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What causes blood in stool? 43 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Bloody Or Tarry Stools

Bloody or tarry stools refer to a stool sample that is either dark red or black in color. Bloody or tarry stools can indicate bleeding or other injuries in your gastrointestinal tract. You may also have dark, discolore...

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Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins located around the anus or in the lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the anus; external hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus. Of the two forms...

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Peptic Ulcer

Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or rarely in small intestine. They are usually caused by H. pylori, excessive NSAID or alcohol usage, smoking, or stomach cancer.

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Colonic (Colorectal) Polyps

Colonic polyps are growths that appear on the surface of the large intestine. A person may have more than one polyp, and they may be flat or raised, benign or cancerous.

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The Many Sides of Bacterial Gastroenteritis

Bacterial infections are common causes of gastrointestinal infections. This type of infection is also called "food poisoning" and is often caused by poor hygiene or ingesting foods contaminated with bacteria.

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Colitis is inflammation of the colon, often causing discomfort and pain in the abdomen, as well as other gastrointestinal symptoms. Colitis has many possible causes, which determine the type.

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Constipation refers to infrequent bowel movements with hard, dry stools. Poor diet and dehydration are usually to blame, though certain diseases or other medical issues are possible causes.

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Ulcerative Colitis

In UC, the lining of the large intestine and the rectum become inflamed. This produces tiny sores or ulcers on the lining of the colon, often accompanied by diarrhea and cramping.

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Proctitis occurs when the rectum becomes inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. It sometimes causes a constant urge to defecate. It's treated with medications, lifestyle changes, and infrequently surgery.

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Rectal hemorrhage

Rectal bleeding is blood coming from the anus at the end of the digestive tract and may be associated with stools or bowel movements or seen in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper. Rectal hemorrhage, bleeding...

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E. coli Infection

E. coli is a type of bacteria normally found in intestines. But certain kinds of E. coli can cause infection and severe symptoms like diarrhea and dehydration.

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Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining or small intestine. They occur when the mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced.

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Gastritis is acute or chronic inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach. It's often caused by the bacterium H. pylori, but can also be the result of excessive NSAID, alcohol, or cocaine consumption.

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Food Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Food poisoning occurs when you consume foods contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Symptoms are usually uncomfortable but not severe. Serious reactions can be life threatening and require medical treatment.

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Ischemic Colitis

Ischemic colitis (IC) is inflammation of the large intestine (colon). IC occurs when not enough blood flows to the colon. Abdominal pain is a common symptom. Others are diarrhea, vomiting, and belly tenderness.

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Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, is caused by a number of different viruses. Its symptoms usually last for two to three days.

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Bleeding Esophageal Varices

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Bleeding esophageal varices occur when swollen veins in your lower esophagus rupture and bleed due to excess pressure. This condition is a medical emergency and must be dealt with promptly.

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Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a small cut or tear in the skin lining the anus. Childbirth, straining during bowel movements, or bouts of constipation or diarrhea can all tear the anal lining. Anal fissures are usually not a caus...

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This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Bleeding can refer to blood loss inside the body (internal bleeding) or blood loss outside of the body (external bleeding). It can cause bruising, pain, and symptoms of shock. Too much bleeding can lead to death.

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Diverticulitis occurs when the bulging sacs that usually appear in the lining of the large intestine get infected or inflamed. This usually causes abdominal tenderness on the lower left side, nausea, and diarrhea.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.