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While neither diarrhea nor hard stools are healthy, loose stools are preferred to hard ones, according to The Doctors. Soft bowel movements can be an indication of good health, as long as they don't become watery.


Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulosis and colon polyps are the most common causes of blood in the stool, as confirmed by MedicineNet. Blood in the stool ranges in color from bright red to black.


Blood can show up in a person's stool as bright-red blood or as dark-red to black, tarry stool, states Cancer Research UK. Hemorrhoids may cause bright-red blood to appear in a person's stool, while bleeding in the digestive tract may appear as black, tarry stool.


Some of the main causes of blood in the stool are diverticular disease, anal fissures, colitis and angiodysplasia, according to WebMD. Other causes of blood in the stool are peptic ulcers, polyps, cancer or health issues related to the esophagus.


Symptoms that indicate blood in the stool are finding blood in the stool itself or on toilet paper or passing stool that is tarry and black, explains WebMD. Other signs and symptoms are pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting, heart palpitations and fainting.


Fresh rectal bleeding is usually caused by hemorrhoids or an anal fissure, according to Boots WebMD. The brightness of the blood indicates that the bleeding is fairly recent and near the anus, or somewhere low in the digestive tract, states WebMD.


Red blood in a cat's stool is a symptom of a variety of illnesses, many of which can be life-threatening. Most cases of bloody stool are the result of bacterial infections in the colon and large intestines, with more serious cases being caused by stomach cancer.


Bacterial, viral and parasitic infections cause most cases of acute diarrhea, which lasts up to two days, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Medical disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, may cause chronic diarrhea, which lasts at least four week


The symptoms of diarrhea include bloating, abdominal cramps, abdominal pains, blood in the stool, loose and watery stool, and fever, states Mayo Clinic. In young children, diarrhea can swiftly cause dehydration. Therefore, it is prudent for the parent to call a doctor if the child's diarrhea continu


Mild diarrhea often requires no treatment at all, while over-the-counter treatments such as Kaopectate, Imodium A-D and Pepto-Bismol offer the best solution for most cases that require attention, notes WebMD. In addition to medication, sufferers should drink a minimum of 48 ounces of fluid each day.