It can be frightening to see blood in the toilet bowl when you go to flush, even if you feel perfectly well. It’s important to find out the cause of rectal bleeding, and the expert gastroenterologist at Stomach Pain NY in Midtown East, New York City, can make a fast and accurate diagnosis of what’s causing the bleeding and use advanced treatments to return you to health. If you have rectal bleeding, call Stomach Pain NY today to arrange a consultation, or book an appointment using the online tool.

Rectal Bleeding

What is rectal bleeding?

Rectal bleeding describes any type of blood flow from the anus, but it’s most often linked to bleeding that originates in your rectum, or the lower part of your colon. The rectum is the last couple of inches of your large intestine, which ends in the anus.

You won’t be able to see blood coming from your rectum, and most often, patients first notice blood when they pass stools or on the toilet paper before flushing the toilet.

What causes rectal bleeding?

There are many possible causes of rectal bleeding. Damage to the anus, such as an anal fissure or tear in the anal canal, can result in blood transferring to your stool or toilet paper.

Constipation is a common cause of anal fissures because the hard stool stretches the anus too far and causes small tears in the lining of the anal canal. Hemorrhoids, which are swollen, inflamed veins in the anus or rectum that can protrude from the anus, may also bleed when damaged.

Other possible causes of rectal bleeding include:

  • Anal cancer
  • Angiodysplasia
  • Colon cancer
  • Colon polyps
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diverticulosis
  • Proctitis
  • Rectal cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis

If you notice mild rectal bleeding, keep an eye on it, and if you’re still bleeding after a day or so, call Stomach Pain NY. If the bleeding is heavy or if you have any other symptoms, you should call right away.

What other symptoms should I look for if I have rectal bleeding?

The color of the blood can tell you where you’re bleeding from. Most often the blood is a bright red color, which indicates it’s from the anus, rectum, or lower colon. Darker red or maroon coloring indicates the blood is coming from higher up in the colon or the small bowel. Black, tarry blood, which is known as melena, is typically due to bleeding in the stomach.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the rectum
  • Feeling of pressure in the rectum
  • Confusion
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Fainting

You should always call Stomach Pain NY if you have dark red or tarry blood, or if you have any type of rectal bleeding accompanied by other symptoms.

If you notice blood in the toilet bowl after having a bowel movement, don’t be alarmed; very often there’s a simple explanation and there’s nothing to worry about. However, you shouldn’t ignore rectal bleeding in case there’s a more serious cause. If in doubt, call Stomach Pain NY today to schedule an appointment, or use the online booking tool.