blood in poop -- food poisoning?

l 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

The Big Wiper asks:

My niece recently had a scare with some blood in her poop, but the doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics for her, telling her that she was likely suffering from food poisoning. That's a new one on me. How does food poisoning cause blood in the stool?

Dr. Adams responds:

Good question Wiper,

There are many different reasons that blood can appear in the stool. One of these has to do with certain infections. Some types of food poisoning or other intestinal infections are associated with bleeding. The main bacteria and parasites that can cause bloody diarrhea are Salmonella, Shigella, invasive E. Coli 0157, Campylobacter, Yersinia, and Entaomeba histolytica.

So why would I tend to suspect that bloody diarrhea is caused by an infection? Well, the history is very very important. It is important to ask about foods that were eaten in the prior few days, any history of travel, any sick contacts, fevers, sweats, aches, pains, vomiting, abdominal pain, and/or nausea. Most of these symptoms go along with an infectious process. In addition, an important sign of an infection seen when the vital signs are measured would be elevated body temperature (greater than 100.4). Blood work also is important as an elevated white blood cell count points an infectious cause of the bloody diarrhea.

Why do the bacteria and parasites I mentioned above cause bloody infectious diarrhea? The reason is that all of these microorganisms are INVASIVE. They not only infect and irritate the lining of the small and/or large bowel........they also INVADE the lining of our bowel and most will enter the blood stream. Many of these organisms also secrete toxins that cause further damage to the intestinal lining. A massive immune reaction commences in response to the infection, and this creates even more injury to the intestinal lining. The end result from all of this bombardment is bleeding, diarrhea, along with crampy abdominal pain, fever, and elevated white blood cell count.

Is there a treatment for infectious diarrhea? Sure there is. Antibiotics work very well. Typically, broad spectrum antibiotics will be used until the stool can be cultured for a specific microorganism.

Is there anything to be learned here? yes...........remember to cook your meat well.......wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom and/or before preparing any not drink water from streams or other non-purified sources....and if something looks bad or smells bad, it likely is spoiled, so do not eat it. Use common sense and you will stear clear of any intestinal infections.

Best regards,

-Dr. Adams

Dr. Adams is a resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at North Shore University Hopsital in Manhasset, NY. Got a question for him?

157 Comments on "blood in poop -- food poisoning?"

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Wow. Never had this happen. Except that time I reacted badly to some lambchops I ate.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

worried's picture

There is blood in my poop, i dont know what it could be from... ive had it for months, and its worrying me. What could it be? Should i see a doctor?

just some info's picture

Bleeding from the back passage is something that you should always see your doctor about, even if you are convinced it is piles or an anal fissure. The reason you need to be checked is that bleeding from the back passage can be a symptom of bowel (colon or rectum) cancer. If you don

anonymous's picture

I have experienced like one or two tiny spots of blood on the toilet paper after wiping for about two months now. I'm really worried and cant bring myself too see the doctor the blood is bright red but I have no other symptoms. I am only 19 and I noticed it stopped for a while when I changed my diet and started taking vitamins and eating more healthily. I have read the section on seeing the doctor and it scared the hell out of me I am female and dont have anal sex. I don't know if there really is a possibility of it being cancer

Chris Rockwell's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I am no doctor, but I do know that bright red is good. The blood is coming from the outside of your body. I am guessing you have a sore that you keep causing to bleed each time you wipe. Try wiping a little softer and see if it goes away after a week. If not, you might talk to a doctor.

Anonymous Not-A-Coward's picture

I am 13, haven't had my period, and there is blood on the toilet paper after bowel movement periodically. It has been happening for about 3 months. What is it?

KSaan's picture

Hi, I recently had a couple of spots of blood on the toilet paper - I have pain in my right lower abdomen which sometimes feels like a burning pain and other times it feels like someone is squeezing me just in one spot - it does not occur all over. I have also had nausea for about 7 weeks on and off - I have tried to relate it to different foods that I eat, but one day I eat something and it makes me sick the next day I can eat the same thing and not feel nauseas. I am seeing a doctor and I do have some tests booked for next week but if you could shed some light on what you think this could possibly be that would be great - I am getting over the whole nausea thing and am at my wits end as to what this could be.
Your feedback would be much appreciated.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

KSaan, sounds like either a tumor or appendicitis. Definately keep that appointment!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Anonymous Man's picture

I just took a poop and I could see blood in the toilet and when I went to wipe it was pure blood, is that okay?

runninggrrl2's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

I know that with dogs and cats, seeing visible blood in the stools that is red usually means hemrrhoids or something fairly superficial. We always watch for the dark red/black color of blood that is from higher in the digestive tract, since that's usually either a foreign body or some sort of tumor/ulceration.

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

Anonymous Coward's picture

my 2 year old neice has blood in her poop and its diarrhea what would this be from?

Anonymous's picture

For three weeks now i have been going poop about 3 or 4 times a day and it has been fairly runny (not diarreha though) but never too much poop at a time.. today I noticed that there was some fairly light red blood in the poop and when I wiped it was mostly light red blood the first wipe and then the rest of the wipes were normal no blood... it all seemed to have gone away about four days ago but now it seems to be back... could you advise me on what it could be causeing this problem, it is making me very uncomfortable.

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Poonurse and Dr. Adams! My god! How can you let all these questions go unanswered? Oh, the inhumanity of it, the needless suffering. Is there a doctor in the house? Medic, medic?


Anonymous Coward's picture

ok.. i duno.. out of nowhere yesterday night...i went to the bathroom and my stool had blood around it.. well in it i guess?? and wen i wiped there was blood on the toilet paper..WHATS WRONG WITH ME ?!?!! im too scared to see a doctor...NO WAY ....i dont have itching or only happned that one night...i am a female and i dont have anal sex but can it be from just having regualr sex really hard.?!?! like um.. truama? lol i duno and then 2day it didnt happen during my bowl movment...i read all these things online..and i dont know what to think.. im overwhlemed.. cancer....hemroid...piles...what do i have?!!!? i dont have an irritation.. it was just that one night.. i saw blood..

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Deat Ms. Coward,
By reading your post, I assume that you worry a alot. This can cause stress that can exaserbate ulcers. Try a little meditation, masturbation, or flatulation. That may help to calm you down. You should probably see a doctor too, but don;t go to the hospital. That place is full of sickos!
Presidential Overlord
Of Poopreportia

The Emir of Crapistan

Yes from NY's picture

I just went to the toilet and I was using the paper I saw a small light red clot of blood, I also wiped and there was more blood, but it wasn't mixed with the poop. I'm very worry, I never experience such a thing before.
For a few months now I been having some pain on my lower right side, before it was a permanent light pain, but now is no more. My appendice is gone for 10 years already, and that is the area that is on pain all the time.
Thanks for the help if anybody can answer me.

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

The currently-AWOL Logjam wrote, above:

"Poonurse and Dr. Adams! My god! How can you let all these questions go unanswered? Oh, the inhumanity of it, the needless suffering. Is there a doctor in the house? Medic, medic?"

Readers of this site need to understand that neither PooNurse nor Dr. Adams are with us anymore (nor, sadly, does Logjam appear to be, either).

Thus, DON'T DELAY TREATMENT waiting on a reply from this site. I am constrained to quote a post I made earlier today on another thread regarding this same issue:

"I always get into trouble when I wade into these PooNurse threads, but to quote the King James Bible, my "bowels are moved with compassion" when I see these poor sufferers with symptoms of serious medical problems seeking advice online.

"Mind you, it is better to come here than to do nothing at all, but the greatest gift PR can give to most of you is the advice to GO SEE A DOCTOR!!! Other than menstruation, the human body NEVER discharges blood for normal reasons. This is especially true when the blood source is internal, as with many of the cases described above.

"If you don't know what it is, or if it keeps on, you are simply playing Russian Roulette by ignoring it."

Danie's picture

Im 15 years old and today 3/13/06 i went to use the restroom and when i looked in the toilet there was blood in my poop. It wasn't really dark red but it wasn't really bright red either and there were no clumps of blood that i saw im really worried and i don't feel sick or anything i feel fine but i do work at the Humane Society and Canine Flu is going around and i was wondering if that could have anything to do with it and my poop isnt runny and it isnt hard... its normal im not nauscious i dont have a fever no vomitting or anything i feel fine and there isnt any pains or aches im hoping it is just food poison and i dont have anal sex at all! please e-mail me back on my e-mail me back ASAP!

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

The above sort of post just drains the fun out of PR for me. Working around animals, this young man's fecal bleeding could be symptomatic of anything from cholera to typhoid fever to avain flu, or any number of other maladies that could have him (as well as possibly others) terminally ill in a matter of days, if not hours.

And yet he sits around waiting for an answer from a poop humor site! Maybe this is evidence for darwinism after all.

I seriously do hope that anyone with a medical problem reading this site will go get the help they need. This is sort of a Dumpster crusade, so forgive my repeating this plea in multiple threads.

Anonymous Coward's picture

for the last five days i have been pooping probably a shot glass or two of bright red blood a day, but i believe it is ecoli or gastroentoritus, my 2 dogs and i enjoyed a very good steak acouple days ago and since then, i have had to take my dog in to the emergency hospital (she almost died from pooping and puking blood) and now me, is this an emergency or can a dr. appt in a couple of days suffice?

Bunghole In the Jungle's picture
l 100+ points

Didn't the vet tell you what caused the dog's condition. And, if both your dogs ate the steak and the condition was related to eating it, wouldn't both dogs have gotten sick?

It's not a Perry Mason mystery, Anonymous Coward.

keeping the whack in tally-ho...

789456's picture

Hey i just used the bathroom before and when i wiped i noticed a little bit of blood of the toilet paper. Should i be worried or see a doctor. Can it be anything life threatning?

tammie's picture

hi, just today when i poop, there was blood it my poop and the blood was even dripping out of my butt. This happens every once in a while i'm scared to go find out what it is? Do you know why this happens?

Double Flush's picture
k 500+ points

Please allow me to clear some things up for everyone.

Red blood means you have a wound outside or just inside, meaning you probably need to wipe softer and give it some time to heal. I apologize, but I'm not sure how to help the healing process along. Personally I just wipe softer and give it time.

If your poop is black and smells rancid, that is blood from farther inside, and you need to seek help PDQ. Try to see a doctor as soon as you possibly can. There is a chance that you might have ulcers or internal bleeding, though this isn't 100% of all cases. Pepto-Bismol can temporarily give you black poop, for instance.

Practicing the ancient Chinese art of double flushing... because sometimes, a single flush just isn't enough.

[Insert witty banter here]

Mr.protein shake blood pooper's picture

hi i was wondering if anyone has an idea to why after i have protein shakes sometimes i poop blood. i take protein shakes because i lift weights and want to gain muscle so i need more protein than what i would normally eat. any ideas would help thanks. and what kind of doctor should i see thanks.

Double Flush's picture
k 500+ points

Go see your regular doctor, who can refer you to an expert somewhere else if he can't tell you what's wrong. Seriously, make an appointment as soon as you can. You are not supposed to be passing blood, regardless of what you eat and drink.

Practicing the ancient Chinese art of double flushing... because sometimes, a single flush just isn't enough.

[Insert witty banter here]

Anonymous Coward's picture

why sometimes i have blood in poop then other days that i dont. I think i will give it till the end of the week and if it keeps up i got to make a doctors appointment.

afraid to poo's picture

I am a 20 year old female and for like a week now i have been having some pretty nasty poop experiences....very runny and full of bright red blood. it happens like 2-3 times a day and i feel sick to my stomach just before i have to go. I dont know what to think. After i wipe the toilet paper is red mixed in with my poop also. If i dont poop and i just wipe there isnt any blood like arround my anus, so i just dont kno...should i wait it out a week more or go to the doctor?

Sallie's picture

Hi. I'm 14 years old and I have gotten my period a few times but very irregularly. I have pooped blood twice now, the first time a couple of days ago and there wasnt a huge amount but there was more than a little on the toilet. Just now I went to the bathroom and there was no blood in the toilet but I wiped and there was blood on the toilet paper. Whats wrong? Is there anything I can do myself before visiting a doctor?

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

:-@ NO! All of you: NO! Go. To. The. Doctor...Call. Right. NOW! Puh-leeze!

Need of Serious Help...'s picture

Okay.. So I found out that I had E Coli around the summer of 2001. I never did anything about it, I was too embarassed. The problem has never stopped, and now, summer 2006, it's still here. But this year i've been experiencing some new things.. Worse things. For one, there is blood every single time I poop. ((Granted, the blood thing has been going on for like.. a year or so)). And sometimes, there will be A LOT of slime after I poop, and sometimes there is even blood in the slime. I've been feeling very very ill lately, stomach wise. I don't have diarehea, I don't feel nauseatied, my stomach just ACHES. And yesterday I bled the most i've ever bled from it, it literally soaked into the toilet paper three or four sheets, and it was about a quarter-sized circle of blood. I don't know what to do or who to talk to, i'm 17 years old and embarassed. This is the first time i've ever realyl had pain, and it's been going on for about 3 days now. I'm afraid that something could be seriously wrong.. Does anyone know what I have?

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points

Yes. I know what you have.

You have... to get your ass to the doctor. You should rather be embarrassed than dead.

Motherload's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

It is understandable to be embarrassed having to talk to someone in person about what is happening in your nether regions. However, as The Dumpster and Fart Poopie have said above, you really do have to get these problems checked out physically by a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. If you are under 18, and just can't bring yourself to say out loud to your parent or guardian what is going on with you, simply write it on a piece of paper and hand it to them. If you are on your own, you can schedule a routine check-up and just as easily hand the paper to the doctor once you are there. This won't completely eliminate the embarrassment for you, but it will be obvious to the person that you give the note to how you are feeling, and I am sure that every effort will be made to ease your discomfort with the whole situation. If your reason for not being seen is that you have no medical insurance or ablitly to pay, there are free clinics available in most communities. You can find these listed in the phone book under the health services section, or just call a local hospital and ask them where the nearest available clinic is located. The bottom line is that you really have to be seen to absolutely be sure what is going on. Don't put it off. Even if it is something serious, the key to recovery is early detection. The longer you wait, the worse it can get. And if it turns out to be nothing serious, well...just think how much better you are going to feel.
Always looking out for number two!

Always looking out for number two!

Motherload's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Sorry about how that comment came out. It is 3:00 in the morning and I apparently forgot what a paragraph is.
Always looking out for number two!

Always looking out for number two!

MOTHER OF 5's picture


lakergirlpoop's picture

I recently have had problems using the restroom and last night when I did I passed really dark stool. It was hard and it had dark green bluish slim all over it. What could be the cause of this. I know that I don't drink enough water and I have a lot of gas in my upper backand sometimes I feel dizzy.

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

I'm sorry. Did you say you have GAS in your UPPER back? Even dismissing the poop issue, it sounds like you need to see a doctor. Tomorrow.

Anomalous Coward's picture
k 500+ points

I'm also not a doctor. I do not play one on TV either. But if I were a Brit, and played a doctor on TV, I could say you have a bloody arsehole.(I like to say "bloody", it makes me feel European. Kinda. Nevermind then, damn it.) I would NOT say you were one, just that you had one. Which isn't to say you couldn't become one if you so chose to be. This is, after all, America - the land where you can become whatever you want. I'm becoming more and more demented. Help me. Please.

Anonymous Coward's picture

okay soo ive been feeling really sick in my stomach have random times were it hurts like hell. and when it smells ALOT more than usual. i was guessing i had diarria and when i went it was slimy but i just went and there was blood with slimy stuff and blood...theres no way m going to the!! is it bad?

gastricbysplash's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

OK folks - for the most part this isn't rocket science. There are a few things to try to see if they help your blood situation.....

If you have hard stools where you have to strain a lot and see a few spots or a streak of blood on the paper - drink lots more water and perhaps try a stool softener. Chances are in this case you have hemmorhoids they are ballooned blood vessels in your rectum (sometimes they are just outside the opening and can be viewed as lumps). If hard poop forces past them chances are they will get scratched or split a little since the walls are already weak and they will bleed some.

It sounds like a lot of people here are constipated - increase the water, eat fresh fruits and veggies (just the juice is not the same) and see if that doesn't help it out. If you don't see any progress within a week or so - go see the doctor.

To people with dark tarry stools - I had those with bleeding ulcers. Get your hiney to the doctor right away..... nothing to be messed with.

When you have bloody and mucousy stools (slimy if you will) get your butt to the doctor. You probably have some sort of parasite that needs to be treated.

Lots of time constipation causes a lot of gas and lots of abdominal pain.

Another thing to try if you are really gassy - examine your diet and try to relate the episodes to what you ate. Some people cannot tolerate foods such as dairy products. Try to do some intelligent detective work on your own.

My last best tip: If you have a sore butt and minimal bright red bleeding, use a pre-moistened baby wipe or at the minimum wet toilet paper to cleanse yourself. It keeps the abrasion down to a minimum.

I've had many, many years of experience in these matters - if you try the above suggestions and they don't help you - GET YOURSELF TO THE DOCTOR. That's what they make the big bucks for!

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

"...Anonymous Coward (not verified) -- 09.08.2006 --'okay soo ive been feeling really sick in my stomach today... theres no way m going to the doctor'..."

What do you MEAN there's "no way" you're going to the doctor?!? GO TO THE DOCTOR. Duh.

Or, if you'd rather spend your time putting your final affairs in order, that's fun, too.

Shitting Bricks's picture

UM I started having a bloody diarrhea type POO. Mostly blood than anything else. I've had a pain in my lower back as well. I Believe the cause of it might be that I heated up some left-over meat in a styrofoam container that was in the fridge for acouple of days. Can this have caused the damage?

Anonymous Coward's picture

Question: I have a large hemroid. It's painful at times, but very swollen. Last night when I went to the bathroom (no constipation) and had a normally formed poop I noticed an excessive amount of blood. Not your little blood on the toilet bit. A LOT of blood. I kept whipping and it would fill the entire paper. I did this several times and it kept coming, like having a mis-carriage. Unfortunatley I am not a woman. I am a man. It was bright red in nature. Sometimes dark but that could have been due to the fact that it was mixed w/ poop. Any suggestions? Am I dying? Ahhhh!

AssBlaster2000's picture
PoopReport of the Year Awardj 1000+ points

AC above with the bleeding butt says:

"I kept whipping and it would fill the entire paper."

I think I see the obvious solution to your problem. Quit whipping your bum and you will not have an issue.

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points

Rectal bleeding is something that you should discuss with your primary care physician about, especially if it is an ongoing problem.

Here's why:, rectal bleeding can be nothing more than hemorrhoids, or it as severe as cancer (or anything in between the two). If you had stomach distress, I would rule out hemorrhoids.

It's not nice to fool mother nature.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

Rohan's picture

I am 26 years old boy recently experience blood in my stool would like to know what could be the reason. i have no stress or tension I am working on the cruise. I have no difficulty passing the stool either, also their was blood stains in the water.

someone's picture

i am 14 years old and the past couple days i have been letting blood out with my number 2. its a bright red colour so i think thats good. but i am scared. should i take some medication or something?

Anonymous Coward's picture

Hello, i been pooping blood in the stool and also on my toilet paper, the first time i noticed this it wasnt bad it was only a bit on the toilet paper. but the second time was a little bit more. im pretty frightend and i wana know what it could be before i go to the doctor so i can be more prepared for an answer. please help me im really scared im only 16.

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

It could be you just need to go to the doctor and tell him/her what's going on.

Very Concerned Grandmother's picture

My 8 year old granddaughter asked me to "come see" last night and I went to see what she wanted. She was in the bathroom and had just used it. The toilet water was bright red and lots of it....I asked her if she had been in any pain and she said no. She also said it had happened one other time recently and she hadn't told anyone. Her mother came to pick her up and dismissed it as hemmoroids saying that my granddaughter had them. I can't quit worrying about it. I just don't think it is normal for and 8 year old to have hemmoroids. Can anyone give me their opinion?
Thank you

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