Sometimes you visit the restroom and discover something out of the ordinary. One of the most common things people notice and begin to worry about is minor rectal bleeding. Minor rectal bleeding can be classified as the passage of a few drop of bright red blood that comes from the rectum, which you are likely to see either in your stool or on your toilet paper. While this can happen and mean nothing from time to time, rectal bleeding can also be chalked up to a couple of conditions which we will discuss below.
As we have discussed before, hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in your rectum and anus that become enlarged from extreme pressure.They occur both internally (inside your anus) or externally (under the skin around your anus). Bleeding can occur when you have hemorrhoids and have a bowel movement as it caused pressure on the engorged blood vessels. Luckily, there are many treatments that can easily treat hemorrhoids and they are not known to lead to cancer.
An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of your anus. Most often these occur because of constipation or passing stool that is especially hard. People who have anal fissures are likely to experience pain each time they have a bowel movement, which also results in bleeding from the anus. Depending on the severity of your anal fissures, your doctor may prescribe a cream to lessen inflammation or in severe cases, surgery.
Proctitis occurs when the lining of your rectum is inflamed. This is often caused by undergoing radiation therapy for a number of cancers, certain medications, or infections. Proctitis often leads to rectal bleeding as well as passing mucus through the rectum. If you think you may be suffering from proctitis, consult your doctor immediately to discuss a treatment plan.
While fairly uncommon, rectal ulcers do occur. Normally people experience long periods of constipation and strained bowel movements before they are diagnosed with a rectal ulcer, and treatment can usually be as simple as taking fiber supplements which will relieve constipation causing the ulcer to heal on its own.
If you are experiencing rectal bleeding for a prolonged amount of time, contact the experts at West Gastroenterology today. We can help you diagnose the cause and begin treatment immediately!