What Can Cause Constipation and Bloody Stool?

N. Madison

There are many problems that may cause constipation and bloody stool. Among the common causes of constipation are deficiencies in a person’s diet, such as an inadequate intake of fluids and fiber. Lack of exercise, some types of medications, and certain medical conditions can cause it as well. Bloody stools, on the other hand, may develop because of the irritation hard, compacted stools cause to bowel tissues or the anus. A person may, however, also experience bloody stools in relation to some of the medical conditions that also cause constipation.

Frequent constipation may be a sign of hypothyroidism.
Frequent constipation may be a sign of hypothyroidism.

Constipation is a fairly common problem that many people experience on occasion, though some may develop chronic constipation as well. This problem can have a range of causes, but among the most common are the insufficient intake of water and other fluids and the lack of adequate fiber in one’s daily diet. Sometimes people become constipated because of a lack of exercise, as a symptom of a food allergy, or in reaction to a medication. Chronic health conditions that affect the digestive system can also be at fault. Crohn’s disease, which is marked by inflammation of the bowel, is an example of a medical condition that causes difficult-to-move bowels.

A person's diet may cause constipation and lead to bloody stools.
A person's diet may cause constipation and lead to bloody stools.

Constipation and bloody stool symptoms sometimes develop at the same time. In many cases, people develop bloody stools because overly hard stools irritate or even tear the bowel or anus. Sometimes this happens when a person pushes and strains to make the hard stool exit the anus, but it can even develop when a person does not strain. Additionally, a person may develop bloody stools when he has hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins that protrude from the anus and are commonly caused by constipation and straining to have a bowel movement.

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An increased water intake can help treat constipation.
An increased water intake can help treat constipation.

A person can also have a medical condition that causes both constipation and bloody stool. This usually involves conditions that affect the digestive system, such as Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is marked by cramping, pain with bowel movements, high temperatures, and watery stools but can also cause constipation and bloody stool. Diverticular disease, which involves the development of pouches in a person’s colon can cause both these symptoms as well. Additionally, colorectal cancer can cause bloody stools and difficult bowel movements.

Constipation may cause hemorrhoids that protrude from the anus, which can in turn cause blood stool.
Constipation may cause hemorrhoids that protrude from the anus, which can in turn cause blood stool.

It is difficult for a person to determine the underlying cause of constipation and bloody stool symptoms on his or her own. Instead, a person who experiences these symptoms is usually advised to see a doctor for evaluation. Even minor symptoms can sometimes appear as signs of a serious condition that warrants medical attention.

Laxatives can help relieve constipation.
Laxatives can help relieve constipation.
Occasional constipation is generally no cause for concern.
Occasional constipation is generally no cause for concern.

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