Abdominal pain and blood in stool

What’s Causing Your Abdominal Pain?
Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question:
I have been to a gastroenterologist and ultrasound exam shows small stones and debris in middle bile duct (Gall bladder removed 18 months ago), but after exam by doctor now have to go for large bowl x-ray due to change in bowel habits, blood mixed in stool. What are they looking for?

Doctor's Response:
The presence of blood in the stool may be an indicator of many things including hemorrhoids, little outpouchings of the colon called diverticuli, polyps of the bowel, tumors, abnormal blood vessels in the lining of the bowel called arterio-venous malformations. It is less likely but possible that the blood is coming from the upper intestine, for example, from ulcers, stomach erosions due to aspirin or arthritis and pain-killing drugs (NSAIDs), etc. Anyone with blood in the stool should have a careful evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 3/6/2002

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