Alcohol & rectal bleeding

Written by mary anne ott
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Long-term use of alcohol will cause a gradual breakdown of your organs and body systems. Internal damage to your body is often unnoticed until it causes symptoms. Alcohol can cause you to develop conditions that cause rectal bleeding. Rectal bleeding due to long-term use of alcohol is a sign of damage to one or more of your organs or systems.

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Rectal Bleeding

Rectal bleeding is bleeding from your lower colon or rectum. You may experience blood in your stool, blood on the toilet paper when you wipe or blood in the toilet bowl. Such blood will range in colour from bright red to dark maroon. The colour of the blood will depend on where it originated in the body. Bright red blood is often from a source close the rectum, such as a haemorrhoid. Dark maroon or black blood is usually from a source deeper in your body, like an internal organ. Rectal bleeding can be caused by many different things. Treatment for rectal bleeding involves treating the underlying cause of the bleeding.

Alcohol

Alcohol does not directly cause rectal bleeding. Long-term use of alcohol causes damage that can cause rectal bleeding. Alcohol can cause cancer, gastrointestinal issues and even liver damage. Rectal bleeding is a symptom of all of these illnesses. Limiting your drinking or avoiding alcohol can prevent the onset of illnesses that cause rectal bleeding. If you have rectal bleeding, tell your doctor about your alcohol use. Cutting back or quitting drinking can help lessen any rectal bleeding.

Cancer

Alcohol abuse increases your risk for developing cancer of the colon or rectum. Rectal bleeding is a common symptom of colon or rectal cancer. Alcohol damages the colon and rectum by causing irritation. Tumours or sores called lesions on the colon or rectum cause bleeding. Bleeding will often begin small and increase as the cancer goes untreated.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Alcohol causes gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea and ulcers. Constant diarrhoea irritates your colon, rectum and intestines. Constant irritation can cause bleeding sores and tumours in your organs. Alcohol also irritates the lining in your stomach and intestines. As the lining breaks down, your digestive acids damage the organs. Ulcers occur in your stomach and intestines when the lining has been compromised. Ulcers are sores on your organs that can cause internal bleeding. Bleeding due to ulcers or constant irritation will be expelled via your rectum.

Liver Disease

According to the U.S. Department of Health's National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, more than 2 million Americans suffer from an alcohol-related liver disease. Long-term use of alcohol can cause hepatitis or cirrhosis. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Cirrhosis is irreversible scarring of the liver. If left untreated, both conditions can cause sores that bleed or even liver cancer. If your liver is damaged and bleeding you could experience rectal bleeding.

Considerations

Prevention and early diction are important to treating serious diseases like liver disease and cancer. Tell your doctor about your alcohol use. Knowing about your drinking habits will better enable your doctor to uncover why you are experiencing rectal bleeding.

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