What is Rectum Infection & Bleeding & How is it Treated?
What is Rectum Infection?
Rectum Infection is a condition where there is inflammation of the tissue, which lines the inner side of the rectum. The rectum is a component of the lower digestive system and connects the last part of the colon to the anus. The stool passes through the rectum before exiting the body.
Rectum infection causes pain and discomfort in the patient. The patient also feels a constant urge to defecate when suffering from rectal infection. Treatment of rectum infection consists of lifestyle modifications and medications. Surgery is only needed in extremely severe and recurrent rectal infection. Bleeding is one of the symptoms of rectum infection.
What is Rectal Bleeding?
Bleeding from the rectum is termed as rectal bleeding. Rectal bleeding is an indication of a gastrointestinal tract problem. Rectal bleeding can also occur as a result of problems in the rectum itself.
What are the Causes of Rectum Infection & Bleeding?
Common causes of Rectum Infection are some underlying medical conditions which include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can cause rectum infection and bleeding.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Injury or trauma to the anus (enema, sex toys etc.) can also cause rectum infection and bleeding.
- Infections from bacteria, such as shigella and salmonella can cause rectum infection and bleeding.
- Radiation treatment for anal, ovarian, prostate or rectal cancer can cause rectum infection and bleeding.
What are Other Common Causes of Rectal Bleeding?
There are a variety of causes of rectal bleeding. Common causes of rectal bleeding include hemorrhoids, anal fissure, diverticulosis, infection, inflammation, irritable bowel disease, colitis, Crohn's disease, blood vessel problems, polyps, trauma, tumors, Meckel’s diverticulum and stomach ulcers.
What are the Symptoms of Rectum Infection & Bleeding?
- Patient with rectum infection is likely to experience pain in the rectum.
- Presence of bright red blood in the stool can also be a sign and symptom of rectal infection.
- There is change in the color of the stool to red, black or maroon.
- The stool tests positive for presence of occult blood.
- Patient also experiences confusion, lightheadedness and dizziness.
- Patient may faint and have palpitations.
Serious Symptoms of Rectum Infection & Bleeding
The following symptoms with rectal bleeding should not be ignored and immediate medical treatment should be sought:
- Stomach swelling/pain.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Persistent rectal bleeding or worsening of rectal bleeding.
- Recent weight loss.
- Change in bowel habits.
- Prolonged or severe diarrhea.
- Involuntary seepage of stools, pencil-sized stools or inability to pass stool.
- Maroon or black stools or large volume of blood loss.
- Weakness, dizziness or fainting spells.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
What is the Treatment for Rectum Infection & Rectal Bleeding?
Treatment for Rectum Infection & Rectal Bleeding depends on its underlying cause and the patient’s symptoms. Sitz baths also help relieve rectum infection and bleeding and its associated symptoms. If there has been significant blood loss through rectal bleeding, then the patient will be hospitalized where oxygen is given to the patient along with intravenous fluids and blood transfusion if needed.
The doctor may prescribe oral medications, intravenous medications, topical medications and medications which are delivered by enema to treat rectal infection and bleeding. Medications which are used to treat rectum infection and its cause include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines and corticosteroids to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Antibiotics and antifungal medications to fight STIs and other infections.
- Immunosuppressants are prescribed if the cause of rectum infection & rectal bleeding is Crohn’s disease or other autoimmune diseases.
- Further treatment for rectum infection and bleeding depends on source of the bleeding and the patient may need referral to a specialist such as a gastroenterologist, general surgeon etc.
Surgery for Rectum Infection & Bleeding
Surgery is needed in extreme cases of rectum infection & bleeding where the patient is suffering from Crohn’s disease or frequent/persistent rectum infection and bleeding.
Lifestyle Modifications for Rectum Infection & Bleeding
- It is important to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day and keep adequately hydrated.
- Patients suffering from rectum infection and bleeding should eat a soft and bland diet and avoid spicy and fried food.
- It is important to bath or shower daily so the area around the anus is clean.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements. Take fiber rich diet or supplements, such as Benefiber and Metamucil.
- Avoid prolonged sitting on the toilet.
- Application of ice packs to the affected region helps in alleviating pain and inflammation.
- Sitz bath also helps a lot in relieving the symptoms of rectum infection and bleeding.
- It is important to avoid drinking alcohol, as this causes dehydration and leads to constipation which in turn worsens rectum infection and bleeding. Tea, coffee and caffeinated sodas should also be avoided for the same reason.
- If the patient is lactose intolerant, then it is important to avoid dairy products and switch to other alternatives.
What is the Prognosis of Rectum Infection and Bleeding?
Most of the cases of Rectum Infection and Bleeding are successfully treated with lifestyle modifications and medications. Patient should not ignore the symptoms of rectum infection and bleeding and should seek immediate treatment for a good outcome and to prevent complications, such as anemia, abscess and ulcers.
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