ZocdocAnswersWhat does this mean? What's the most likely cause due of my symptoms?

Question

What does this mean? What's the most likely cause due of my symptoms?

Hi, I'm male, I weigh between 150-160lbs. And I'm 5'9 tall. Lately, after I take a poop and start wiping my butt, small spots of bright red blood will be on the toliet paper. It's not everytime either. And it's never a large amount of blood. It's very small amounts. And only when I wiping my butt. I don't know what this is, and I'm very worried. Sometimes I feel constipated, I don't know if that has anything to do with this, and I always drink 1-2 energy drinks to keep me going almost everyday. I dont know if that effects anything. I'm really worried about this, I am a smoker too, so the first thing that came to mind was cancer, even though my butt has nothing to do with my lungs. It doesn't hurt when I poop or anything, just small random spots of blood when I wipe. Sometimes I do push to get it out, and sometimes my poop, let's just say, seems to be to wide for such a small hole.... Sorry, I didn't know how else to say that. Please, please, please help me!

Answer

The symptoms you describe are common. Though it is not possible to tell with certainty what the cause of your symptoms are there are a number of likely conditions. The list of causes include anal fissures, hemorrhoids, polyps, rectal inflammation and as you suggested cancer. Since you are not having any pain, anal fissures and rectal inflammation are not likely the cause. The next important factor is your age. If you are young (below 40 years of age) and do not have a family history of colon cancer cancer or polyps, these are less likely the cause, though they may still need to be excluded. This leaves hemorrhoids as perhaps the most likely cause of your symptoms. It's important to know that there are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids can cause bleeding and discomfort, but are not typically painful, whereas external steroids are supplied by a different part of the nervous system and can be quite painful. Internal hemorrhoids may not be noticeable to you, but external hemorrhoids and frequently evident. Hemorrhoids and constipation frequently occur together. First, and perhaps the most important is to change your bowel habits to help prevent them from continuing to occur. Hemorrhoids occur because of an increase in pressure inside your abdomen that can occur from a number of reasons including straining while having a bowel movement. To prevent straining you should eat a diet that is rich in fiber and also stay well hydrated. These measures alone may significantly reduce your symptoms. The next simple treatment is topical steroids which can decrease symptoms of itching and discomfort. A primary care doctor can prescribe steroid suppositories for internal steroids to reduce inflammation and allow the tissue to heal. However, with all of these options it is important to see your primary care physician who can evaluate your symptoms and help direct you to the appropriate diagnosis and therapy. Good luck! PS You are right to be concerned about cancer in general if you are smoking and you should consider taking this as an opportunity to quit.

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