Blood clots in stool are usually the result of bleeding in the lower or upper intestinal tract. Occasionally, blood clots in stool come from small hemorrhoids or minor tears in anal tissue. Any signs of blood in the stool should be cause for concern and investigated as promptly as possible.
Bright or light red blood clots in stool are typically indicative of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract. Dark brown blood clots that have a tar-like appearance might signal that there is internal bleeding in the upper portions of the intestinal system, including the stomach. Sometimes infections are the cause of blood clots in stool and other times they can indicate a more serious condition, such as colon cancer.
Blood clots form as a result of coagulation, or the body's ability to repair ruptured blood vessels and veins. Platelets are drawn to the ruptured vein to create a barrier that prevents the release of additional red blood cells. Several platelets and protein help to secure the rupture until it can heal itself.
As sources of internal bleeding clot, some of the clots may inevitably be passed through an individual's stool. Any indication of bleeding from this area is considered abnormal. Chronic blood clots in stool could be caused by cancerous tumors or inflammatory bowel syndrome. Stomach cancer and colon cancer are two of the more serious causes of blood clots.
Diverticulitis is another probable cause of blood clots in the stool. This condition is considered to be an infection and occurs when a pouch forms along the walls of the intestinal tract. These pouches form as a result of weak areas in the tract's outer lining. Sometimes they can become inflamed, but the condition itself does not usually produce any general symptoms.
The condition of diverticulitis is more common in areas that have adopted diets that are high in processed foods. Increasing fiber intake is one way to help prevent the condition. Decreasing the amount of processed carbohydrates, such as simple sugars found in white pasta, is another way to help prevent the infection.
Parasites and stomach ulcers are also potential causes of blood clots in stool. Unhealthy bacteria can cause the lining of the stomach or intestines to break and bleed. Sometimes the bacteria might also cause veins to expand too widely, resulting in small ruptures. Cancerous tumors might lead to internal bleeding as they continue to grow and crowd out normal cell tissue.