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What Causes Blood Clots in Stool?

Helen Akers
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Blood clots in stool are usually the result of bleeding in the lower or upper intestinal tract. Occasionally, blood clots in stool come from small hemorrhoids or minor tears in anal tissue. Any signs of blood in the stool should be cause for concern and investigated as promptly as possible.

Bright or light red blood clots in stool are typically indicative of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract. Dark brown blood clots that have a tar-like appearance might signal that there is internal bleeding in the upper portions of the intestinal system, including the stomach. Sometimes infections are the cause of blood clots in stool and other times they can indicate a more serious condition, such as colon cancer.

Blood clots form as a result of coagulation, or the body's ability to repair ruptured blood vessels and veins. Platelets are drawn to the ruptured vein to create a barrier that prevents the release of additional red blood cells. Several platelets and protein help to secure the rupture until it can heal itself.

As sources of internal bleeding clot, some of the clots may inevitably be passed through an individual's stool. Any indication of bleeding from this area is considered abnormal. Chronic blood clots in stool could be caused by cancerous tumors or inflammatory bowel syndrome. Stomach cancer and colon cancer are two of the more serious causes of blood clots.

Diverticulitis is another probable cause of blood clots in the stool. This condition is considered to be an infection and occurs when a pouch forms along the walls of the intestinal tract. These pouches form as a result of weak areas in the tract's outer lining. Sometimes they can become inflamed, but the condition itself does not usually produce any general symptoms.

The condition of diverticulitis is more common in areas that have adopted diets that are high in processed foods. Increasing fiber intake is one way to help prevent the condition. Decreasing the amount of processed carbohydrates, such as simple sugars found in white pasta, is another way to help prevent the infection.

Parasites and stomach ulcers are also potential causes of blood clots in stool. Unhealthy bacteria can cause the lining of the stomach or intestines to break and bleed. Sometimes the bacteria might also cause veins to expand too widely, resulting in small ruptures. Cancerous tumors might lead to internal bleeding as they continue to grow and crowd out normal cell tissue.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Helen Akers
By Helen Akers , Former Writer
Helen Akers, a talented writer with a passion for making a difference, brings a unique perspective to her work. With a background in creative writing, she crafts compelling stories and content to inspire and challenge readers, showcasing her commitment to qualitative impact and service to others.

Discussion Comments

By anon949871 — On May 07, 2014

Any time you have blood in your stool lasting more than a few days you must get it checked by a doctor. I put my problem off for almost a year until a colonoscopy revealed a giant stage 3 tumor in my rectum.

This includes symptoms like an itchy anus (who wants to complain about that?), small and frequent movements, diarrhea coupled with constipation, blood in the stool, or a feeling of never actually emptying your bowels fully.

The sooner you catch it the better your odds of survival and the fewer sacrifices you will have to make in order to survive.

By Br0kenB0dy — On Dec 04, 2013

I consistently get bloody stools and I'm worried about what's going on in my body. However, I feel fine, except for the pain when I go and afterward for an hour or two. I know the next step is to see a doctor, but I'm worried about the results.

By anon332949 — On May 02, 2013

I was told today by three doctors that they had never seen my condition before: that I'm producing abnormal blood cells within my upper intestines, which was discovered after an endoscopy. The colonoscopy produced no findings, so hemorrhoids were not a factor. The blood that passes is deep, dark red with a very snotty texture to it. I'm not anemic, either.

I was told today that it wasn't cancer either, so that was a relief, but like cancer, so I was advised that I would undergo a major operation which involved removing my stomach to get to the problem (almost as if it were a cancer surgery), I'm left feeling really unsettled about this as I still don't have a grasp of what I'm being told.

By shell4life — On Dec 24, 2012

Anytime a member of my family is passing blood clots in their stool, my mind immediately jumps to cancer. I've lost two relatives to this, and I'm always afraid of someone else getting it.

I have had a colonoscopy twice after seeing blood in my stool. So far, they've found nothing, but I'm always going to get it checked out when I see this blood.

By healthy4life — On Dec 23, 2012

@seag47 – The blood in the stool is either bright red or dark, depending on where the irritation lies. It could be anywhere in the intestines.

My dad has diverticulitis, and he has had this issue before. He has never lost a lot of blood this way, but his doctor told him that it is possible to quickly lose too much blood through your stool if you have diverticulitis.

Some people have had to be hospitalized and receive blood transfusions because of this. It would be so scary to lose a lot of blood through your rectum! I'd probably pass out at the sight of it.

By seag47 — On Dec 23, 2012

I didn't know that diverticulitis was one of the causes for blood in the stool. I have a cousin with this condition.

What color is the blood when it is caused by this? Should a person be concerned when they see it, or is it normal?

By Kristee — On Dec 22, 2012

I've always heard that having a dark blood clot in your stool is more serious than having a bright red one. This is because the blood comes from further within the body and is the color of “old blood” instead of fresh, like the kind that comes from a hemorrhoid.

I feel uneasy whenever I see any color of blood in my stool. However, I have had problems with hemorrhoids before, so if the blood is bright red, I don't schedule a doctor's appointment.

I can usually tell when the hemorrhoids are about to bleed, because there is pain involved. If I strain too hard during a bowel movement, I can irritate them and make them bleed, so I'm never surprised to see blood in my stool after this has happened.

Helen Akers

Helen Akers

Former Writer

Helen Akers, a talented writer with a passion for making a difference, brings a unique perspective to her work. With a...
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