Can stress cause rectal bleeding?

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Can stress cause rectal bleeding?

Recting bleeding can have several causes and it is necessary to know them in order to find the right solutions.

Causes that cause rectal bleeding

Rectal bleeding, known medically as rectal bleeding, indicates the emission of red blood through the anus in isolation or in association with feces.

We can observe the blood on the toilet paper or on the toilet bowl . Although the causes are mostly banal, we should not downplay the importance of anal bleeding, even if it is only a couple of drops or especially if it is repeated or maintained over time. It is also especially important if it is associated with other symptoms such as sweating, paleness or dizziness.

About a quarter of the population has rectal bleeding at some time in their life. In most cases they are underlying pathologies that are not serious , such as anal fissures, are usually associated with pain in defecation, hemorrhoids, the most common pathology, whether internal or external or diverticula with a frequency of 15% . Or we can talk about more serious diseases such as polyps or neoplasms, about 5% of cases each . Among the less frequent causes, but which also occur with rectal bleeding, we find: inflammatory bowel disease, digestive infections, food poisoning, diarrhea, radiotherapy, andiodysplasia …

Rectal bleeding alone often does not tell us anything. It is usually a symptom more associated with other diseases or latent problems. This is why it is important not only to bleed from the rectum, but also to identify the characteristics of the bleeding: shape, color, quantity, presence of clots, mucus or pus . All these associated data are of great help for a correct diagnosis. And in pathologies associated with cancer, early diagnosis increases the chances of cure. For this reason it is important to go to the specialist even though it is a subject that can sometimes embarrass the person. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common causes of rectal bleeding.

Recting bleeding can have several causes


The hemorrhoids are the most common reason for mild rectal bleeding. Better known by the popular name of piles, they consist of swelling of the blood vessels of the anus and rectum. The mechanism is similar to that of varicose veins . The Hemorrhoids can be external , located outside the anus, or internal , they can not be seen because they are below the skin around the anus and covered with mucus, in this case also blood may be accompanied by mucus. In the case of hemorrhoids bleeding is red and at the end of the stool or covering the stool. It is usual to observe how drops fall into the toilet after defecation or on toilet paper. The appearance of hemorrhoids is associated with obesity, pregnancy, constipation or spending long periods of time sitting. The initial treatment seeks to combat constipation and local symptoms such as pain and / or pruritus. In more serious cases there is medical and surgical treatment. Hemorrhoids are not related to the appearance of cancer.

The anal fissure consists of tears in the membrane of the anus

Anal fissure

It is a tear in the membrane of the anus. There is usually intense pain in the passage of stool in the defecation associated with a small amount of blood . The pain may appear during the stool or immediately afterwards. The injuries are usually the result of trauma, constipation , very hard stools, diarrhea or inflammation of the anal mucosa. The main remedy for their healing are fiber supplements, fecal softeners and sitz baths with warm water.


It mainly affects elderly people, more than half of people over 80 are affected, but not all develop symptoms. Diverticula are small pouches that form in the wall of the colon , especially on the left side; however, they are the ones on the right side that most often cause bleeding. When a vessel ruptures or is injured by a fecaloma (very hard stool plug), rectal bleeding occurs. It is of sudden onset, painless and important because it is arterial blood . The bleeding can be continuous or intermittent, giving in almost all cases spontaneously.

Rectal polyps

It is a benign abnormal growth of the tissue that covers the large intestine . In most cases there are no symptoms, although if they are located in the lower part of the colon, mild rectal bleeding may occur . The surgical extirpation of them, as well as a follow-up is vital for the colorectal health, since it is demonstrated that their presence with time can lead to colon cancer.

Colon cancer

It is one of the most common causes of death, affecting both men and women alike. It originates in the large intestine, and presents a slow progression. The total cure is more encouraging if the diagnosis is early. There is a direct relationship between colon cancer and polyps, because cancer often appears as an evolution of untreated polyps over time. If the cancer develops in the right colon, it is common for hair to appear , black, slimy, smelly stools. If rectal bleeding is associated with other clinical data such as fatigue, significant weight loss, fatigue, loose stools and increased number of stools, presence of blood mixed with feces, palpation of rectal tumor … the prognosis is worse.

Inflammatory bowel disease

It includes two types of disorders, mainly ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease . Both present a chronic character and an autoimmune component, and are characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestine. In addition to rectal bleeding, diarrhea and emission of mucus with feces occur as a result. In the case of ulcerative colitis, the expulsion of blood may occur without coinciding with the expulsion of feces . Crohn’s patients may present rectal bleeding or hematochezia, red blood flow through the rectum as a result of bleeding in the upper portions of the digestive tract, as the only symptom of their disease, as a result of ulcers present in the intestine.

Ischemic colitis

Ischemic colitis occurs when a section of the colon is injured or inflamed as a result of insufficient blood flow over a longer or shorter period of time . The most common form is intestinal ischemia, and although any part of the colon may be affected, it is more common on the left side, which corresponds to the sigmoid colon and the descending colon. Mild or moderate rectal bleeding is one of its symptoms, along with the predominantly left abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever .


They consist of the inflammation of the membrane that covers the rectum . Some of the causes that trigger it are: certain medications, radiotherapy in some types of cancer, infections or the inflammatory bowel disease mentioned above. The characteristic symptoms is rectal tenesmus , the person has the sensation of not completely emptying the intestines despite making frequent bowel movements, so the urge to defecate is frequent and persistent. In these cases rectal bleeding is accompanied by pain in the anal and rectal area, in addition to expulsion of mucus in the stool . The treatment is determined by the cause that originates it.

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