Going to the toilet and finding blood on the paper in or the bowl can be a worrying experience. You might suffer pain whilst passing a stool, or may just become aware of the blood after you have finished. Many people will pass blood in their stool very occasionally, and will think nothing of it. However, if it becomes a more regular occurrence, blood in the stool may be indicative of something more sinister and is an issue that should be checked out by a local GP immediately. Here we take a look at the potential reasons for blood in your stool:

Haemorrhoids

Probably one of the most common causes of anal bleeding is haemorrhoids or fissures. That is, the blood is caused as a result of a swollen blood vessel or a tear around the anus, which is irritated when stools are passed. In general, blood that is bright red in nature normally means that it is fresh and is likely to have come from somewhere near the anus, so fissures or haemorrhoids are usually a high possibility.  The chance of having fissures is increased if you are constipated and the stools are hard and difficult to pass.

Diverticula

Small bulges that form the lining of your bowl contain blood vessels and sometimes these can become weak and burst. The result is sudden, but painless bleeding and there may be quite a large quantity of blood in the stool.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is a type of bowel cancer and can start out as little growths of polyps. Sometimes in the early stages of this form of cancer, the only sign of anything being untoward is bleeding from the anus and therefore dismissing it as being caused by something more minor, can have dangerous effects. Especially prevalent in older individuals, any rectal bleeding should really be checked out immediately. The risk of developing colon cancer can be reduced by removing the polyps.

 

Crohn’s Disease

A fairly uncommon, but unpleasant illness that can cause anal bleeding. This long term condition causes the lining of the bowel to become inflamed, and can cause bloody diarrhoea.

Generally speaking, bright red blood indicates that there is an issue nearer the anus, with darker, sticky blood indicating that the bleeding has occurred further up the digestive tract, and could be an indication of something more severe.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when experienced blood in your stool or on the toilet paper. By visiting the Broadgate London Walk-in Clinic, they will quickly be able to determine whether you are suffering from a minor problem such as an anal fissure, or whether further examination and treatment will be required for something potentially more serious. Many people avoid visiting their doctor for these issues do to embarrassment about being checked out. However, doctors are used to performing anal checks on a regular basis and it is better to be slightly embarrassed for a short period of time, than let a potentially deadly illness manifest itself in your body undetected.