Are you worried about your Rectal Bleeding?
If you have suffered unexplained rectal bleeding it could be a sign of an undiagnosed, underlying condition such as a stomach ulcer, haemorrhoids, anal fistula, bowel polyps. While less common it may also be explained by more complex problems such as, inflammatory bowel diseases like diverticulitis or Chron’s disease, and while rare, bowel cancer could explain your symptoms. To help your doctor narrow down the diagnosis to a specific condition they will take a detailed history and discuss all your symptoms, they may need to do a physical examination or perform blood or imaging tests.
If you are over the age of 60, you are eligible for free bowel cancer tests, you can do this at home with a freely available home test kit, otherwise known as a faecal immunochemical test. The instructions are easy to follow and the test simple and quick to perform, it involves collecting a small sample of your faeces using the kit provided, which, you can post to a laboratory that will check to see if there are any small amount of blood in your faeces, a common sign of bowel cancer. There are steps you can take to ensure that you remain fit and healthy, especially as you get older, check out our helpful advice below.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet
- Remain active, exercising regularly
- Complete a bowel cancer test at home, if offered the opportunity
Your health is important so you should always monitor your own bowel movements and maintain a healthy and balanced diet, ensuring you remain active with regular exercise and activity. When something does go wrong, particularly with rectal bleeding it can be very frightening and often causes additional anxiety, so you need to evaluate and treat the source of the problem immediately to ensure that it does not result in serious complication. If you are concerned about rectal bleeding, or you are experiencing any of the symptoms below then please do not hesitate to seek medical assistance.
Make an appointment with your doctor if:
- You have noticed bleeding when you go to the toilet
- You have very dark black or red stools
- You are experiencing unexplained diarrhoea with blood in it
- You have noticeable pain in or around your bottom
- You also experience lower abdominal pain
- You have been feeling tired and lethargic
- You have recently experienced unexplained weight loss
Seek emergency medical care immediately:
- If there is a large volume of blood
- If you cannot get the blood to stop flowing
- If you are experiencing additional symptoms such as dizziness, rapid, or shallow breathing difficulties, blurry vision, nausea, confusion, or fainting
- If you are experiencing severe abdominal cramps
- Anal cancer
- Anal fissure
- Colon cancer
- Colon polyps
- Crohn's disease
- Hard stools
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Ischemic colitis
- Pseudomembranous colitis
- Radiation therapy
- Rectal cancer
- Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis