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Colorectal Diseases

Bloody diarrhea

04/28/2008

Question:

I am a 47 year old female in excellant health. I run 3 miles most days and strength train as well. I take no medication except the occassional pain reliever and I get an annual check-up. I recently experienced what I thought to be the stomach flu with nausea (no vomiting) and diareha with stomach pain. After several trips to the bathroom over the course of the day, I had diareha with bright red blood in the water. The following day I saw my GP who, without an exam, determined that it was hemorrhoids and told me to keep an eye on things and to call if more developed. I did not have a BM that day but the following day I had a normal sized and textured BM with red blood streaking on it in places. There was also a small amount of blood on the tissue. My rectum burns slightly as well. Does this sound like a hemorrhoid that is healing or should I jump right to a colonoscopy. I feel great, no abdominal pain, no fatigue...just concern.

Answer:

You don't need to jump to a colonoscopy, but you do need to jump to someone who will examine your rectum for evidence of hemorrhoids! If there are none, you may need a colonoscopy to determine the source of the bleeding.

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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