I have recently been constipated and every once in awhile some blood will appear in my stool. Is this normal, it feels as if it is coming from aggrivated lining of my anus. Any help? Should I have it checked out. It does not happen all the time.
Bright red blood seen when wiping or in the toilet bowl and not mixed with the stool most often represents anal outlet bleeding from hemorrhoids or a fissure (tear in the anal canal). Treatment includes a high fiber diet, soaking in lukewarm water for 20 minutes daily (sitz bath), stool softeners and medications such as preparation H or Annusol. Most gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons would recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy (tube with a light and video camera introduced into the rectum and advanced up the left side of the colon) in a young patient to rule out more proximal bleeding from inflammatory bowel disease. In an older patient (over 50) most physicians would be more aggressive about ruling out colon cancer. To more effectively rule out colon cancer either a colonoscopy (similar tube to flexible sigmoidoscopy but examines the entire large intestine) or a flexible sigmoidoscopy and a barium enema can be done. I hope you find this information helpful.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568, our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
*Keywords: rectal bleeding, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, barium enema
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