While alarming, rectal bleeding can be a sign of only minor problems, such as fissures, hemorrhoids, polyps or infection. With the help of over-the-counter products, such as fiber supplements and ointments, the bleeding and discomfort can be stopped. It is also important to follow a diet full of fiber-rich foods, which combat constipation and allow for regular bowel movements. In more serious cases, it is essential to promptly seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Try taking over-the-counter fiber supplements. Buy fiber capsules or a powder that can be mixed with liquid, and take only as often as directed on the package. The fiber helps soften the stool and reduces the chance of bleeding due to constipation. Drinking up to eight glasses of water daily in addition to the supplements helps produce regular bowel movements and reduces your chances of developing fissures or hemorrhoids.
Get 25 to 35g of fiber each day from foods. Foods with high fiber content include beans, artichokes, whole-wheat pasta, raspberries, apples, bran muffins and chick peas. Fiber aids with digestion and helps prevent diverticulosis, which can cause bleeding from the rectal area.
Use medicated creams to soothe the area. A number of ointments and suppositories are available in drugstores that are made to help protect and heal hemorrhoids. Also keep the rectal area clean and dry. Don't further irritate the area by using rough toilet paper or wiping too hard.
Start antibiotic treatment. Rectal bleeding can be the result of eating contaminated food. Take the antibiotics for the entire time prescribed, to eliminate the infection and stop the bleeding.
Wait it out. Sometimes, the bleeding will go away on its own, due to the body's natural healing process. Time will help any fissures--which are small tears in the anus--close up and halt the bleeding. After a few days, there should be no more blood.
Seek medical attention. Your regular doctor can offer treatment options, or may send you to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist, to determine the cause of the rectal bleeding. The diagnosis dictates the appropriate treatment, such as surgery or cauterization through colonoscopy.
If the bleeding is heavy or accompanied by pain, seek immediate medical attention.