Rectal Bleeding


Rectal bleeding is a symptom of a problem in the GI tract. The definition is broad as it means any blood passed rectally; consequently, the blood may come from any area or structure in the GI tract that allows blood to leak into the GI lumen (area where food and fluid is processed for absorption or removal as waste). For example, a bleeding ulcer in the stomach can have the blood excreted in the person's fecal material Rectal bleeding may be due to problems on the rectum itself or from many other problems that occur elsewhere in the GI tract. Perirectal bleeding is bleeding in an area adjacent to the rectum and may be due to abscesses or fistulas.


  • Treatment for rectal bleeding depends on the cause; simple treatments (such as some Hemorrhoids) can be done at home, but other more serious causes (tumor or ulcers, for example, may require more effort like surgery and other treatments).
  • The smallest rectal bleeding can be treated at home if the cause is known to be Minor, but if it does not improve rapidly or if the person is 40 years of age or older, seek medical care.
  • Follow-up is important if treatment is ineffective or rectal bleeding begins again.
  • The prognosis of rectal bleeding depends on the cause and the response of the person to treatment; in general, those who relax a small amount of blood are better than those who relax a lot of blood (usually those with other medical problems).

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