Rectal bleeding is often ignored, sometimes because people pass it off as a hemorrhoid, and sometimes because they are afraid to find out what is causing it. You may think that you know why you are seeing blood, but the truth is that until you get it checked out by your doctor, you really don't know what is causing it. Finding out why you are experiencing rectal bleeding may end up saving your life.
The importance of finding out what is causing the rectal bleeding you are seeing, is very high. Rectal bleeding is a significant symptom of many things that can actually be life threatening. Rectal bleeding can also be a one time thing that may be happening because of irritation of the rectum or anus, or even because of a mild hemorrhoid. The important thing is to find out why there is blood there, and have the problem confirmed by your doctor.
When you see blood after eliminating, whether it is older and dark, or fresh and red, it can be a very scary thing. The fact that there is any blood showing at all, whether in the toilet water, on the toilet paper, or on your clothing, needs to be looked into medically. When you see dark blood, either black, brown or darker red, it can mean that there is bleeding somewhere inside, such as your intestines or digestive tract. This could be caused by diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, or an injury somewhere inside. Bright red or dark red blood, which appears to be fresh blood, may be from a bleeding hemorrhoid, a colon tear, or cancer. With the possibility of having a diagnosis of a mild problem, such as a hemorrhoid, to having a more serious or possibly even a life threatening problem such as cancer, getting to the doctor as soon as possible is very important. Other problems that can cause rectal bleeding include Colitis, Anal fissure, polyps, and other more rare conditions that your doctor will explore. The determination of exactly why you are seeing bleeding from the rectum will need to be evaluated by a doctor. The tests he may perform to see why there is a bleeding problem to begin with, might include blood work, Colonoscopy, Anoscopy, and a physical exam. There may be other tests he will suggest if he sees a need to look further.
Rectal bleeding can fill your mind with fear and make you want to ignore the fact that there is a problem. Don't let that happen. The best thing you can do if you experience rectal bleeding, is to see your doctor. Even if there is something seriously wrong, early diagnosis offers more options than later diagnosis does. Even if the rectal bleeding is from a hemorrhoid, taking care of it right away will help prevent it from becoming severe or thrombosed, which might require surgery.
One misconception that people have, is that if it's cancer, there will always be blood. This is not the case. Colon or rectal cancer can actually show no symptoms at all. Another misconception that some people have is that hemorrhoids will go away on their own. Sometimes this is true, but almost always there is at least little things you should do to help heal the hemorrhoids. Even dietary changes will make a difference.
When you see blood, whether it is red or black, seek help from your doctor. This may be the thing that will end up saving your life. At the least you will be taking the steps to preventing a little problem from becoming a bigger problem. Taking control of your health means taking signs of ill health seriously, and acting on them. If you see rectal bleeding, take it seriously.