Seeing blood in the toilet bowl or when you wipe after a bowel movement can be alarming. In most cases, it's likely to be due to constipation or hemorrhoids, which the experienced team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. can easily treat. They also check for more serious causes such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Call one of their offices in Annapolis, Stevensville, Odenton, Bowie, or Pasadena, Maryland, to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Rectal bleeding is a common symptom in which you see blood in your stool, on the toilet paper, or in your underwear.
The blood can vary in color, from bright red to maroon to black. Black, tarry blood usually indicates a problem in your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, like a stomach or duodenal ulcer. Bright red blood is more likely to come from farther down the GI tract in your rectum or anus.
Most often, rectal bleeding is due to constipation, because the anal tissues tear as you pass a hard stool. Hemorrhoids – varicose veins on or just inside your anus – are the other most likely cause of rectal bleeding.
In some cases, rectal bleeding is a symptom of more serious problems, such as colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis), or diverticulitis.
If you lose a lot of blood and experience dizziness or feel nauseous, you should seek urgent advice from Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates.
At your consultation, your provider discusses your current symptoms and medical history with you and carries out a physical exam. Depending on what they find, you might need to undergo further tests, which could include a:
These tests help to identify any obstructions, injuries, rectal polyps, or signs of inflammation.
The treatment you require for rectal bleeding varies according to the underlying cause. If you have anal tears due to constipation, then adding dietary fiber, drinking more water, and getting more exercise might be all you need.
The team at Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates also offers simple, effective solutions for hemorrhoids as well as treatments that help ulcers to heal. If you have polyps, your provider can remove them during a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.
Rectal bleeding resulting from inflammatory bowel disease is treatable by managing your condition. This typically involves taking anti-inflammatory medications and sometimes steroids and immune system suppressants. Severe cases of IBD and colorectal cancer might require surgery.
If you have rectal bleeding, find the cause and get the treatment you need by calling Anne Arundel Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. today or booking an appointment online.