You may observe that you have got some rectal bleeding and may get worried over this abnormal symptom. In most situations, rectal bleeding is not serious and is in fact a common occurrence that can be corrected. However, in certain cases, rectal bleeding can be more serious if it points to early signs of a malignant condition. Consulting your doctor about it is a good idea.
Rectal bleeding is also known as hematochezia, and it alludes to the passage of bright red blood or maroon-coloured blood, with or without clots, from the rectum. If your rectal bleeding is low grade and self-limited, you probably do not require hospitalisations or urgent intervention. Some, however, are more serious.
Serious cases can occur in two situations. If you experience severe rectal bleeding and suffer from severe volume of blood loss and especially where anaemia is indicated, you would need hospitalisation. Or if you are severely ill due to some other conditions and you start to develop
rectal bleeding. In both these situations, you would need immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of rectal bleeding or hematochezia are obvious enough. You may observe toilet paper after wiping to be streaked with red blood or with pinkish stains. Or there may actually be fresh red blood oozing out of the rectum. But it is not as easy to distinguish the cause, whether it is something benign or malignant.
Causes of rectal bleeding can be many. Tears ripped in the rectal lining or infections affecting the rectum can cause hematochezia. Haemorrhoids are a frequent cause, when the swollen veins break. Polyps, which are lumps of tissue bulging out from the rectal lining, can also undergo bleeding. So will cancer. Diagnosis is therefore recommended so that early identification of possible colorectal cancer can take place.
Age is a significant risk factor in colon cancer. Polyps in the family history and ulcerative colitis that have persisted in the individual for over ten years also increase to a significant degree the chances of colorectal cancer. The physician will also watch for other signs like anaemia and sudden weight losses which will corroborate other observations.
However, if you experience rectal bleeding along with anal symptoms, like soreness and itching, changes in bowel habits, the chances that the bleeding is due to malignancy are less. You are likely to see symptoms like blood staining the toilet paper in anorectal causes.
Cases of bleeding ulcers must be referred to the doctor urgently since rectal bleeding will be massive. If your bleeding is caused by polyps, your doctor may recommend that you have them removed. Alternatively, if removal is not done, you should watch your diet to reduce any inflammation effects. If haemorrhoids are the probable cause of rectal bleeding, then consider incorporating more fiber into your diet.
Unfortunately, only a small proportion of patients seek medical advice for their rectal bleeding. Most people are too shy to let their doctors know. To find out if your rectal bleeding is serious or not, you really ought to see the doctor. During your visit, ensure that you give complete information on drugs and herbal medications that you have been taking. Such details are important in determining what may be causing your rectal bleeding.