Rectal bleeding can be a disturbing and uncomfortable symptom and if it lasts for more than a day or two you should see a doctor. There are many causes of rectal bleeding, the most commonly being chronic constipation or hard stools, hemorrhoids or anal fissures (a tear in the skin of the anus). Less common causes include anal cancer, colon cancer, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulosis and other conditions. In some cases, patients undergoing radiation therapy may also experience rectal bleeding. Severe rectal bleeding that is very heavy or continuous, or accompanied by intense abdominal pain, needs immediate attention.
Rectal bleeding can show up as blood in your stool, on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. This blood can range in color from the bright red that we normally associate with blood, to a dark maroon color, or even almost black.
The treatment for rectal bleeding will vary, as it can indicate a number of conditions and disorders. Hemorrhoids are usually treated with medication or procedures such as banding or surgery. Chronic constipation or hard stools may simply require medications and dietary changes if they are not indicative of a larger problem.
For the less common causes, more testing may be involved. Some imaging tests such as x-rays or colonoscopy may be used. Often laboratory tests such as stool testing and blood tests can reveal the source of the problem.
At Granite Peaks Gastroenterology, our team of specialists and staff understand the sensitive nature of this condition and will provide compassionate and discreet care to help you begin feeling better.
Contact any of our offices in Salt Lake or Utah counties to begin getting the help you need today.