Rectal Bleeding

Common Symptoms of Rectal Bleeding

The symptoms of rectal bleeding depend upon the site and severity. Some common symptoms include:
 
  • Bright red blood coating the stool
  • Dark blood mixed with the stool
  • Black or tarry stool.
     
Some symptoms might indicate whether the bleeding is acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Symptoms of acute rectal bleeding include:
 
  • Any of the bleeding symptoms mentioned previously
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Crampy abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Feeling faint
  • Diarrhea.
     
Symptoms of chronic rectal bleeding include:
 
  • Any of the bleeding symptoms mentioned previously
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling faint.
     
If bleeding is coming from the rectum or the lower colon, bright red blood will coat or mix with the stool. The stool may be mixed with darker blood if the bleeding is higher up in the colon or at the far end of the small intestine. When there is bleeding in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, the stool is usually black or tarry.
 
If bleeding is occult (hidden), you might not notice any changes in stool color.
 
If sudden massive rectal bleeding occurs, a person may feel weak, dizzy, faint, short of breath, or have crampy abdominal pain or diarrhea. Shock may occur, with a rapid pulse, drop in blood pressure, and difficulty in producing urine. The person may become very pale.
 
If bleeding is slow and occurs over a long period of time, a gradual onset of fatigue, lethargy, shortness of breath, and pallor (a pale appearance) from the anemia will result. The term "anemia" means that there is a lack of the blood's iron-rich substance, hemoglobin.
 

Rectal Bleed

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