What is rectal bleeding?
Rectal bleeding is what you experience when you see blood in your stools. While most caudal factors are not particularly serious, including conditions such as haemorrhoids and anal fissures, it’s best to get yourself evaluated by your doctor promptly.
This is because rectal bleeding can also be caused by certain cancerous and precancerous conditions. These include precancerous polyps found near the colon, which are similar to bleeding caused by haemorrhoids. If detected in time, these can be removed very safely from the colon, preventing any cancerous development.
Colon cancer is sometimes diagnosed in patients who have neglected rectal bleeding for long periods of times. Given that the risks of polyps and colon cancer increase with age, it is important that you get your bleeding checked by a medical professional. This is especially for patients over the ages of 40-50.
Additional symptoms associated with rectal bleeding
If you experience rectal bleeding along with the following symptoms, make sure you consult your doctor immediately. The other symptoms you need to look out for include:
- Feeling dizzy
- Rectal pain
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Cold and clammy skin
- Rapid breathing
- Severe nausea
How is rectal bleeding diagnosed?
Before any tests are performed, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. Before your visit, make note of the following:
- When you first noticed blood in your stool
- Any related symptoms you have experienced
- What colour your blood is when it exits with your stool
Following your initial consultation, your doctor will perform a visual or physical test to check for abnormalities.
You may also be asked to do an endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy. This group of procedures is where a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera is inserted into the body.
How do you treat rectal bleeding?
For minor rectal bleeding, doctors may recommend using ice packs, topical creams and suppositories.
You may need advanced medical attention for more severe episodes.
When should I see a specialist about rectal bleeding?
Rectal bleeding could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you experience this condition, see a gastrointestinal specialist as soon as possible.
When is rectal bleeding serious?
The following symptoms could mean that rectal bleeding may be caused by a serious condition:
Lightheadedness, especially when trying to stand up
Can haemorrhoids lead to blood clots?
Haemorrhoids can develop blood clots, which are called thrombosed haemorrhoids.
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