Bleeding of the bowels is a sign that something could be wrong and can occur as a result of a number of different conditions. Most of these conditions can be easily treated and cured but of course the greatest concern of rectal bleeding is cancer.
One cause of rectal bleeding is Hemorrhoids, which are otherwise commonly known as piles. They are dilated blood vessels that can rupture and bleed which can occur on the outside of the anus and are felt as little bumps which can be very painful. They can also occur on the inside of the anal canal where they are usually painless. Hemorrhoids can be treated and cured.
A fissure is a tear in the lining tissue of the anus which can be caused by diarrhea or more commonly constipation. The hard stool stretches the lining causing it to tear slightly, which exposes the nerve endings and blood vessels causing pain. Most patients experience pain on passing a stool. A fissure can be treated with medication or sometimes surgical intervention.
A fistula is an abnormal passage between the rectum and the skin around the anus which can bleed and discharge. Again fistulas can be treated with medication or surgical intervention.
Colitis is where the colon, rectum or both become inflamed or ulcerated and bleed. The patient usually experiences abdominal cramps, urgency to defecate and pain on defecation. When only the rectum is inflamed this is known as proctitis.
Colonic polyps are small growths of tissue on the inside lining of the large intestine. They often cause no symptoms but can result in bleeding, pain and passing of mucus with bowel motions. There are two main types of polyps in the bowel one of which is of no long term significance. However, the other more common polyps are benign tumours called adenomas which if left have the potential to grow and develop into a malignant cancer. One in ten adenomas turn into cancer. Polyps can be identified and removed during a colonoscopy. The tissue sample is then sent to pathology.