ZocdocAnswersIs rectal bleeding something serious?

Question

Is rectal bleeding something serious?

I noticed that when I sit certain ways there is a slight pain in my anus. Today when I passed stool, there was blood and throughout the day there has been more blood in my anus pooling when I wipe, is this something serious?

Answer

Rectal bleeding often is a sign or a problem in the gastrointestinal tract. It is normal for stools to come in a range of colors because of what you eat. For instance, beets and tomatoes can sometimes make stools appear reddish. However, if you cannot attribute the changes of your stool color to certain foods or medicines, most likely it is a symptom of a medical condition that is not to be ignored. It is good that you take notice of the stool color which will help in locating the site of bleeding. Bright red blood in the stool usually indicates bleeding low in the colon or rectum. It is often from hemorrhoids. Anal fissure (tear in the skin of the anus), diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) can also result in blood passed in the stool. Symptoms usually develop quickly, but most causes are treatable and not serious. In some cases, rectal bleeding signals an internal bleeding caused by a serious condition such as colon polyps or colorectal cancer. Polyps are benign but can grow, bleed and become cancerous. Colorectal cancer is a common form of cancer that can usually be cured if diagnosed and treated early enough. For this reason, all rectal bleeding should be evaluated by a doctor to find its cause. If your bleeding does not stop or you pass large amounts of blood, you need to seek treatment right away. You may need emergency treatment to stop the bleeding by a gastroenterologist.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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