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Colorectal Diseases

Blood in stool

12/27/2007

Question:

I am 33 years old, and pretty healthy with the exception of being mildly overweight. I am 6`0" and about 220lbs. I have read some of the articles about blood in stool. I do not have any noticeable persistent abdominal pain but a handful of times, I have noticed a sharp pain in my left side underneath the bottom of the left rib cage, but it is typically short duration and occurs very infrequently. I have noticed blood in my stool for probably the past month. I have more bowel movements than historically normal (2-3 per day approx). Not all of them contain blood, but I`d say a majority do. The stool is typically light brown, not maroon or dark brown. The color of the blood is bright red, not dark red or maroon. The consistency of the stool is soft/malformed, but not diarrhea. I have also noticed what appears to be mucus from time to time. I have not seen a doctor yet, but am planning to if this continues into the new year. From an alcohol perspective, I drink beer, no liquor, and I probably drink higher than average, 12 per week approximately. From a tobacco perspective, I do use smokeless tobacco, and am working to quit. Stress level has been higher than normal over the past 30-60 days. I thought I would post my symptoms here to ask for guidance, before I see a physician. Thanks

Answer:

It's great that you have so clearly delineated a change in your normal habits and analyzed your lifestyle and risk factors. Good idea to discuss these concerns with the doctor that takes care of you, who can put your entire clinical picture together and make a recommendation about the best way to diagnose what is going on. After discussing your family history and doing a thorough physical exam, they may recommend a test to image your colon or upper digestive tract (colonoscopy, colonosgraphy, barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy). No reason to delay; make your appointment.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati