Why is there blood in my stool?

Assuming you are in the right place and not here for the spoiler to Million Dollar  Baby, let’s start by saying the last thing you want to see after taking a poop is blood.

Similar to waking from a drunken stupor to find cuts in weird places on your body, unexpected blood in your stool is never a fun experience and you should take it very seriously.  Please note, if you are looking at what is showing up on the toilet paper you should also be somewhat alarmed, but should see Blood When I Wipe.

First off, we cannot stress this enough: if it last more than one day consult your doctor.  At NTG we know how to do research on Poop, we enjoy talking and writing about poop, but we have 0 years of medical experience.  Why are you still reading?

What does it look like?

Blood in your stool can be visible and obvious.  However, there can also be trace element of blood that can only be detected by a fecal occult test.

When you do turn around to admire your latest accomplishment and notice a reddish hue or a darker black tarry look to your fecal matter then that is a strong indicator you may have blood in your stool.

The darkness of the poop often varies based on where the bleeding occurs in your digestive track.  If it’s bright red, the cut or infection is likely closer to the opening of the anal cavity.

If you tell yourself I am not bleeding because my poop is black, you could be mistaken.  Actually, the higher up in your anal cavity a potential laceration is that might be causing the issue, the darker the color stool. So, if your poop is black and tarlike,that’s a good indication that there’s blood in your stool.

What causes this?

Very simply, if there is blood in your stool your digestive tract is bleeding somewhere.

Off the bat some people assume the worst (colon cancer), but you shouldn’t jump to this conclusion – it is often a relatively harmless laceration in your large intestine.

While colon cancer is one cause of bloody stool, it can also be caused from hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s), intestinal infections (from E.Coli poisoning or other food poisoning), or non-cancerous growths in the intestines.

Some other know causes include Divericular Disease, Anal Fissures, Colitis, Angiodysplasia, Esophageal problems and Peptic Ulcers.

A personal NTG story:

I once had bleeding in my stool after two days of intense diarrhea. The color went from brown to green to black. I was told black was the worst and that there was blood in my stool. Mine was caused by food poisoning. I still don’t know what I ate but having to provide a stool sample with tar oozing out my butt was an experience I never want to go through again.

It is ok to admit you look at your poops.  We all do.  You should be very proud of what you produce.  On that note, looking at you poop could save your life.