Can IBS Cause Blood in Stool?

irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Yes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause blood in the stool, although it’s not a common symptom of IBS. The presence of blood in the stool, also known as rectal bleeding, should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional, as it can be a sign of various gastrointestinal conditions, some of which can be more serious than IBS.

When blood is present in the stool of individuals with IBS, it is usually due to one of the following reasons:

  • Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels around the anus and rectum. They can cause bleeding during bowel movements, which may be seen on the toilet paper or in the stool. Hemorrhoids are a common cause of rectal bleeding and are often associated with IBS.
  • Anal Fissures: An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the lining of the anus, which can cause pain and bleeding during bowel movements. People with IBS may be more prone to developing anal fissures due to changes in bowel habits.

It’s essential not to dismiss blood in the stool as a simple symptom of IBS, as it can also be a sign of more serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colorectal cancer, or other gastrointestinal disorders. If you notice blood in your stool or experience any unexplained changes in your bowel habits, it’s crucial to seek medical attention and undergo a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. Your healthcare provider may recommend tests, such as a colonoscopy or a stool sample analysis, to help diagnose the source of the bleeding.

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