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IBS Can Cause Blood in Your Stool

Published date: March 26, 2024 | Modified date:
by Dr Stephen Wangen


If you see blood in your stool, then you are rightly concerned. And many people immediately jump to the thought that it’s cancer. But there is a lot more to consider than that.

Many people with digestive problems describe seeing blood in their stool. Fortunately, it’s usually not cancer. But what are the problems that can cause blood in the stool, and how do you figure out what it is?

The primary person to see to help sort this out is a gastroenterologist, and most likely you will have a colonoscopy.  The colonoscopy will help you rule out most, but not all, causes of blood in your stool.

The most common cause of blood in the stool, by far, is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are irritated and inflamed areas that are either internal or external to the anus, and often cause a lot of pain and itching in the area as well. And they are generally aggravated when you have a bowel movement, especially if you have constipation.

But there many other reasons that blood can show up, and these include the following that will be ruled out during a colonoscopy:

  • Polyps
  • Diverticulitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Rectal ulcers
  • Injury to the rectum
  • Fissures
  • And colorectal cancers

And you probably want to know what the difference is between all of these and how you can tell the difference on your own. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell the difference between any of these based on symptoms alone. That’s why you have to go to the doctor and have a colonoscopy.

Blood in Your StoolBut fortunately, the chance that it’s cancer is relatively low.

Now what if you have a colonoscopy and nothing shows up?  That’s good news, but it still doesn’t explain why there is blood in your stool. And there is one more cause that often gets overlooked, and that is IBS.

Even though studies have shown that sometimes people with IBS have blood in their stool, doctors almost never mention this, and you are likely to read online that IBS does not involve blood in the stool. That is usually true, but not always true.  And I’ve seen this many time in my career.

And this is good news. Because when this is the case, it’s usually very treatable, and once we help you figure out what is causing your IBS, the digestive tract will heal and you will no longer have blood in your stool. And that is true whether it’s IBS-C or IBS-D, because either can lead to blood in the stool, or even just IBS pain with a normal bm.

So if you have IBS and blood in your stool and your colonoscopy did not explain why, contact us at the IBS Treatment Center. Because we’d love to help you sort it out. We work with people all over the United States and most of the world via zoom and telemedicine. Because you don’t need another colonoscopy, you need IBS expertise, which is our unique specialty.

So the good news is that there is not only hope, there is an answer.

Related Content:

The Causes of Anal Itching, Including Candida, and How To Deal With Them
Why Do I Feel Better After My Colonoscopy?
Everything You Need to Know About IBS and Colonoscopies
Do You Need Anesthesia for a Colonoscopy
IBS vs. Colon Cancer: Understanding the Differences and Similarities