Bleeding from rectal area is a common sign of many gastrointestinal diseases especially if its in a terminal part the rectum. Bleeding from this area can be in a form of blood which is mixed with stool, in a form of traces of blood in the stool or the bleeding may occur even if one does not pass any stool. No matter which of these presentations occur the condition is considered pathological and requires prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Causes of Bleeding from Rectal Area
This is a common sign of several inflammatory illnesses of the large intestine. It affects people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Inflammatory bowel disease affects either small or large intestine and may feature with traces of blood in stool. Ulcerative colitis can affect the rectum and the bleeding is in this case in a form of fresh blood and in severe cases it may be profuse. And finally, in Crohn's disease a patient may notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with the stool.
Another common cause of bleeding from rectal area is colorectal cancer. In case the cancer affects proximal portions of large intestine the blood is generally mixed with stool while rectal cancer features with bright red blood which may be noticed on toilet paper.
Constipation can lead to serious problems with defecation. The hardened stool may be difficult to pass and it can damage the lining of the rectum and cause rectal bleeding. Even anal fissures which represent cracks in the tissue of the anal canal, can cause occasional bleeding.
And finally, there are two more causes of bleeding from rectal area, rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids. In rectal prolapse parts of the rectum protrude through the anus. The friction of the external part may cause irritation and damage to the superficial layer and result in bleeding. Hemorrhoids are nothing but inflamed rectal veins which may bleed usually during defecation.
Evaluating Bleeding from Rectal Area
The best method to evaluate and identify cause of rectal bleeding is to perform colonoscopy. The procedure includes insertion of a flexible tube into the anus. The tube is slowly moved to upper parts of the large intestine and with the assistance of a tiny little camera a doctor can visualize the inner surface of the colon and find structural abnormalities or inflammation responsible for the bleeding. Once the underlying condition is identified the doctors recommend the most suitable treatment modality.
Bleeding from the rectum and anal area must never be neglected and if it occurs, it must be report as soon as possible. This way even the diagnosis of serious conditions (such as malignant tumors) may be set on time and treated successfully.