What Can I Do About Blood In My Stool?

Dear Ask The Doctor:  Hi im 23 yrs old. My question is that everytime i have a bowl movement i have blood in my stool n even when i clean up the paper is full of bright red blood should i be worry?? what should i do?? this been happening for like 5 months it goes away and it comes back

Dear Patient:  Blood can be a scary site when ever it does occur.  It is helpful to observe symtoms over a period of time if you are feeling otherwise well and stable.  Reasons to see your doctor sooner would be an increase in rectal bleeding over time, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or fevers  Bleeding for 5 months would certainly be an indication to see your doctor.
Bright red blood from the rectal area most often is an indication of Hemorrhoids in younger individuals.  Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your anal area. The hemorrhoid may be internal or external.
Conditions that may lead to hemorrhoids include genetics, pregnancy, obesity and heavy lifting. Other conditions that force you to strain such as constipation or persistent coughing also lead to an increased incidence of hemorrhoids.
The pain of hemorrhoids can be relieved by taking warm baths, applying ice to the area, using over the counter pain medications or hemorrhoid creams.  However after 5 months, I would not self treat and would get verification that it is a hemorrhoid before purchasing treatment.
If you are diagnosed with hemroids, future incidences of hemorrhoids can be reduced or prevented by maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fiber; drinking plenty of water; maintaining a healthy weight by exercising.
I hope this helps

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