Anus Bleeding

Anus Bleeding

Is this your symptom?

  • Blood mixed in with the stool or passed separately
  • Bloody or maroon-colored stools
  • Tarry-black stools
  • Blood just on toilet paper or a few drops into toilet water
  • Streaks on surface of normal formed bowel stool

Some Basics...

  • Rectal bleeding is never normal. However, it is not always serious.
  • Sometimes bleeding can be mild. There may be just a few drops of blood in the stool or blood on the toilet paper. Often this is from hemorrhoids (piles) or a small scratch from a hard stool.
  • Sometimes bleeding can more severe. There may be blood clots, blood stool or black stool. There can be a number of possible causes. A visit to the doctor is needed.

Causes

Some common causes of rectal bleeding are:

  • Anal fissure: This is a small crack or tear in the skin of the anus. It may result from passing hard stools or from having many diarrhea stools. Symptoms are pain during and right after passing a stool, mild rectal bleeding, and rectal itching.
  • Hemorrhoids: Another name for these is piles. These are enlarged veins that are just inside ("internal") or outside ("external") the rectal opening (anus). Two top reasons why people get hemorrhoids are constipation and pregnancy. People with bleeding hemorrhoids often see blood on the toilet paper or small amounts covering the stool.

Some less common causes of rectal bleeding are:

  • Angiodysplasia
  • Cancer of colon (intestines)
  • Cancer of rectum (anus)
  • Colon polyps
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Proctitis
  • Pseudomembranous colitis
  • Radiation treatment
  • Rectal foreign body
  • Ulcerative colitis

Types of Rectal Bleeding

  • Bright red blood just on toilet paper: This is least serious. It often means that the bleeding is coming from the rectal opening (anus). The two most common causes of this type of bleeding are hemorrhoids and anal fissures.
  • Bright red blood on the surface of a stool: This often means that the bleeding is from the anus or just inside. This can be caused by hemorrhoids or anal fissures. It can also be caused by more serious problems like cancer and polyps.
  • Blood mixed with a stool: This usually means that there is a disease or problem inside the rectum or higher up in the colon (intestines). Examples are colon cancer, colon polyps, diverticulosis, and ulcerative colitis.
  • Blood mixed with diarrhea: This may be a sign of a more severe colon infection there can be blood mixed in with the stool.
  • Tarry-black stool: This may be a sign of more severe bleeding from the stomach or esophagus. When the blood passes all the way through the gut and comes out the rectum, it can make the stool look black or tarry. Stomach acid breaks down the blood and turns it black.

Severity of Rectal Bleeding is defined as:

  • Drops, Spots, Streaks: blood on toilet paper or a few drops in toilet bowl; streaks or drops of blood on surface of stool
  • Mild: more than just a few drops or streaks
  • Moderate: small blood clots, passing blood without stool, or toilet water turns red
  • Severe: large blood clots; on and off, or constant bleeding

What can Cause Red or Black Stools... that is Not Blood?

Causes of black-colored stools (not blood) are:

  • Bismuth (Pepto-Bismol)
  • Black licorice
  • Blueberries
  • Dark green stools may sometimes look like black. Put stool on white paper and hold under bright light. Is it green or black? Spinach and other dark vegetables can make stool look dark green.

Causes of red-colored stools (not blood) are:

  • Beets
  • Cranberries
  • Medicines (Omnicef)
  • Red food coloring dyes (red gelatin/Jell-O, red Kool-Aid)
  • Red licorice
  • Tomato juice or soup

When to Call for Anus Bleeding

Call 911 Now

  • Passed out (fainted)
  • Very weak (can't stand)
  • Vomiting blood or black (looks like coffee-grounds)
  • You think you have a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Moderate rectal bleeding (small blood clots, passing blood without stool, or toilet water turns red)
  • Black stools
  • Pale color of skin that is new or getting worse
  • Constant stomach pain lasts more than 2 hours
  • Taking a blood thinner like Coumadin (warfarin) or have a bleeding disorder
  • Colonoscopy within last 3 days
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Mild rectal bleeding (more than just a few drops or streaks)
  • Have had radiation treatment to pelvis or stomach areas
  • Have cancer of colon (intestines) or rectum
  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Rectal bleeding lasts more than 3 days
  • Rectal bleeding off and on for weeks or months
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • You see a few streaks or drops of blood on surface of stool
  • You see blood just on toilet paper or a few drops in toilet bowl
  • Treating constipation, questions about

Care Advice

Mild Rectal Bleeding

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Rectal bleeding is never normal. However, it is not always serious.
    • Sometimes bleeding can be very mild. There may be just a few drops of blood in the stool or blood on the toilet paper. Often this is from hemorrhoids (piles) or a small scratch from a hard stool.
    • You can treat mild rectal bleeding from hemorrhoids, anal fissure, or constipation at home.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Warm SITZ Baths Twice a Day:
    • Sit in warm bath water for 20 minutes 2 times each day. This helps clean and heal the rectal area.
    • If you want, you can add ¼ cup (80 grams) of table salt or baking soda to each tub of water. Stir the water until it dissolves.
    • This is also called a Sitz bath.
  3. Stool Softener for Hard Bowel Movements:
    • If you have hard stools, stool softeners can help soften the stool. This can help decrease rectal pain when passing stool.
    • Docusate (Colace) is a stool softener that you can get over-the-counter.
  4. Call Back If:
    • Bleeding increases
    • Bleeding lasts more than 3 days
    • Bleeding is off and on for weeks or months
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

Constipation

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Trouble passing a stool, hard stools, and infrequent stools are signs of constipation.
    • Healthy living habits can help treat and prevent constipation. Healthy habits include eating a diet high in fiber and regular exercise.
    • You can treat mild constipation at home.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Eat a High Fiber Diet:
    • Slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet. This will help soften your stools. Fiber works by holding more water in your stools.
    • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. They are great sources of natural fiber. This includes peas, prunes, citrus, apples, beans, and corn.
    • Eat more foods made from whole grains. Foods made from whole grains also have fiber. Examples are bran flakes, bran muffins, graham crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread. Popcorn is also a good source of fiber.
  3. Exercise:
    • Staying active is always a healthy choice.
    • Regular exercise decreases constipation.
    • Even a daily walk for 15 minutes helps.
  4. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Constipation lasts more than 2 weeks after using Care Advice
    • Stomach swelling, vomiting or fever occur
    • Constant or increasing stomach pain
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicines for Constipation

  1. Step-By-Step: A step-by-step approach to using OTC medicines for constipation is best.
  2. Step 1:
    • Fiber Laxatives, every day: You can take a fiber laxative instead of eating more fiber. An example of a fiber laxative is psyllium (Metamucil). Fiber can help soften your stools. Fiber works by holding more water in your stools. Be patient. Sometimes this takes a couple weeks before it starts to work.
    • Osmotic Laxatives, as needed: You can take milk of magnesia or polyethylene glycol (PEG, Miralax). This type of medicine helps pull water into your intestines. This softens the stools.
  3. Step 2:
    • If the constipation does get better with the Care Advice in Step 1, add a stimulant laxative.
    • Stimulant Laxatives: Use either bisacodyl (Dulcolax) or a glycerin suppository.
  4. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Constipation lasts more than 2 weeks after using Care Advice
    • Stomach swelling, vomiting or fever occur
    • Constant or increasing stomach pain
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Last Reviewed: 10/18/2017 1:25:56 AM
Last Updated: 5/17/2017 5:42:31 PM

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