How Anal Bleeding is Diagnosed


anal bleeding,

the blood comes out of the anus. It is also called as rectal bleeding because the rectum lies immediately above the anus. It is a symptom rather that the disease itself. It is seen in several pathological conditions such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, colon polyps, colon cancer and in diseases such as Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, rectal cancer, diverticulitis, angiodysplasia and small bowel lesion.

Diagnosis of anal bleeding:

Anal bleeding is a symptom. Approach to diagnosis is to know the

underlying cause

of the bleeding. Focus is to locate the site of anal bleeding. A complete history and physical examination are the vital parts of making a diagnosis.


such as stool color and consistency, changes in bowel habits, the presence of pain or tenderness can give a clue. Seeing the presence of pain and tenderness, the doctor can pinpoint the affected area.


blood count

is done to see whether the person is anemic due to bleeding. It also gives an idea of the extent of the bleeding. Some medications and foods give bloody color to the stool. Blood count helps in ruling out those false signs.


Endoscopy is the most reliable technique to diagnose anal bleeding. It is used to diagnose many other abnormalities of gastrointestinal tract.


It is a flexible instrument that consists of a long, thin, flexible tube (sometimes it can be a rigid tube) which has a light and a video camera.

Depending on the site, endoscopy can be

upper gastrointestinal endoscopy


lower gastrointestinal endoscopy.

The doctor can see into esophagus, stomach, duodenum and upper part of small intestine in upper endoscopy. Lower small intestine, colon, rectum and anus can be seen in lower endoscopy.

A new diagnostic instrument called a

capsule endoscope

is also used to know the exact cause of anal bleeding. The capsule contains a tiny camera in the instrument that transmits images to a video monitor. This advanced technique is most often used to find the bleeding portions of the small intestine that are hard to reach with the conventional endoscopy.

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