Tiny blood specks in stool
I'm not sure if posting here will help ease my mind at all, but I figured I'd throw my symptoms out there and see what folks thought. I'll say right up front that I've seen my doctor and a gastroenterologist and have a colonoscopy scheduled for April.
In the first week of January, I had some blood on the paper when I wiped. It was strawberry-red and was gone after the first wipe. I didn't see any blood in the stool and figured the blood must just be irritation. A few days later, I had the exact same thing. I have not seen this since.
However, since then, I've been paying close attention to my stools, and have noticed what appear to be specks of blood of that same strawberry-red color. They are very small, and probably unnoticeable unless you're looking for them. I am a vegetarian, so my stool color is usually light brown or tan, so even small red specks are pretty obvious.
These symptoms seemed to come on around the same time that I decided to start eating healthier. As I said, I'm a vegetarian, so I never ate much fat, but I also didn't eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, so I've been making an effort to do so. I consider myself healthy - 27 yo, 5'8", 135 lbs, work out 3 to 4 times a week, and run 2 miles on the tread during each workout. I feel good overall.
I had a physical in mid-January, where the doctor did routine blood tests. The tests came back normal, except for liver function, which was elevated. I had an ultrasound, which showed gallstones. They have not caused any pain and the gastroenterologist said he'd probably advocate leaving them alone. I'm assuming this has nothing to do with the bowel issue.
Both my doctors assumed hemorrhoids, but since I have a slight family history of colon cancer, my doctor scheduled a colonoscopy to be safe. The thing that has me worried is that I've assumed (probably incorrectly) that symptoms from hemorrhoids would subside over time. The blood has been consistent with every bowel movement - not any better, not any worse. My stools are usually soft, as I drink a lot of water. They are normal size and texture, though I have had more movements per day in the last couple months. I've assumed this is from all the fresh fruits and fiber I've been eating, but I'm not sure. I have not had much abdominal pain, though now the slightest gas pain or back ache has me worried. I'm sure those pains are just from working out and eating beans/soy, but it still gets me worried.
I also believe I might have had little bit of mucus coating one bowel movement, but I only saw this once.
So, after all this, I guess my questions are:
- Would hemorrhoids cause these very tiny but consistent specks of blood I've been seeing with every bowel movement, even with reasonably soft stools? Shouldn't I be seeing improvement if that is the problem?
- Given the symptoms (but also the fact I feel fine), is April too long to wait for a colonoscopy?
- What else could this possibly be, given that I don't really have any other symptoms other than the blood specks?
Sorry for the 'book'. I appreciate any comments and input. Thanks!