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Rectal Bleeding

Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is a symptom of a problem in the GI tract. The definition is broad as it means any blood passed rectally; consequently, the blood may come from any area or structure in the GI tract that allows blood to leak into the GI lumen (area where food and fluid is processed for absorption or removal as waste). For example, a bleeding ulcer in the stomach can have the blood excreted in the person's fecal material Rectal bleeding may be due to problems on the rectum itself or from many other problems that occur elsewhere in the GI tract. Perirectal bleeding is bleeding in an area adjacent to the rectum and may be due to abscesses or fistulas.

Treatment

  • 1. Treatment of rectal bleeding is dependent on the cause; simple treatments (some hemorrhoids, for example) can be done at home, but other more serious causes (tumors or ulcers, for example, may require much more effort like surgery and other therapy).
  • 2. Minimal rectal bleeding can be treated at home if the cause is known to be minor, but if it does not improve quickly or the person is 40 years of age or older, seek medical care.
  • 3. Follow-up is important in case the treatment is not effective or rectal bleeding starts again.
  • 4. The prognosis of rectal bleeding depends on the cause and the person's response to treatment; in general, those people that loose a small amount of blood do better than those who loose large amounts of blood (usually the elderly people with other medical problems).