Rectal bleeding refers to the passage of blood through the anus along with the stools.
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The rectum is the last part of the large intestine present just above the anus. Rectal bleeding is referred to as bright red to dark maroon coloured blood passing along with stools through the anus. The amount of blood loss varies from mild traces to severe life-threatening bleeds. Bleeding can occur from any part of the gastrointestinal tract due to various causes.
Following are common causes of rectal bleeding:
- Piles (haemorrhoids) are the swollen blood vessels found in and around the rectal region. These can cause bleeding when passing stools and irritate the surrounding skin making you feel uncomfortable.
- Anal Fissure is a small painful tear in the tissue lining of the anus.
- Angiodysplasia of the colon is related to aging and occurs due to enlarged blood vessels in the colon.
- Gastroenteritis: Viral or bacterial stomach infection causing bloody diarrhoea with abdominal cramps and vomiting.
- Diverticula: Refers to tiny bulges that develop on the intestinal lining. The deteriorated blood vessels in the diverticula may burst or bleed.
Other conditions such as stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and cancer of the colon or rectum may also cause rectal bleeding.