Bowel bleeding or rectal bleeding is typically discovered after wiping and seeing a small amount of blood in the toilet bowl, on the toilet paper, or in your stool. There are many possible reasons why bowel bleeding can occur, ranging from mild to serious, haemorrhoids are the most common cause.
Causes of Bowel bleeding
As stated above, there are multiple causes of your bowels bleeding that can include:
- Anal fissures- Anal fissures are small tears in your anus lining, an anal fissure can lead to pain and bleeding when passing a stool, and can occur during childbirth or constipation.
- Haemorrhoids- also referred to as piles, this is when there’s a mass of tissue made from blood vessels and muscle fibres, whilst being painless they can cause bleeding and sometimes pass through the anus.
- Angiodysplasia- Your blood vessels in the intestine can become enlarged and break and bleed.
- Constipation- When your stool is hard and you strain to relieve constipation, it can lead to anal fissures as well as haemorrhoids.
- Ulcers- Ulcers form when there is an erosion in the digestive tract, and if an ulcer is higher in your gut then it can lead to black, tarry stools, whereas an ulcer in the digestive tract can produce bright-red blood.
- Anal cancer- When a tumour forms as a result of cancer, they require blood vessels in order to be able to grow, the blood vessels surrounding your colon are fragile and can easily break and cause you to bleed.
- Inflammatory bowel disease- Also known as IBD, this includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis, they can cause bleeding as well as pain.
- Diverticular disease- Diverticula are bulges or pouches in the colon, and over time they can erode and eventually rupture and bleed. With symptoms, this is known as diverticulitis, and without them it’s diverticulosis, together it’s known as diverticular disease.
Symptoms of Bowel bleeding
You might be suffering from bowel bleeding if you have the following:
- Blood on your toilet paper.
- Red streaks on the outside of your stool.
- The toilet water is a pinkish colour.
- Blood in the stool or diarrhoea.
- Black or smelly stools.
Treatments for Bowel bleeding
If you have any of the above symptoms and are seeking treatment or a diagnosis of what could be causing it, there are two treatment options available.
You can go for a ColoAlert Colorectal Cancer Screening, which is an award-winning next-generation colorectal cancer home screening test that has been developed to detect bowel changes earlier and more accurately than the standard NHS FIT test.
There are also Private Colonoscopies, which is an examination of the large intestine (rectum and colon) with a fibre-optic camera on a flexible tube. This treatment is useful for finding out why your bowels may be bleeding.