The rectum is the part of the large intestine just before the anus. Bleeding from the rectum can be caused by hemorrhoids, dysentery, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer. Rectal bleeding can also be a sign of diverticular disease, which is caused by a lack of fiber in the diet.
- Black, tarry or bloody stools
- Anal itching
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or stomach pain
Who is at risk?
People over the age of 50 are at risk for rectal bleeding. In children, rectal bleeding can result from constipation, but could occur from a twisted bowel or intestinal obstruction, conditions which must be evaluated immediately.
For minimal bleeding due to hemorrhoids or rectal fissures, physicians will usually direct home treatment with lots of water, ice packs and possibly over the counter ointments or suppositories to create movement in the bowels or to soften the stool. Emergency treatment might include an IV in the case of dehydration. The patient could be admitted to the hospital if excessive blood loss has occurred and the vital signs are not normal.
Emergency Warning Signs: When should I see a doctor?
When fever, pain, vomiting, lightheadedness or discolored stool (black or maroon colored) accompanies rectal bleeding, consult a physician right away. Severe rectal bleeds can be life threatening and should be evaluated in the ED immediately.
Treatment for Rectal Bleeding is available now at Newport Urgent Care in Newport Beach, CA.
For more information on rectal bleeding, see the following websites:
Mayo Clinic Resources on Rectal Bleeding
NDDIC on Diverticular Disease
Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of NewportUrgentCare.com. The pages will open in a new browser window. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.