Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding) (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
In this Article
- Definition of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)
- What symptoms are associated with rectal bleeding?
- What are some of the causes of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- Anal fissures
- Diverticulitis, IBD, AVM, ischemic colitis, cancer, intussusception
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Ulcers or gastritis
- Esophageal bleeding
- Other causes
- When should I call a doctor for blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- How is the cause of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding) diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- Can blood in the stool (rectal bleeding) be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Diverticulitis, IBD, AVM, ischemic colitis, cancer, intussusception
Blood may arise from various diseases of the colon (large intestine) including diverticulosis and diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and arteriovenous malformations (AVM). Colon polyps, cancers, and other growths can also cause blood in the stool. When the blood supply to the colon is decreased or cut off, the colon can become inflamed and bleed. This can be caused by ischemic colitis (blood flow to the colon is decreased), intussusception (one section of the colon telescopes into another and volvulus, when the colon twists upon itself). Diverticular bleeds tend to be painless but there can be significant blood loss. Pain is the hallmark of blood loss in the colon.
Bacterial or viral infections
Ulcers or gastritis
Next: Esophageal bleeding
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