Guys, I'm terrified after having what appears to be blood in my stool since yesterday. The day before at lunch I ate a lot of red cabbage, and at dinner we had beets and other vegetables in beet juice. I would attribute the stool appearance to that, except that I'm not sure and it scared the hell out of me. I know that beets can cause it to appear as though you have blood in your stool - but I need some reassurance here. I also have hemorrhoids and IBS, but my stomach hasn't been upset and I haven't been straining, so I don't think it is either of those things.
I also have anxiety and it doesn't help that when I look it up on the internet everything says that blood in the stool is from cancer.
Well, after making this thread, I went ahead and made an appointment with my doctor ... she could see me tomorrow, but I asked if she had any open appointments today - she did, and so I rushed over there (waiting makes me worry more, I have anxiety and my mind takes off running with these fears and always jumps to the absolute worst case scenario). I told her about the blood, and about the beets - she said beets wouldn't look like blood and even though I still think they could, I kept my mouth shut because I really believe it was blood.
The doctor said it was probably hemorrhoids or an anal fissure or some kind of tear ... since I have IBS, I do have hemorrhoids that get angry pretty often, but haven't had this type of blood mixed in my stool before ... so this time I freaked out. Anyway, she could tell I was still worried and knows about my anxiety, so she said if it would help reassure me, she could take a look in there with an anoscope -- I said that would help me a lot, even though I never had an anoscope before.
She could see some hemorrhoids, something "at the back" which she later said was "at 6 o'clock" ... I don't know what that means, but she did a second anoscope and said she could see some dried blood on the hemorrhoid but that it wasn't currently actively bleeding.
I told her about how the internet had me freaked out about colorectal cancer, and she said that's the danger of the internet - especially for people like me. She tried to reassure me that it was just the hemorrhoid causing the blood, but since I have never experienced it before, I suppose part of me is still a little scared. She said if it continues and doesn't stop within a week, then we'll treat it with some suppositories, and if that doesn't work, we'll investigate further, but since it's red and streaked, she seemed sure that it was nothing more than a small tear or the hemorrhoid.
The bad thing about my anxiety is that I can hear that, and instead of feeling reassured like I should, I take the "well it's not actively bleeding this second but there's dried blood on it" and my mind turns that into "muhaha, you could still have cancer since that hemorrhoid wasn't bleeding that moment and might not be the cause of the blood you saw!"
Anyway, she assured me that I'm in good health other than my anxiety issues and IBS and hemorrhoids - and told me not to worry about this because she was absolutely certain it was the hemorrhoid/tear.