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Colorectal Diseases

Bleeding from rectum for 3 years

03/02/2009

Question:

My 34 Year old husband often complains of bleeding from his rectum. He sees blood whenever is wiping there. He has been having this problem for a very long time. Whenever he consults a doctor, they always ask him not to strain when he is pooping. He had a colonoscopy conducted 3 years ago and everything was normal back then. But after 3 years he is still bleeding from his rectum. My husband always eats fiber rich food and he drinks lot of water too. But still sometimes he has to strain when using the restroom. We are really frustrated. For the last 3 years he has been to various doctors and they have given ointments to apply on his rectum but it is of no use. Can you suggest what we need to do next and what can be done from our side to prevent such bleeding. After reading all his symptoms do you think he might have some serious problem. Can you also suggest what doctor we need to see next. Your answer will be really appreciated as I am really worried about my husbands health. Thanks!

Answer:

If he has had a normal colonoscopy, and a normal anal exam recently, there should be less worry about a serious problem. He most likely then has hemorrhoidal veins that are irritated by firm stools which he strains to pass, or an anal fissure. Neither is life threatening. Both may resolve with healthy toileting habits, fiber and fluid therapy. Sometimes these things are amenable to surgical therapy; ask him to visit a specialist in proctology to find the answer, if there is one.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati