See a doctor. If the bleeding is heavy, or if you have black- or plum-coloured stools (faeces) – called melaena, see a doctor immediately or call an ambulance. If you feel lightheaded, collapse or feel usually weak then think about calling an ambulance, as this might indicate a heavy bleed.
Nevertheless, often the bleeding is mild. In this situation, make a visit with your doctor quickly. Some individuals assume that their rectal bleeding is because of stacks (haemorrhoids) and do not get it had a look at. Haemorrhoids are maybe the most typical cause of rectal bleeding. Nevertheless, you need to not presume the bleeding is originating from a haemorrhoid unless you have been correctly evaluated by a doctor.
What tests might be advised?
It depends on the possible causes of the bleeding. This will be determined by a doctor speaking to you (your history) and an assessment. Usually one of the following tests is suggested:
- A virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography).
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a test where an operator (a doctor or nurse) checks out your colon. Normally you are not put to sleep for this test; nevertheless, you will be provided an injection to make you drowsy (a sedative).
A colonoscope is a thin, flexible telescope. It has to do with as thick as a little finger. It is gone through the rectum and into the colon. It can be pressed all the method along the inside of the colon as far as where the small and large intestinal tracts fulfill (the caecum).
The colonoscope contains fibre-optic channels which allow light to shine down so the operator can see inside your colon. This is done either by looking down the colonoscope or by attaching the colonoscope to a TV monitor.
The colonoscope also has a side channel down which devices can pass. These can be manipulated by the operator. For instance, the operator may take a small sample (biopsy) from the within lining of the colon by using a thin getting hold of instrument which is given a side channel.
What is a sigmoidoscopy?
A sigmoidoscope is like a small telescope with an attached light about the density of your finger. It is similar to a colonoscope however much shorter. A sigmoidoscopy is simpler to do than a colonoscopy. It might be done rather of a colonoscopy if the bleeding is suspected to be originating from the lower colon or rectum.
A doctor or nurse inserts the sigmoidoscope into the anus and presses it slowly into the anus and sigmoid colon. This enables the doctor or nurse to see the lining of the anus and sigmoid colon. The procedure is not usually painful however it might be a little uncomfortable.
What is a virtual colonoscopy?
A virtual colonoscopy (also called CT colonography) is a more recent test. It enables the doctor to obtain an excellent view of the colon without passing the tube right up inside it. A tube is entered the back passage (rectum) however does not need to go further up. With this tube, a gas is pushed into the bowel to open it up. A CT scan is then done of the bowel.
This test is less uncomfortable and much better endured than the standard colonoscopy. It is typically used for individuals who are more frail and can not endure a colonoscopy. Nevertheless it is not offered in all areas.
What is a faecal occult blood (FOB) test?
The FOB test finds percentages of blood in your stools (faeces) which you would not typically see or know.
When and why is the FOB test done?
As talked about, there are numerous disorders which might cause bleeding into the digestive tract. These might cause rectal bleeding which you can see. Nevertheless, a few of these disorders in some individuals may just bleed with a drip of blood. If you only have a small amount of blood in your faeces then the faeces look regular. Nevertheless, the FOB test will identify the blood.
So, the test may be done if you have other symptoms that may recommend a digestive tract problem. For example, consistent tummy (abdominal) pain, weight loss, etc. It may also be done to evaluate for bowel cancer prior to any symptoms establish.
Note: the FOB test can just state that you are bleeding from somewhere in the gut. It can not tell from which part. If the test is positive then further tests will typically be organized to find the source of the bleeding. For instance, colonoscopy.
How is the FOB test done?
A small sample of faeces is smeared on to a piece of card. You obtain a sample by utilizing a small scraper to scrape some faeces off toilet paper which you have simply used after going to the toilet. The sample is tested by adding a chemical to the sample on the card. If there is a change in colour after adding the chemical, it shows that some blood exists.
Typically two or three FOB tests are done on two or 3 separate samples of faeces, obtained on various days. This is because a bleeding disorder of the digestive tract may just bleed now and then. So, not every sample may consist of blood. A series of two or 3 samples done on several days might be more precise in finding a bleeding digestive tract disorder.
Evaluating for bowel cancer
Evaluating methods searching for early signs of a specific disease in otherwise healthy people who do not have any symptoms when treatment is most likely to be fine. Bowel cancer (colorectal cancer) screening aims to spot colorectal cancer at an early stage when there is a good chance that treatment will cure the cancer.
In the UK there is a screening program for specific age groups. This includes screening 3 samples of your faeces for blood. The age group is slightly different in different parts of the UK. If you remain in the pertinent age, you will instantly be sent out an invitation and after that your FOB screening kit, so you can do the test at home.
After your first screening test, you will then be sent out another invitation and screening package every two years until you reach the optimum age. You can then request more sets if you wish to continue to be included in the screening program.
What is the treatment for rectal bleeding?
The treatment depends upon the cause.