Understanding Blood in Stool: Causes, Symptoms, and When to Seek Help

Blood in stool can be a distressing and alarming symptom. In this article, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and steps to take when you notice blood in your stool. We’ll provide expert insights based on a conversation between Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon, helping you understand what to do when faced with this issue.

Identifying the Color of the Blood

When you notice blood in your stool, it’s essential to identify the color. Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon explain that the color can provide valuable insights into the possible causes of rectal bleeding.

When observing blood in your stool, the color is a crucial factor to consider. Bright red blood may indicate hemorrhoids or fissures near the rectum. Darker blood may suggest bleeding from higher up in your digestive system, such as the stomach or small bowel.

The Importance of Quantifying the Blood

The amount of blood in your stool can vary, and Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon stress the significance of quantifying it. Understanding how much blood you’re losing is essential for your overall assessment and potential treatments.

Quantifying the blood is challenging, but it’s crucial for evaluating the severity of the issue. Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon discuss the importance of pictures and how they can help in determining the quantity of blood.

The Role of Medical History and Family History

When discussing rectal bleeding with your healthcare provider, they will inquire about your medical history and family history. Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon explain why these details are essential in the assessment process.

Your medical history, family history, and any prior issues like hemorrhoids or colonoscopy results can provide valuable context for understanding your condition. This information helps the healthcare provider determine the best approach for diagnosis and treatment.

The Physical Examination

Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon describe the physical examination, which includes assessing your appearance and conducting a rectal exam. They emphasize the importance of this examination in diagnosing rectal bleeding.

A physical examination is a crucial step in the assessment process. Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon explain what healthcare providers look for during the examination and why it’s necessary, even if it may be uncomfortable for some patients.

Diagnostic Tests and Next Steps

If the physical examination does not reveal a clear cause for the rectal bleeding, diagnostic tests such as colonoscopy or endoscopy may be necessary. Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon discuss these tests and their significance in identifying the source of bleeding.

In cases where the cause remains unclear after initial assessments, additional tests like colonoscopy and endoscopy may be recommended. These tests allow healthcare providers to investigate further and determine the cause of rectal bleeding.


Rectal bleeding can be concerning, but understanding the potential causes and seeking medical attention promptly is essential. In this article, we’ve explored the insights provided by Dr. Brad and Dr. Leon, offering a comprehensive guide on blood in stool, its causes, and the steps you should take when faced with this issue. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment are key to ensuring your well-being.

At this point, you might also interest to another of my post, Understanding Hematochezia