red in color and is usually nothing to worry about, as the tissue damage will heal itself in a few days. If anal fissure is happening frequently due to constipation, an increase in water consumption and fiber rich foods can help.