Bharat Pothuri, MD, FACG
Cities we serve Cypress, Katy, Tomball, Waller, Hockley, Hempstead, Spring, and the greater Houston.
Bleeding unexpectedly from anywhere in your body can be unnerving, especially when it’s from an internal source, as is sometimes the case with rectal bleeding. Dr. Bharat Pothuri is a gastroenterologist in Cypress, North Houston, Texas who, along with his team of skilled medical professionals at GastroDoxs, provides comprehensive care and relief from all types of digestive issues. If you are experiencing rectal bleeding, it may be the sign of a more serious medical condition. Call or schedule an appointment online today. We are located in Greater Houston.
Rectal Bleeding Q & A
What causes rectal bleeding?
It’s not uncommon to experience occasional rectal bleeding, but persistent, ongoing bleeding can indicate a serious medical condition. There are several reasons you may see blood in your stool, or on the toilet paper after you’ve used the bathroom. Causes of rectal bleeding include:
- Hemorrhoids, both internal and external, are swollen rectal veins that are painful, itchy, and may bleed.
- Anal fissures, or tears in the lining of the rectum, can cause painful bowel movements and bleeding.
- Diverticulosis is a condition in which there are tiny pouches in the bowel wall. When these get infected, it’s called diverticulitis, and bleeding can occur.
- Forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Angiodysplasia is a condition in which you have enlarged veins inside your colon that become fragile and bleed.
- Tumors and polyps inside the colon.
- Rectal trauma from a wound.
- Upper gastrointestinal issues in the stomach or esophagus lining.
- Colon cancer.
Hemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal bleeding, and often develop during pregnancy, or as a result of chronic constipation or obesity. With any of these potential causes, Dr. Pothuri first determines the underlying reasons for the condition so he can offer the most effective treatment options.
What are the symptoms of rectal bleeding?
Your symptoms may vary depending on the source of the bleeding, and can include:
- Rectal pain and discomfort
- Bright red blood in your stool
- Maroon or dark colored stool
- Confusion and dizziness
- Stomach or abdominal pain
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience continuous or heavy rectal bleeding that is accompanied by severe abdominal pain and cramping. For occasional rectal bleeding that lasts more than a day or two, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with Dr. Pothuri so he can determine the underlying cause. If you’re over 40, you want to rule out the possibility of colon cancer.
How is rectal bleeding diagnosed?
Dr. Pothuri performs a physical exam of your abdomen, rectum, and anus to determine possible sources of the bleeding. He may also order additional diagnostic testing such as blood tests, a colonoscopy, or an endoscopy to see if there is active bleeding anywhere in your digestive tract. Once he discovers the cause of the bleeding, he creates a customized treatment plan so you can get relief.
If your rectal bleeding symptoms are non life-threatening, call or schedule a consultation with Dr. Pothuri. We are located in Greater Houston. Otherwise, visit the nearest emergency center for prompt attention.