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Anal Bleeding and What Could be the Cause

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 Dec 2015 | comments*Discuss
Anal Rectal Bleeding Cause Diagnosis

Anal bleeding, sometimes also called rectal bleeding, is something that no one likes to talk about, but is a signal that something is wrong with the body. If you are experiencing anal bleeding you must get beyond the embarrassment of this symptom to find out the underlying cause. A medical professional has many tools to help diagnose the cause of anal bleeding, and treatment will depend upon the diagnosis. Don't delay in starting this process so that you can treat, and hopefully end, this embarrassing symptom soon.

Common Causes of Anal Bleeding

There are many possible causes of anal bleeding. Haemorrhoids (dilated blood vessels in the anal region) are a common causes of anal/rectal bleeding. A fissure (small tear at the side of the anus) could also cause anal/rectal bleeding. An abscess (small pocket of pus) or fistula (abnormal channel which develops from the rectum to the anus) could also cause such bleeding. These developments are often seen in patients with Crohn's Disease, a disease causing chronic inflammation of the bowels. Diverticulitis (inflammation of sacs on the bowel wall), proctitis (inflammation of the rectum), colitis (inflammation of the large intestine/colon) may all cause anal/rectal bleeding as well. Polyps (benign growths in the colon), protrusion of the rectum from the anus and colon cancer are also common causes of anal//rectal bleeding.

Diagnosing Anal Bleeding

There are may tools available to help doctors diagnose the underlying cause of anal/rectal bleeding. Writing down all of your associated symptoms can help a doctor get a better picture of your medical history. When did the bleeding start? What was and is your pattern of bowel movements? What kind of stool did you and do you pass? What colour is the anal/rectal blood? How much of it is there? When does it occur? The answer to these questions can point a doctor in the direction of a diagnosis. Other tools, such as a visual and digital (finger) examination of your anus, a colonoscopy (view of the colon using small cameras), barium enema x-ray (liquid barium is introduced into the rectum via enema and then x-rayed)and a variety of blood tests can all help diagnose the cause of anal/rectal bleeding.

Treating Anal Bleeding

The most appropriate treatment for anal/rectal bleeding will be decided once a diagnosis has been made. Some treatments, such as those for fissures and haemorrhoids, is relatively simple. In these cases, more fibre in the diet and less strenuous pushing of stool can help end the problem. Ointments and suppositories may also be used. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and immune modifying drugs may be prescribed for diverticulitis, proctitis, colitis and those with Crohn's Disease or other autoimmune associations to the anal/rectal bleeding. Fistulas may be treated surgically or with a special type of glue or plug. Most polyps are removed during colonoscopy. Rectal prolapse and protrusion may be surgically repaired. Colon cancer treatment will depend upon the severity and stage of cancer.

Anal bleeding can be embarrassing, but it is also a message that your health may be at risk. Understanding the common causes of anal/rectal bleeding allows you to view this symptom as a potential warning sign of a greater disease or condition. Don't delay in seeking a diagnosis and treatment so that you can alleviate or even end this situation once and for all.

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