Rectal bleeding is the passing of blood from the anus. The bleeding typically stems from the lower colon or rectum. Rectal bleeding may occur as a presence of blood in your stool, or you may notice it when you wipe after a bowel movement. Blood from the rectum may range in color from bright to dark red to a dark tar color. Rectal bleeding may or may not be accompanied by pain.
Several medical conditions can cause rectal bleeding. The most common causes are anal fissures (tears in the skin of the anus), chronic constipation, polyps in the colon, hard stools, and hemorrhoids. Less common causes include: anal and colon cancer, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, diarrhea, and rectal prolapse.
You should see a doctor if you have rectal bleeding that lasts longer than one or two days, and it is causing much concern. If your rectal bleeding is heavy and continuous and is accompanied by anal pain and/or severe abdominal pain, immediately go—or have someone take you—to the nearest emergency room. If you have rectal bleeding accompanied by the following symptoms, immediately call 911 (or have someone call 911 for you):
Rectal bleeding, no matter how minimal it is, should not be taken lightly. Often it a symptom of an underlying, more serious condition that may become life-threatening if left untreated. Dr. Ilyas Memon, MD, is a board-certified gastroenterologist who specializes in treating various gastrointestinal disorders and has successfully treated many patients with rectal bleeding in The Woodlands and Conroe, Texas area. If you are experiencing rectal bleeding, call the offices of Dr. Memon today to schedule an appointment.
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