Red Stool Misdiagnosis

Red stools can happen for any number of reasons that can be dietary, lifestyle, or medical. It is important to get the right diagnosis as the wrong diagnosis may lead you to treat the wrong problem.

Red-Colored Foods

If you are noticing red stool for the first time, think about the foods you have been eating. Here is a list of foods that cause red stool. Eating large meals can also make the liver work too hard and cause digestion problems.

Antibiotics and Hematochezia (Red Poop)

Antibiotics are known to cause some level of diarrhea because they kill off not only harmful bacteria but also the good bacteria that helps digestion, leading to digestive imbalances. The treatment is typically to maintain a healthy diet.

Black vs. Red Stool

Black stool can be a much more dangerous version of red stool, but is commonly mistaken for a darkened brown stool. When poop is very dark or black, it may mean that the bleeding occurred higher up in the digestive tract and the blood had time to dry and become blackened. Recurring black poop during bowel movements may be a sign of cancer.

Red Poop and Cancer

While black poop is known to be potentially quite dangerous, poop with red blood may mean that the bleeding is occurring lower down the digestive tract. While this can be due to non-threatening problems like hemorrhoids or anal fissures, it can also indicate problems with the colon and early signs of colon cancer.

Bleeding Disorders Causing Red Poop

Von Willebrand's Disease (women only) is a bleeding disorder in which women tend to have heavy periods that sometimes cause red-looking poop that is not blood. That condition is sometimes called "false hematochezia."

Chronic Digestive Conditions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is commonly over-diagnosed due to its common symptoms.

Lesser known causes that may be overlooked are:

Intestinal Bacteria Imbalance - one of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. The digestive system contains a variety of "good" bacteria that aid digestion, and they can decline for various reasons, leading to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea. The main treatment is to eat a diet promoting digestive health

Mesenteric Adenitis and Appendicitis (children) - since appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect). One of the most common misdiagnosis for children with mesenteric adenitis is appendicitis. Fortunately, appendicitis is often more dangerous.

Celiac Disease (men and women) - malabsorbtion disorder that often fails to be diagnosed because of other chronic digestive symptoms.

Food Poisoning and Red Poop

Sometimes red poop from food poisoning can be misread and scare people into thinking the cause may be a much more serious problem.

Common Chronic digestive diseases (men and women) - Peptic Ulcer, Colon Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or G.E.R.D (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) are sometimes causes of red stools. Other sometimes overlooked possibilities include Chronic Appendicitis, Carcinoid syndrome and Gastroparesis.

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