Diagnosing and Treating Rectal Bleeding

An anatomical model of the rectum with hemorrhoids and a young woman sitting on the sofa suffering from pain at home

Diagnosing and Treating Rectal Bleeding

Someone who finds themselves asking what they can do to take care of diagnosing and treating rectal bleeding is likely highly concerned about their medical situation. They know that they have a serious health concern that must be addressed, but they might discover they hit a wall when trying to find answers. People don’t always want to talk about something as intimate as rectal bleeding. However, we are here to provide you with the answers you require without judgment.

Diagnosing and Treating Rectal Bleeding

The first sign that you have an issue with rectal bleeding may come when you see an alarming sight while in the restroom. The Cleveland Clinic explains it in the following way:

Looking down into a toilet and seeing blood in your stool (poop) can be alarming. Your mind might go to many places as warning bells ring that something’s wrong. Rectal bleeding is a symptom of many different conditions, some more serious than others. It’s important to find out the cause of your rectal bleeding.

As alarming as something like this might be, it is best that you have noticed it as soon as you did. The sooner that you notice this and take action, the more likely you are to be able to treat the issue properly.

Common Causes of Rectal Bleeding

You might discover several different potential causes of rectal bleeding. Knowing the origin of some of these problems can help you pinpoint why you are potentially suffering rectal bleeding at all. Here are some potential reasons why this is happening to you: –

Hemorrhoids – These may or may not be physically painful, but they are a common cause of rectal bleeding either way.

Anal Fissure – A cut or tear in the anal lining, this can directly cause you to experience rectal bleeding.

Colon, Rectal, or Anal Cancer – It is scary to think about, but various forms of cancer can also potentially cause rectal bleeding.

These are just some of the common causes of rectal bleeding. There are other potential causes as well such as an injury of some kind. You should see your doctor and receive an examination to determine the root cause of rectal bleeding.

Symptoms and Signs

Knowing what you must be on the lookout for when talking about rectal bleeding can help you reduce the risk. Even if you experience any of these symptoms in small amounts, you still should take immediate action to protect yourself. A few potential symptoms that you might notice include:

– Dizziness

– Fatigue

– Blood in your stool

– Diarrhea

– Unexplainable weight loss

All of these potential signs and symptoms are highly concerning. You should immediately get yourself into a doctor’s office to receive the care that you require.

Diagnostic Procedures

There are a significant number of options open for doctors to select from when determining the root cause of rectal bleeding in a patient they are treating. A few of the procedures that they are most likely to lean on include:

Digital rectal exam – A physical examination of the rectum and anus to identify areas of concern.

Anoscopy – An examination of the anal canal via a small scope with a magnifier.

Stool test – Some healthcare professionals may request a stool sample to see the active bleeding situation with their own eyes. Taking note of what is potentially going on with the bleeding situation is a useful way for those professionals to narrow down the potential causes of the bleeding.

Colonoscopy – This common procedure examines the entire large intestine with a small camera to check out areas of potential concern within the large intestine.

All of these examinations may prove to be extremely useful when examining what is going on with a particular patient. Depending on what is specifically known about a given patient, a doctor or other healthcare professional may recommend one course of action or another. It all comes down to determining the specific nature of what is going on with a given individual based on their particular health considerations.

Treatment Options and Management

The severity of the bleeding will play a heavy role in determining what kind of treatment options are appropriate for a given patient. Well Key Health reminds us that the type of treatment necessary will escalate as the severity of the bleeding increases

For minimal bleeding due to hemorrhoids or rectal fissures, physicians will usually direct home treatment with lots of water, ice packs, and possibly over-the-counter ointments or suppositories to create movement in the bowels or to soften the stool. Emergency treatment might include an IV in the case of dehydration.

You should never bypass necessary medical care if you believe that you are in need of it. Don’t assume that your case isn’t all that serious. Always seek the professional advice of healthcare professionals who know what they are looking at to determine the appropriate treatment options for your situation.

Prevention and Self-Care

Take specific steps to reduce your risk of developing something that causes you to experience rectal bleeding in the first place. A few of those steps include:

– Drink plenty of fluids to soften your stool and make straining less likely

– Use soft tissues or a cotton pad for wiping. Never use hard or scented tissue.

– Receive routine colonoscopies on schedule.

– Use the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to do so.

These are small tweaks to your life that can make all of the difference when you are trying to do everything you can to prevent rectal bleeding.

When to Seek Medical Help

Anytime you experience rectal bleeding you will want to see a doctor as soon as possible. This is a very serious situation that can quickly grow into additional problems for you. Medical professionals are the only ones who can work on diagnosing and treating rectal bleeding for you, so make sure you get out to see them as soon as you realize this might be an issue for you.

Gyan Gastroenterology (Sudha Nahar, MD)
(732) 873-1600
Associated Gastroenterology of Central New Jersey (Lawrence Pickover, MD)
(732) 846-2777
Steven H. Krawet, MD
(732) 390-5534
Nashed Botros, MD
(732) 967- 9595
Satya Kastuar, MD
(732) 821-0011
Yuri Volk, MD
(732) 677-2200
Cape Atlantic Gastroenterology Associates (Richard Troum, DO, FACG)