Rectal Bleeding and Causes of Bloody Stool

Get diagnosed for rectal bleeding problems at our Colorectal Clinic in Wheaton IL

Rectal bleeding can be a very scary situation for any patient, particularly if they are not aware of the cause. There are several types of rectal bleeding and they may be signs of a serious health problem. If you have suffered from rectal bleeding, a colon cancer screening is highly recommended to rule out any risk of colon cancer.

If you are experiencing rectal bleeding, please call our DuPage County office at 630-871-1800 today to make an appointment with Dr. Drost as our Wheaton office.

Slight bleeding

Bright red in color, this type of rectal bleeding may be attributed to hemorrhoids or anal fissures. It is usually noticed on toilet paper following a bowel movement, or the blood may actually be present on the stool. Most people suffer from hemorrhoids or anal fissures at least at some point in their lives, but frequent bleeding may be a sign that there is a serious health problem.

Moderate to heavy bleeding

Bright red in color, this is a serious symptom that should be treated immediately. It may be caused by an internal hemorrhage or from the rupture of a polyp or cyst in the colon. Blood loss can occur quite quickly with this type of rectal bleeding and medical help should be sought immediately.

Occult Bleeding

This is a scary term for many patients, but it refers to a specific type of rectal bleeding. Occult blood is very dark in color and will be present in bowel movements. Any time occult blood is discovered in a stool it should be taken seriously. Monitoring of stool consistency and color is recommended and can be very beneficial in spotting occult blood early on.

If left untreated, occult bleeding can result in a serious case of anemia for the patient. In addition, this may be a sign that, for example, the right colon may have a tumor or polyp that is producing blood. Since it is not immediately shed out of the system, the blood turns to a very dark color.

Unfortunately, without proper daily monitoring of stools, or due to the fact that the blood is so dark, many patients may not realize that they have occult blood in their stool. Frequent colon cancer screenings are recommended, particularly for those over the age of 50. These screenings can assist in determining whether a tumor or polyp is present in the intestinal tract or colon.

Any form of rectal bleeding should be taken seriously and monitored. Do not hesitate to seek medical assistance if you experience regular or heavy rectal bleeding.