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Blood in Stool: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment


Blood in Stool: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment


Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Ragiinii Sharma

Written By Kirti Saxena
on Apr 5, 2024

Last Edit Made By Kirti Saxena
on Apr 5, 2024

Blood in Stool

Blood in stool? You are not alone. People often don't talk openly about it due to a lack of awareness. They feel shy talking about several health conditions. One such medical issue is blood in stool, which might be a severe cause of concern if ignored and not treated promptly. Do not panic if you notice blood in toilet paper and stool. It is important to understand the possible cause of blood in stool and seek medical attention when necessary.

There can be various reasons for blood in stool like IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease), Hemorrhoids, gastroenteritis, colorectal cancer, and more. Your doctor may recommend several diagnostic tests based on your symptoms to identify the cause of blood in stool. In this blog, let's learn more about common causes, from hemorrhoids to peptic ulcers, and delve into the treatment options of the diagnostic process. In this blog, you will understand what might be the cause of blood in stool and when to seek professional Help. So, take a deep breath, and let's explore this together. 

Possible Causes of Blood in Stool

People often panic after seeing blood in their stool. There can be various causes of blood in stool that might be severe and may cause life-threatening disease or, in some cases, due to certain infections. Here is what can be the possible cause of blood in stool- 


Hemorrhoids are most common in India. It has been identified that about 50% of the population would have hemorrhoids at some point in their life, probably by the age of 50. The risk factors of hemorrhoidal disease include chronic constipation, diarrhea, low fiber diet, straining during defecation, pregnancy, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, etc.

Treatment of Hemorrhoids

  • Drink enough water to avoid dehydration 
  • Include fiber in your diet
  • Avoid waiting long hours to go
  • Wash the area properly to avoid irritation and infections.

Anal fissure

The common cause of anal fissures is constipation and straining, passing the stool, diarrhea, anal sex, and bleeding with bowel movement. An anal fissure is often called an anal ulcer, as it may cause small tears at the lining of the anus. The condition is very common in young infants but can affect people any age. 

Treatment of Anal fissure

The anal fissure heals without any treatment, you just have to follow the below tips- 

  • Drink more fluids, eat more fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise daily to avoid strain during bowel movements
  • Try laxatives
  • Use pain-relieving medication

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases:

IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Diseases refers to two conditions, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.This is one of the common causes of chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The blood in the stool may be due to IBD, and you might notice symptoms like diarrhea, anemia, weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, bloating, etc, 

Treatment of IBD

There is no cure for IBD, but it can be managed with proper treatment. 

  • 5-aminosalicylic acids
  • Immunomodulators
  • Corticosteroids 
  • Proper nutrition and exercise
  • In more severe cases, the doctors may recommend surgery for the improvement of your health condition

Colorectal Cancer:

Men are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer as compared to women. Colorectal cancer affects the colon or rectum. The cancer develops from certain Polyps that grow in the colon's inner lining. Your doctor may recommend screening tests that may help detect the precancerous polyps before they become cancerous tumors. The blood in the stool may be due to colon cancer, which may cause other symptoms, including abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, changes in bowel habits, and more. 

Treatment of Colorectal cancer

  • Surgery
  • Ablation and embolization 
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy 


In some cases, infection may cause blood in stool. The bloody stool is due to infections like bacterial infections like E. coli, Clostridium difficile, and Salmonella, as well as parasitic infections like Giardiasis and amoebic dysentery. Talking of the symptoms of stomach infections, the most common ones include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and dehydration. 

Treatment of Infection

  • Antibiotics
  • Antiparasitic medications
  • Drink more fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Antidiarrheal Medication
  • Take probiotics to restore a healthy gut

Other possible causes of Stool in blood

Peptic Ulcers:

Peptic ulcers are the sores that develop in the stomach lining (gastric ulcers) or the upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcers). It may cause symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty passing stool. If you experience any of these symptoms, blood in stool or vomit, you must see a doctor immediately. 

Sexually Transmitted Disease 

Certain STDs may cause inflammation and infection in the rectal and anal lining—diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Herpes and HPV may cause sores and warts that may bleed a little. Many STIs need specific treatment to go away, so it's important to get them diagnosed.


Diverticulitis can indeed cause blood in stool, medically known as diverticular bleeding. It is one of the most common causes of lower gastrointestinal bleeding and may cause symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, and blood in stool. If you experience blood in stool and suspect diverticulitis, your doctor would require to know your medical history and symptoms for further assistance. A high-fiber diet and increased intake are recommended to prevent future episodes. 

When should you worry about blood in stool?

Blood in the stool may be a sign of serious concern. Therefore, it requires immediate attention. Here are some signs that warrant seeing a doctor sooner rather than later:

  • Heavy bleeding or passing large blood clots 
  • Bright red blood
  • Dark red or tarry black stool 
  • Pain in your abdomen, rectum, or during bowel movements.
  • You might experience changes in bowel habits like constipation, diarrhea, or both.
  • Nausea, vomiting, or feeling lightheaded.
  • Sudden weight loss.

In addition, if you have any pre-existing health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or a history of peptic ulcers, you may consult your doctor and seek medical attention promptly for any rectal bleeding. Early detection is key for many conditions. Consulting a doctor allows them to identify the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis of Blood in Stool

Your doctor will recommend you the diagnostic test based on your symptoms and medical history. Here are a few tests


  • Other diagnostic Tests 
  • Colonoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Upper Endoscopy
  • Barium Enema
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Enteroscopy

When to seek Help?

If you notice persistent blood in stool with other symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, and diarrhea, you must seek immediate medical Help. Consult your doctor about your signs and symptoms and take diagnostic tests as your doctor recommends. Consume a fiber-rich diet, exercise daily, follow a diet plan, and keep the anal area clean. Even if the bleeding is minor, don't ignore it or avoid the case. A doctor needs to evaluate persistent blood in your stool to rule out any underlying issues. Early diagnosis is key for many conditions. Consulting a doctor allows them to identify the cause and recommend appropriate treatment. If you're unsure or experiencing any concerning symptoms, it's always best to avoid caution and seek medical attention.

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