Rectal bleeding is most often a result of benign, easily treatable problems like anal tears and hemorrhoids, but it can indicate a more serious issue. If you have rectal bleeding that persists for more than a couple of days, you should visit GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, for a prompt diagnosis. The practice has locations in Baytown, North Loop, Houston, and Humble, Texas, where the experienced gastroenterology team can find the cause of rectal bleeding and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Call the most convenient office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Rectal bleeding is a term for blood coming out of the anus. The blood may appear in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement, on the paper after wiping, or possibly in underwear.
Usually, the blood is no more than a few drops or clots – if you have a flow of blood, you should seek emergency medical assistance.
Rectal bleeding may come from the anus itself, the rectum, or further up your large intestine.
Rectal bleeding can occur for many reasons. Constipation is a common cause because hard stools stretch your anus to the point where it develops small tears.
Another regular cause of rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids – enlarged veins in your anus or lower rectum that bleed when damaged.
More uncommon causes of rectal bleeding include:
It's less likely that your rectal bleeding is due to one of these causes, but they are serious diseases that can have life-changing and potentially life-threatening outcomes. Therefore, it's vital to visit GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, if you experience rectal bleeding for more than a day or so.
Symptoms that you experience alongside rectal bleeding can often help your provider to narrow down the likely cause. While the specific symptoms of each condition may vary, things to look out for include:
The color of the blood from your rectum can indicate its origin. Most often, the blood is bright red, which means it's coming from your anus, rectum, or the end of your colon.
The darker the blood, the further up your digestive tract it's from, and blood coming from your stomach is typically black with a tarry consistency.
The treatment you need depends on the cause of your rectal bleeding and how severe it is. If your rectal bleeding is due to anal tears or hemorrhoids, the best solution is to take steps to treat and prevent constipation. That means eating a healthy, high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting more exercise.
If you have a condition like inflammatory bowel disease (which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), you might need to take anti-inflammatories and other medications to control your symptoms.
To find the cause of your rectal bleeding and eliminate it, call GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, today or book an appointment online.