There are many reasons why stools may be bloody. DiverticuLOSIS is development of small outpouchings in your colon usually caused by excessive straining during bowel movements. DiverticuLITIS is a complication of diverticulosis. It happens when the diverticula become inflamed. When this happens, they may sometimes bleed. DiverticuLITIS is also usually associated with abdominal pain and fevers.
Other reasons for bloody bowel movements include (but are not limited to)
-Inflammatory Bowel Disease
-Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers)
Generally speaking gastrointestinal bleeding is divided into Upper GI bleeding and Lower GI bleeding. Upper GI bleeding is from esophagus, stomach, or duodenum (1st part of the intestine). Lower GI bleeding is from the jejunum (2nd part of the small intestine), ileum (3rd part of the small intestine), the colon, or anorectal region.
Upper GI bleeding usually manifests with dark tarry stools, whereas lower GI bleeding usually appears as bright red blood in stool.
If you are experiencing bloody bowel movements, I would urge you to consult a gastroenterologist
or a general surgeon
. Obviously if you suddenly feel sick, feverish, lightheaded and dizzy and develop sudden new abdominal pain in the setting of bloody movements, you should seek immediate medical attention.
In addition to blood draw labs, the most important diagnostic tests are upper endoscopy such as an EGD (which looks at the esophagus, stomach and duodenum), and a colonoscopy (looks at the entire colon). If you've never had a colonoscopy and are approaching the age of 50, I strongly urge you to get one even if your bloody bowel movements resolve before you see your doctor
. Colonoscopies are usually performed by gastroenterologists and general surgeons.