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Blood In Stool

Suhail Salem, MD -  - Gastroenterology

United Gastroenterologists

Gastroenterology located in Northridge, CA & Encino, CA

Even though it's scary to see blood in your stool, you shouldn't ignore it. At his practice in Northridge and Encino, California, Suhail Salem, MD, offers specialized care for a broad range of gastrointestinal issues that may lead to blood in your stool. If you have blood in your stool, call Suhail Salem, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

Blood in Stool Q & A

What is blood in the stool?

When there's blood in your stool, it indicates that you have bleeding somewhere in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Your GI tract is made up of several areas, including your:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine (colon)
  • Rectum
  • Anus

The amount of blood in your stool may vary depending on its origin and the severity of bleeding in the area. It can vary in appearance from a bright red blood coating to dark blood mixed with your stool.

In some cases, your stool can also develop a tarry or blackened appearance. It’s also possible to have blood in your stool without knowing it.

What causes blood in the stool?

You can develop blood in your stool for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures
  • Inflammation of your colon (colitis)
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Polyps or colorectal cancer

Esophageal issues like tears in your esophagus can also cause bleeding that appears in your stool.

How is blood in the stool diagnosed?

Dr. Salem diagnoses the cause of blood in your stool by performing a complete physical exam and reviewing your medical history. In most cases, Dr. Salem also orders a blood count to determine how extensive and chronic your bleeding is.

In addition to your physical exam, it’s common for Dr. Salem to perform an endoscopy to locate the exact location that’s bleeding in your gastrointestinal tract. This nonsurgical technique can not only help find bleeding, but it can also help treat it as well.

The most common technique for treating bleeding in your digestive system is endoscopy.

What is endoscopy?

Endoscopy involves a long flexible tube with a light and camera on one end that sends images of your GI tract to a monitor. During upper endoscopy, Dr. Salem passes the endoscope through your mouth and down your throat into your esophagus to look at the upper areas of your gastrointestinal system.

A colonoscopy is a type of endoscopy where Dr. Salem inserts the endoscope into your anus and passes it through your rectum into your large intestine to look for irregularities in the lower portion of your GI tract.

Don’t ignore having blood in your stool. Call Suhail Salem, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.