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What Is Rectal Bleeding?
Rectal bleeding is the appearance of bright red spots of blood on toilet paper or in the toilet after a bowel movement. Abdominal pain and rectal bleeding could indicate life threatening bleeding problems.
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Causes of Rectal Bleeding
Cancer comes to mind when someone experiences rectal bleeding, as it is one of the major causes of rectal bleeding. Bleeding from the rectum could indicate cancer of the rectum, anus or colon.
Hemorrhoids are another common cause of rectal bleeding. These are swollen veins found in the anus. The veins may also appear outside the rectum or anus. Abdominal pain is experienced when the hemorrhoids are inflamed or when you use force in moving your bowels.
Inflammatory bowel disease can cause rectal bleeding problems. The lining of the colon becomes inflamed (red and swollen) and produces abdominal pain and diarrhea. This affects mainly young adults under the age of 50.
Intestinal Infection can also produce diarrhea. This can last for between one to three days and be accompanied by rectal bleeding.
Diverticulitis is yet another cause of abdominal pain and rectal bleeding and even fever. The finger-like pouches on the wall of the colon are called diverticulitis. These pouches may become inflamed due to infection mainly caused by shelled food like corn or nuts being trapped in them. Diverticulitis usually affects people over the age of 40, and the condition generally increases with age.
Anal fissures commonly lead to rectal bleeding. These are tiny tears of tissue in the anus.Diarrhea and forced bowel movements may cause anal fissures.
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In order to properly treat rectal bleeding problems, the cause must be accurately identified. Treatment varies depending on the person’s immune system and on the cause of the abdominal pain and rectal bleeding. While home therapy may be attempted for minimal bleeding and for bleeding due to hemorrhoids or rectal fissure, rectal bleeding remains a serious symptom and should be evaluated and treated by a physician at the earliest opportunity.
People with normal immune systems whose abdominal pain and rectal bleeding problems are caused by hemorrhoids, diverticulitis or anal fissures can add a bulk laxative to their diet daily. Metamucil or sienna tablets are good choices. Foods with prunes are also recommended to increase fiber in the diet.
You should also drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Apply ice packs to the area in order to decrease pain. If you are over 40 and suffering from a case of diverticulis, you should see a doctor for further evaluation if the condition is not improved within a week.
If you have a bleeding disorder, avoid using non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs as well as aspirin. These drugs can interfere with blood platelets and make blood problems worse.
If a marked amount of blood loss has occurred, you will most likely be admitted to hospital where a specialist, such as a colorectal surgeon, will become involved in administering treatment.
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Treat Rectal Bleeding In A Timely Manner
The majority of people who suffer from rectal bleeding are the elderly; and death from rectal bleeding is a possibility. However if the condition is diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, complications can be avoided. It is comforting to know that in recent years, death form rectal bleeding has decreased significantly. This has mainly been due to increased efficiency in emergency departments and advanced medical procedures and surgical management.
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2. Rectal Bleeding