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Iowa City, IA
A 22-year-old female asked:

How do you know if there is blood in your stool? there were small, bright red flecks but didn't know if it was blood or food.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Depends: It could be something you ate like beets for example but if not sure this should at least be discussed with your doctor. Often bright red blood can just be something benign like hemorrhoids but it can also be something more serious especially if it persists or worsens. If you haven't seen your doctor at least once i would do so now to be sure.
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine 39 years experience
Microscopic blood may not be visible & requires an occult blood test (just stool on special paper that shows blood when special drops are added). Do see doc for exam.
Jul 18, 2012
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Provided original answer
Jul 18, 2012
Dr. Robert Greer
Family Medicine 45 years experience
Easy: Ask your dr for a "hemacult" like test.You wipe some stool, like off toilet paper, onto a specially prepared paper slide and we look for a color change.This test can be compromised by eating rare beef, beets and other iron containing foods.

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