After a bowel movement, I had some blood on the bathroom tissue after wiping. There was also bright red blood in my stool. Should I see a doctor about this?
Dear Bloody Bowel,
Most likely you have hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in and around your anus. If you have frequent bleeding, pain, or passing black or maroon stools, then see your doctor.
Hemorrhoids are very common with about half of all adults experiencing bleeding, pain, or itching by age 50. Common causes of hemorrhoids are constipation and straining, obesity, pregnancy and childbirth.
To relieve any swelling or inflammation around the anal area, try nonprescription hemorrhoid cream, suppositories, or pads. In addition, to prevent hemorrhoids eat healthy with high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, stay hydrated with plenty of water, and exercise.
Surgery and other treatments by a physician are not usually necessary unless you have persistent bleeding and pain. Procedures that might be used to reduce or remove hemorrhoids are surgery, rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, laser, or stapling.