Rectal Bleeding: Symptoms Often Ignored Can Cause Serious Health Problems

rectal-bleeding-and-colo-rectal-cancer

August 11, 2015

Colorectal Surgery 0

Thousands of people worldwide suffer from a phenomenon called “rectal bleeding,” which may vary from a small amount of bleeding due to constipation or irritation in the rectum to a heavy bleeding due to a hidden tumor.

What many people do not know is that bleeding can start anywhere in the digestive tract, but blood that surfaces near the rectum will appear red or dark red. Sometimes, certain food types like beet root, medicines, or iron tablets can make the stool blackish red or black.

Page 2 of the article titled Medicine Net: Blood in the Stool describes how the lay person can detect the source of bleeding from the color and smell associated with the blood. This article states while rectal blood is often characterized by red, maroon, or black color, the causes of rectal bleeding can be generally detected from the color and smell of the blood. Of the bleeding site is closer to the anus, color of the blood will tend to be bright red. Whereas, if the color of blood in the stool is red or maroon, it is usually concluded that the blood is generated in the rectum area.

Many times, bleeding caused by anal fissure, hemorrhoids, colon growth, or diverticulitis stops on its own. Thus patients suffering from intermittent bouts of bleeding and associated lower abdomen pain may overlook or ignore the symptoms as passing phases. The most common home-grown, approach is to treat the low energy levels and fatigue resulting from periods of low bleeding is taking iron or multivitamin tablets.

However, if a patient notices these symptoms several times and experiences dizziness, low blood pressure, or tremendous fatigue, he or she should immediately consult a physician or GI specialist to determine the cause of bleeding, which is medically assessed with physical examinations or diagnostic tests like Anoscopy, Colonoscopy, Angiograms, and other sophisticated tests, based on the physician’s initial diagnosis.

In case of moderate or severe bleeding, the patient must take the appropriate help of medical support to travel the medical center in an ambulance. Many patients in critical conditions may require immediate hospitalization and blood transfusion.

Bleeding in the GI Tract (Occult Bleeding)

The gastrointestinal bleeding generally happens in the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract, and it can only be detected by diagnostic tests (fecal occult blood testing) of the stool. Occult blood is caused by many of the same causes as rectal bleeding, and may also display similar symptoms. This kind of bleeding may be caused by ulcers, colon polyps, or cancers hidden deep in the human body. The resulting symptom in the patient may be anemia with loss of iron along with the blood (iron deficiency anemia).

What to Do If You Notice Repeated Bleeding

1. Get your blood pressure and blood examined.
2. Take the Reports to a Physician
3. If the doctor simply prescribed medication and rest, follow the regimen.
4. If the doctor prescribes further physical or diagnostic tests, complete all the tests.

In the meantime, review Page 8 and Page 9 of emedicinehealth.com: rectal bleeding carefully, that provides both a prescriptive and descriptive overview of patient actions in case of rectal or occult bleeding.

It is always better to avoid self diagnosis and take the help of a professional medical practitioner.

The majority of people with significant rectal bleeding are elderly. Members of this population commonly have many other medical problems. As a result, they tend to suffer increased rates of illness and death.

Summary

In recent years, death from rectal bleeding has significantly decreased. This reduction is due to more efficient emergency departments, recent advances in procedures, and evolving surgical management. Early detection, medical diagnosis, and proper treatment can certainly help in reducing the chances of later complications.



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