Constipation and Blood in Stool
Diagnosis and Remedies

Is there a link between constipation and blood in stool? Yes. In fact, most cases of bloody stool are a result of constipation and the straining that goes along with it.

I remember the first time I saw blood in my stool. It sent a chill through my body. Seeing blood in your stool can be scary.

Yes, it is true that colon cancer is the third most common cancer, and it is often deadly. There are also other serious conditions, like an ulcer somewhere between your throat and your rear end. Also, a bacterial infection in your gut, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

But relax.  Chances are, its something simple.

Did you know that most people experience blood in their stool at some point in their lives? And as I said before, most cases of blood in the stool are a direct result of constipation.

The two primary causes of blood in the stool are:

1. Large, hard stools (caused by constipation)

2. Hemorrhoids (may be caused by constipation)

1. Large, hard stools

When stool spends longer than 18 to 24 hours in the colon, the colon tends to draw water out of the stool. The stool shrinks and grows harder. The longer the stool takes to make it through the colon, the larger and harder it gets. It can become quite large in size before it is expelled.

When the rectum has to stretch too wide to pass the stool, it can result in little rips in the anus, called anal fissures. What happens when your skin tears? It bleeds. Until the rips heal, each time you defecate you might see more blood. It will be bright red, and will only be on the surface of the stool.

I have had anal fissures after having to a pass particularly large stool. For the next few days it was a bit painful when I defecated and there was blood on my stool. But in a few days it healed and I stopped seeing the blood. This was a big relief.

Fortunately, the answer to anal fissures is simple. When you solve your constipation problem, the fissures will heal, and your constipation and blood in stool will go away.

2. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are specialized blood vessels located only in the lower part of the rectum and anus. Over 50% of people over 50 years old have inflamed hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids can be painful or itch, but you may feel no sensation at all with internal ones.

Straining to have a bowel movement puts a lot of pressure on area veins. Each time you strain, and the harder you have to strain, the more they can protrude.

When large, hard stool is forced over these veins, it can cause them to bleed. This is the link between constipation and blood in stool.

This blood is usually on the surface of the stool, since the stool is normally already formed by the time it reaches the last section of the colon.

My hemorrhoid

I had a hemorrhoid for years. But when I suddenly got control of my constipation, I stopped having to strain, and my hemorrhoid just disappeared.

In fact, taking a mineral supplement rich in magnesium revolutionized my bowel habits. I take the supplement when I get up in the morning, and an hour or so later I feel an urge to go. When I sit down on the pot my colon empties out quickly, usually in 5 to 10 seconds. This takes zero straining. No wonder my hemorrhoid disappeared.

5 Simple Remedies to Reduce Hemorrhoids

1. Stop the straining

If you have to strain to have bowel movements, you simply need to find a way to stop the straining. What you really need is a daily bowel movement, or you may have both constipation and blood in stool. Click here for help with overcoming constipation.

2. A better posture

According to Dr. Mercola, when you squat to defecate, it straightens the rectum and makes the puborectailis muscle more relaxed. This makes it possible to not strain and yet completely empty the appendix and cecum.

To reduce straining, you can get a stool or box to put in front of the toilet to put your feet up on. This can help you assume the more natural squatting position with your knees near your chest, which in turn can reduce straining and make defecation easier.

3. Spend minimal time on the stool

Back when I had a hemorrhoid, I noticed that if I spent extra time sitting on the stool it would cause my hemorrhoid to protrude. This happens because the rectum isn't supported like it is when you sit in a chair. So try not to sit on the stool any longer than necessary.

Of course, now-a-days I spend very little time on the pot. I simply take my magnesium supplement when I get up in the morning, wait for a good urge to go, then respond immediately. My stool is generally soft, not well formed, and I have a good urge to go. When these things are present, it only takes seconds to empty out. No more constipation and blood in stool. Plus, the magnesium has numerous health benefits.

4. Correct your diet

On this web page I list which foods tend to cause constipation. For instance, when I eat a lot of nuts it is just asking for trouble. Fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods tend to help alleviate constipation. I now include many of these healthy foods in my diet.

Two other common causes of constipation and blood in stool are:

• Undigestibles that scratch the colon wall

• Undigested pigments

5. Avoid indigestible sharp items

The classic example of this is chewing and swallowing sunflower seed, shell and all. Any sharp item you eat can potentially scratch the inside of your colon and make it bleed. This is especially true if you are constipated.

With large, hard stool, sharp edges can stick out and scrape you up. The resulting blood will usually be bright red. Fortunately, this damage should heal quickly.

Undigested pigments - a false alarm

One day I noted red in and around my feces. Alarms went off immediately, as I tried to reason this out. Then I remembered that I had eaten a bunch of beets the day before. Could it be that it was beet juice and not blood?

The next day the red color was gone. Beets just happen to be one of my favorite vegetables. The next time I ate beets I watched to see how it would affect my feces. Once again it had a red hue. It wasn't blood, it was beets.

If it is blood, when it hits toilet water it diffuses in the water, turning the water pink. The red pigments from red fruits or vegetables will just sit there in the water, and not combine with it.

Responding to Blood in the Stool

Analyze the blood

Are the following true?

  1. The blood is only on the surface of the stool
  2. The blood is bright red
  3. You have a problem with constipation

If so, there is a very good chance it is there because of an anal fissure or a bleeding hemorrhoid. Try and remember - did you have any stools recently that were large and difficult to pass. If so, you are probably seeing constipation and blood in stool.

If you do have a hemorrhoid, or your anus is sore when you defecate, or you just note blood on the toilet paper, chances are you just need to do something to clear up your constipation.

However, please, keep an eye on the bleeding. If it continues more than 2 or 3 days, you might want to see your doctor.

When you should see your doctor

Here are some cases when it might not be constipation and blood in stool abd a visit to the doctor are in order:

  • If the blood is a darker red to black in color or if the blood is mixed in with your stool. This blood came from higher up in your digestive tract.

  • If the blood precedes the stool.

  • If you bleed from the anus when you pass no stool.

  • If you continue to see blood in your stool.

Conclusion, constipation and blood in stool

In conclusion, the best thing you can do for constipation and blood in stool is to get rid of the constipation. Of course, the purpose of this website is to help you do just that. Please take a minute to look at the menu and see what more you can learn to help you.

(Return from Constipation and Blood in Stool to Signs of Constipation)

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