Dr. Starpoli's Blog

Common Causes of Rectal Bleeding - The Facts

Posted by Rachel Jones on Apr 16, 2014 11:31:00 AM

Repink_toilet_paperctal bleeding is a medical condition that refers to the passage of blood mixed with stool via the anus. This condition may be due to a small tear around the anus or a swollen blood vessel, characterized by bright red blood when you pass stool. Don't ignore this condition as it could have serious health implications. To be safe, let a doctor check you to avoid the unnecessary pain and suffering.  Bright red blood most likely means that the blood has come from somewhere near your anus. However, it is advisable to seek medical attention, as there are more serious causes of rectal bleeding. Here are some of the most common causes of rectal bleeding in adults:


Anal fissure

This is a small painful tear in the skin of the anus that causes discomfort due to the sensitivity of the skin. You can experience bright red blood per rectum.  It increases the feeling of wanting to pass stool even if the bowels are empty.

Hemorrhoids (piles)

These are swollen blood vessels in and around the rectum. When you are having a bowel movement, these swollen vessels bleed leaving streaks of red blood in your stool and on the toilet paper. Poor dietary fiber and fluid intake are contributory.  

Colorectal cancer and polyps

Colon cancer is a silent killer.  Symptoms occur in advanced stages and the bleeding is usually occult and found only on specialized stool testing.  If diagnosed at an early stage it is curable.  It starts with small growths called polyps and early detection and removal can help treat and stop the spread of colon cancer.


This is a case where the blood vessels in the colon enlarge causing painless bleeding. It is more common among senior people.


Pockets or dimples that develop in the wall of the colon and can present with sudden, painless rectal bleeding.


Other uncommon causes of rectal bleeding include reverse reaction of anticoagulant drugs, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  Also, brisk upper gastrointestinal bleeding (stomach and intestine), such as from an ulcer,  can produce rectal bleeding.

colon cancer, colon polyps, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, dietary suggestions, bowel difficulties