Rectal bleeding is any blood that passes out of the anus or bleeding from the rectum. The rectum is the closing regions of the large intestine. Rectal bleeding will cause presence of blood in the stool. The color of blood ranges from bright red to dark maroon to a dark, tarry stool known as melena. The black color of the stool is due to chemical changes that occur as the blood passes the digestive tract.
Rectal bleeding can be caused by anal fissures, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. People wiith severe bleeding will have a large of amount of blood in a single bowel movement.
Symptoms of rectal bleeding
- Bloody stool which can be red, black or tarry in texture
- Abdominal pain
- Presence of blood in the stool
- Unintentional loss of weight
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Development of a mass or lump in the rectum or anus
If severe symptoms such as dizziness, severe abdominal pain, changes in level of consciousness, shortness of breath, vomiting blood that looks similar to coffee grounds and loss of strength are present, seek medical help immediately.
- Hemorrhoids or anal fissures
- Colorectal cancer or benign tumors
- Desentery or bloody diarrhea with infection
- Diverticulitis or inflammation of an abnormal pocket in the colon
- Peptic ulcers
- Taking medications such as warfarin and clopidogrel
- Stabilize the condition of the person.
- Make an appointment with the doctor since some bowel movement with blood can be minor while others such as colon cancer can be a serious condition.
- Observe the color and consistency of the blood and stool and symptoms such as abdominal or rectal pain, constipation, rectal pressure, diarrhea, fever, presence of mucus or pus in the stool and cramping.
- The doctor will check the area and order tests such as colonoscopy to determine the cause of the condition. Rectal bleeding can be due to conditions such anal fissures, hemorrhoids, diverculitis, inflammatory bowel disease, polyps and colon cancer.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day
- Minimize straining during bowel movements.
- Take a bath or shower regularly to properly clean the skin around the affected area.
- Sitz bath
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area to lessen the pain.
- Avoid sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
- Increase the consumption of fiber-rich foods and take supplements.
- Stop drinking alcohol to prevent dehydration which can cause constipation.
The material posted on this page for rectal bleeding is for learning purposes only. If you have severe rectal bleeding consult your local physical. If you want to learn more about internal bleeding including rectal bleeding, register for a first aid course with a training provider near you.