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Rectal Bleeding

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Rectal bleeding commonly occurs following a bowel movement and reveals itself by showing up as bright red blood on the toilet paper. It is the color of blood that indicates how serious the problem is. When the blood is bright red it usually indicates that the bleeding is low in the colon or within the rectum. This type of bleeding is usually not serious. The darker the blood, the more serious the problem may be. However, not all rectal bleeding is seen by the eye.

To learn more about Rectal Bleeding, please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.

Symptoms of Rectal Bleeding

The symptoms of rectal bleeding include:

  • Rectal pain
  • Pressure in the rectal area
  • Stool that appears tar-like
  • Fainting, dizziness and confusion
  • Bright red blood in stool or present in underwear
  • Maroon, red, or black colored stool

Causes of Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is common and approximately 33% of all patients with rectal bleeding seek treatment. Symptoms may develop suddenly or gradually. Most of the causes are treatable and rarely serious. The most common causes include:

  • Anal fissures
  • Anal fistula or abscess
  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Inflamed hemorrhoids
  • Large polyps
  • Ulcers

Treatment for Rectal Bleeding

The treatment for rectal bleeding depends on the underlying cause. In most severe cases of rectal bleeding, the cause is determined and treated effectively. Surgery may be required in order to correct the problem. For surface tears in the rectum, ointment or cream may be administered, along with a suppository for relief and the stopping of bleeding.

Bright red blood indicates a problem in the low colon or rectum. Darker blood, maroon in color, usually indicates a problem within the small bowel or higher in the colon. Melena usually indicates bleeding in the stomach, which generally comes from bleeding ulcers. Treatment plans are connected to the location and cause of the bleeding.

Severe cases of rectal bleeding may be due to ulcers or colorectal cancer. Treatment for cancer is usually surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Combination treatments for severe cases of bleeding may be required.

The early stages of colorectal cancer may not have any visible symptoms. Regular screening is important because there may not be symptoms present. If a person is at risk for colorectal cancer, it is important to have regular screenings.

To learn more about Rectal Bleeding, please contact Central Florida Hepatology & Gastroenterology at 407.303.1812 or request an appointment on our website.