What could be the cause of blood clots on passing motion?
I'm in my twenties and I have a history of constipation. My usual frequency of passing motion is alternate days. During stressed periods, I can go for days without and when I do pass motion, there is a bit of blood spotting. However in the last 2 weeks, I noticed blood clots when I pass hard stools (kind of reminds me of period) and blood dripping. Currently, I'm taking lactulose syrup to help. What could be the possible problem, and do I need to go for intensive tests?
Seeing blood in the toilet, or with wiping after passing motion is common, especially when you are passing hard stools or constipated.
Most of the causes of such bleeding are not life-threatening; common causes include hemorrhoids and anal fissures. However, the only way to be certain of the cause is to be evaluated with a proper history and examination by a doctor.
This is especially so in light of your most recent problem of blood clots. You should definitely highlight it as soon as possible to the doctor whom you are seeing.
In general, the colour of the blood you pass is indicative of the source of the bleeding. The lighter and "fresher" the colour of the blood, the closer the bleeding is to your anus.
Bleeding from higher in your digestive tract, such as the stomach, produces darker coloured blood because stomach acid turns blood black. Passing blood from the rectum that is dark red or includes clots usually indicates bleeding from higher up in your colon as well.
There are many causes of rectal bleeding, such as:
- Anal fissures (usually due to constipation)
- Colon polyps
- Colon cancer
The best test for rectal bleeding depends on:
- Your age
- Past medical history.
Some of the tests/exams that your doctor may perform for you are as follows:
1. Rectal examination — Sometimes a doctor can detect the cause of your bleeding with a rectal examination alone. Given that you are relatively young and in your 20s, this examination may be all that is necessary.
2. Anoscopy — Anoscopy allows your doctor to inspect the anus and lower rectum. It can be done in the clinic and does not require sedation.
3. Sigmoidoscopy — During a sigmoidoscopy, a doctor can examine the rectum and most of the lower large intestine. It can also be done without sedation.
4. Colonoscopy — A colonoscopy is a procedure in which your doctor inserts a thin tube with a light and camera at the end, via your back passage, to examine your entire colon. You will be sedated for this procedure.
Your doctor will be the best person to advice you on which of the above tests you need! Hope that helps!