An anal fissure is a small tear or cut in the skin lining of the anus. Pain and/or rectal bleeding during bowel movements are common symptoms of anal fissures. Treatment includes increasing liquid intake, using stool softeners, prescription medications, and surgery. Read more: Anal Fissure Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids: Types, Causes, and Treatments
Learn how to get rid of hemorrhoids, the difference between internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids, what causes...
Digestive Disorders: Worst Foods for Digestion
Discover which foods to avoid in order to prevent diarrhea and digestive problems. Find out which foods can trigger diarrhea and...
Stomach Pain Quiz: Nausea & Other Causes
Tummy Troubles? Get a better idea of what's causing the nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, pain, and other...
Hemorrhoids Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ of Piles
Does everyone have hemorrhoids? Test your knowledge of this and many other facts about Hemorrhoids.
Picture of Anus
The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body. See a picture of Anus and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Hemorrhoid
A dilated (enlarged) vein in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the rectum, usually caused by untreated constipation but...
Related Disease Conditions
15 Foods That Cause Constipation
Constipation or the decrease in frequency and/or difficulty in passing stools (bowel movements) can be caused by a variety of problems. Check out these top 15 foods to avoid because they cause constipation. Some foods to avoid include, white rice and bread, caffeine, bananas, alcohol, processed foods, and frozen dinners.
Stool Color, Changes, Texture and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from foods a person eats, medication, diseases or conditions, pregnancy, cancer, or tumors. Stool can also have texture changes such as greasy or floating stools. Stool that has a uncharacteristically foul odor may be caused by infections such as giardiasis or medical conditions.
Hemorrhoids (Internal and External)
Hemorrhoids (piles) are swollen veins in the rectum and anus. Causes include pregnancy, obesity, diarrhea, low-fiber diet, and prolonged sitting on the toilet. Treatment varies depending upon the severity of the hemorrhoids. Some treatment options include over-the-counter creams and suppositories, stool softeners, warm sitz baths, and hemorrhoidectomies.
Diarrhea is a change in the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
How to Stop Anal Itching
Anal itching is the irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, known as the anus, accompanied by the desire to scratch. Causes include everything from irritating foods we eat, to certain diseases, and infections. Treatment options include over-the-counter medications, using moist pads, and gentle cleaning and drying of the anus.
Internal bleeding is a serious consequence of trauma and can be life-threatening, requiring immediate medical attention. Learn about signs, causes, and treatment.
Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding, Hematochezia)
Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding (hematochezia) refers to the passage of bright red blood from the anus. Common causes include anal fissures, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn's disease, colon and rectum polyps, and cancer. The color of the blood in the stool may provide information about the origin of the bleeding. The color of stool with blood in it may range from black, red, maroon, green yellow, gray, or white, and may be tarry, or sticky. Treatment of blood in the stool depends on the cause.
Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week. Constipation usually is caused by the slow movement of stool through the colon. There are many causes of constipation including medications, poor bowel habits, low-fiber diets, laxative abuse, and hormonal disorders, and diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon.
Laxatives for Constipation
Laxatives types for the treatment of constipation include over-the-counter (OTC) preparations, for example, bulk-forming laxatives, stool softeners, lubricant laxatives, stimulants, or saline laxatives, enemas, and suppositories.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect other parts of the digestive system as well. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss are common symptoms and signs.
Is Bright Red Blood in the Stool Serious?
The presence of blood in the stool needs to be evaluated by your doctor. In most cases, the bright red blood in stools is not an immediate threat to life. The most common causes are piles, anal polyps, anal fissures and colitis (inflammation of the large bowel).
Anal cancer, cancer located at the end of the large intestine, has symptoms that include anal or rectal bleeding, anal pain or pressure, anal discharge or itching, a change in bowel movements, and/or a lump in the anal region. Treatment for anal cancer may involve radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery and depends upon the stage of the cancer, its location, whether cancer is eradicated after the first treatment, and whether the patient has HIV.Anal cancer is usually curable when found localized. Early detection remains the key to long-term survival as it is in many forms of cancer.
Local ResourcesFind a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- onabotulinumtoxinA, Botox, Botox Cosmetic
- Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)
- hydrocortisone, rectal suppository, enema, foam, Cortifoam, Anusol-HC, Anucort-HC, Proctocort
- nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat, Afeditab)
- pramoxine (Itch-X, PrameGel, Orax, Sarna Sensitive, and Others)
- Cortenema (hydrocortisone enema)
- Side Effects of Cortenema (hydrocortisone enema)
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter