When a person experiences rectal bleeding for the first time, it can be quite startling and alarming. It is important to know that the most common causes of Rectal Bleeding are not serious at all. However, it is a symptom that should always be examined so the exact cause can be determined and treated. At Digestive Care Physicians, LLC, Dr. Ranvir Singh, Dr. Stephen Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin J. Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; have spent years diagnosing and treating a wide variety of Colorectal Conditions. Because Rectal Bleeding is not the easiest condition to face, their primary goal is peace of mind and comfort for their patients.
Despite its name, Rectal Bleeding can stem from any area of the digestive tract—not just the rectum. The telltale sign is the color of the blood—the darker the blood, the further it has traveled before reaching the anus. Because of this, the method of treatment for Rectal Bleeding varies. If the cause of Rectal Bleeding is an anal tear, the blood will be bright red or pink. If the cause is Inflammatory Bowel Disease deep in the bowels, the blood will be much darker.
Symptoms and Causes
|Upper Digestive Tract||Lower Digestive Tract||Severe/Acute Bleeding|
|Bright red blood in vomit||Black or tarry stool||Weakness and fatigue|
|Vomit that looks like coffee grounds||Dark blood mixed with stool||Dizziness or faint feeling|
|Black or tarry stool||Stool with bright red blood||Shortness of breath|
|Dark blood mixed with stool||Diverticulitis||Abdominal pain|
|Stool with bright red blood||Colitis||Diarrhea|
Diagnosing Rectal Bleeding
The first step in diagnosing bleeding in the digestive tract is locating the site of the bleeding. Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, or Dr. Long B. Nguyen will take your complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, black or red stools, and pain or tenderness in the abdomen may tell them which area of the digestive tract is bleeding. Iron supplements, bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol), or certain foods such as beets can give the stool the same appearance as bleeding from the digestive tract. Stool tests can also show bleeding that is not visible to you including the following:
- Nasogastric lavage
- Barium X-rays
- Radionuclide scanning
- Exploratory laparotomy
Endoscopy: An Endoscopy can be used to stop bleeding in the digestive tract by inserting tools through the Endoscope to:
- Inject chemicals into the bleeding site.
- Treat the bleeding site and surrounding tissue with a heat probe, electric current, or laser.
- Close affected blood vessels with a band or clip.
Angiography: Angiography can be used to inject medicine or other material into blood vessels to control some types of bleeding.
If Endoscopy and Angiography do not work, you may need other treatments or surgery to stop the bleeding.
To prevent bleeding in the future, Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, or Dr. Long B. Nguyen can treat conditions that cause bleeding, such as:
- H. pylori infection
- Peptic Ulcers
- Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Board-Certified physicians Dr. Ranvir Singh, Dr. Stephen Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin J. Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, and providers Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; care for patients in the north Atlanta, GA area including Johns Creek, GA; Cumming, GA; and Lawrenceville. The in-house endoscopy suite at Digestive Care Physicians is a certified facility which has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). If you suffer from rectal bleeding do not ignore the symptoms; contact us at (770) 227-2222 to schedule a diagnostic appointment.