Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

Quick GuideWomen's Cancer Pictures Slideshow: 15 Symptoms Women Ignore

Women's Cancer Pictures Slideshow: 15 Symptoms Women Ignore

Bright red stools

  • The most common cause of bright red stool in adults is bleeding from hemorrhoids.
  • In infants the most common cause is an anal fissure or tear in the tissue surrounding the anus.
  • Other causes for bright red blood in the stool may be more serious such as:
  • Infections of the intestines
  •  Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • Diverticular bleeding
  • Tumors
  • Arteriovenous malformations (abnormal communications between arteries and veins in the wall of the intestine that rupture).
  • Brisk bleeding from the an ulcer in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum also may cause stools to be red instead of black if there has not been enough time for the red blood cells to be digested.
  • Red food coloring and beets can also give a reddish hue to the stool. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 4/13/2016

Longo DL. et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Professional. 18th edition. 2011.


1. iStock

2. Getty Images

3. Getty Images

4. iStock

5. iStock

6. iStock

7. iStock

8. Getty Images

9. Getty Images

10. iStock

11. Getty Images

12. Istock

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

  • Stool Color Changes - Color and Experience

    What color, texture, or smell; is or was your stool when it changed? Please share your experience.

    Post View 16 Comments
  • Stool Color Changes - Symptoms

    What symptoms did you experience with changes in stool color, texture, or form?

    Post View 5 Comments
  • Stool Color Changes - Contacting a Doctor

    What prompted you to contact a doctor about changes in stool changes?

  • Stool Color Changes - Causes and Diagnosis

    What was the cause of your stool to change (in color, texture, odor, etc.); and how was the diagnosis of the cause made?

    Post View 5 Comments
  • Stool Color Changes - Causes

    What was the cause of the changes in color, texture, or form of your stool?

    Post View 5 Comments
  • Stool Color Changes - Size and Shape Symptoms

    What symptoms did you have with changes in the size and shape of your stool, and if known, what was the cause?

    Post View 1 Comment

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors