Rectal bleeding is often an indicator of a more serious health condition. It's associated with hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, and other health conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract. Through the use of sophisticated diagnostic equipment, the staff at Fifth Ave GI can diagnose and treat many health conditions that affect the stomach and intestines. If you live in the East Harlem or Upper East Side area of New York, call or click for an appointment today!
Rectal bleeding has many causes. When the blood appears to be dark, it comes from higher up in the large, or even small, intestine. If it seems to be bright red, it's coming from the sigmoid colon, rectum, or anus.
With that being said, any of the following may be a direct cause:
Polyps that have progressed have shown to contain colorectal cancer cells, which are also a possible cause of bleeding.
If rectal bleeding persists for any length of time or is accompanied by intense pain and discomfort, immediate medical attention is needed.
Changing your diet will help to control rectal bleeding if it's part of the initial cause. You can efficiently manage rectal bleeding that's a result of eating foods that trigger inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) reactions by avoiding those foods that initiate the allergic or autoimmune response.
If the rectal bleeding is the result of ulcerative colitis or hemorrhoids, the benefits of changing your diet will be minimal. Depending on the cause of your diarrhea or constipation, adding certain foods may help to regulate your stools and reduce the risk of bleeding associated with either condition.
Effectively controlling rectal bleeding means monitoring when it occurs and the events associated with it, such as the consumption of certain foods or a flare-up of IBD/IBS.
Often, treating rectal bleeding means treating other conditions that cause it. Because it's primarily a symptom instead of a legitimate health condition, your Fifth Avenue gastroenterologist will look for its cause and then treat it accordingly.
If the rectal bleeding continues or becomes worse, additional tests are prescribed to uncover the cause.
People who suffer from rectal bleeding also exhibit symptoms of other gastrointestinal health issues but haven't linked the two together. If rectal bleeding becomes continuous or the color of the blood changes, seek immediate medical attention.