Rectal bleeding refers to bleeding in the rectum. There are many causes of rectal hemorrhage, including inflamed hemorrhoids (which are dilated vessels in the perianal fat pads), rectal varices, proctitis (of various causes), stercal ulcers and infections.
Black, sticky stools accompanied by lightheadedness, chest pain or weakness
Rectal exam: Your healthcare provider may gently insert a gloved finger into your anus. He will collect a bowel movement sample and send it to a lab for tests.
Blood tests: You may need blood taken to check for anemia (low amount of red blood cells).
CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of the organs and blood vessels in your abdomen. The pictures may show problems that could cause bleeding. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
Colonoscopy: This is a procedure to look inside your lower bowel. It may show where the bleeding is coming from and what is causing it. A tube with a light on the end will be put into your anus and then moved into your colon. If your healthcare provider finds a growth, he may remove it.
Endoscopy: This is a procedure to look inside your upper bowel. It may show where the bleeding is coming from and what is causing it. A tube with a light on the end is inserted into your throat and moved down into your stomach and upper bowel. If your healthcare provider finds a growth, he may remove it. He may put a shot of medicine in bleeding areas to narrow the blood vessels and stop the bleeding. Heat, laser, or electric currents may also be used to make the blood clot.
Risks of Rectal Bleeding
You may have abdominal pain or damage to nearby organs and blood vessels with surgery. Even with treatment, rectal bleeding may continue. Or it may go away for a time and start again.
Without treatment, you may continue to have pain and cramping. You may develop anemia. You may need a blood transfusion. You may lose a large amount of blood. This can be life-threatening.
Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
Vasoconstrictors: This medicine decreases the size of your blood vessels and may help stop the bleeding.
Iron supplement: Iron helps your body make more red blood cells.
Steroids: This medicine decreases inflammation in your rectum. It may be applied as a cream, ointment, or lotion.
IV: You may need an IV if you are dehydrated and need extra liquids.
Blood transfusion: You will get whole or parts of blood through an IV during a transfusion. Blood is tested for diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV, to be sure it is safe.
Surgery: You may need surgery to remove hemorrhoids, tumors, or polyps.
Large amounts of bright red blood, clots in the toilet bowl, or nonstop bleeding.