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My dad is having diarrhea, constipation, and blood in stool, what is wrong with him?

Hi, I just found out my dad has been having alternating diarrhea and constipation for 4-5 years. I was shocked to know this and cannot understand why he's never told anyone or seen a doctor about this. But that is not what's on my mind now. I finally took him to the doctor and came home with a stool analysis test to be done for three days. Today is the second day he collected the stool. He told me there was blood in his stool and it wasnt the first time it happened. I am so worried now because the symptomps correspond to the symptomps for colon cancer. He is 55 and has lost some weight comparing to his weight couple years ago, but no obvious weight loss recently. We wont be able to get any result for another 1-2 weeks. I am hoping to get some suggestions from the experts on ZocDoc. Thank you.
I am sorry to hear about your dad's medical issues, and I can certainly understand why they are distressing. In order to provide an accurate answer, I would need to be able to review your dad's entire medical history, including prior testing, and also perform a thorough physical exam. Only after collecting this information would it be possible to make recommendations on potential causes of his symptoms as well as treatment options. I strongly encourage your dad to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss these issues. Diarrhea can be caused by many different conditions. Infections, either from a bacterium, virus, or parasite, can all cause diarrhea. Autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can cause diarrhea that contains blood. Other disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can cause both diarrhea and constipation. Hemorrhoids and anal fissures can cause blood in the stool. However, it is also important to rule out colon cancer in patients with rectal bleeding. Other issues, such as peptic ulcer disease, esophagitis, arteriovenous malformations, and gastritis can cause bleeding in the GI tract. In order to evaluate your father for these conditions, he will need to see a gastroenterologist. He may need to undergo additional testing, such as a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, or stool testing.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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