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What causes gastrointestinal bleeding and rectal bleeding? 25 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that originates in the rectum or colon. Both of these organs are located at the lower portion of your digestive system. The colon is at the end of the large intestine and the rectum is a...

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Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel disease that causes severe inflammation of the digestive tract. It is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and may affect your quality of life. Crohn's disease is characterized b...

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Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease. It occurs when the lining of the large intestine (colon or bowel) and the rectum become inflamed.

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Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is an uncommon cancer in the anal canal. It's easy to mistake symptoms of anal cancer for other conditions such as hemorrhoids, which could delay a diagnosis. Human papillomavirus is closely related to ana...

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Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining or small intestine. They occur when the mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced.

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Colonic (Colorectal) Polyps

Colonic polyps are growths that appear on the surface of the large intestine. A person may have more than one polyp, and they may be flat or raised, benign or cancerous.

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Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen veins located around the anus or in the lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the anus; external hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus. Of the two forms...

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The number one symptom of shigellosis, a bacterial infection, is diarrhea. Its symptoms vary in intensity, so you can have this infection and not know it.

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Diverticula are bulging sacs that can appear in the lining of your large intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these sacs get acutely infected or inflamed.

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Peptic Ulcer

Peptic ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or small intestine. Peptic ulcers are a fairly common health problem.

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Weakness in your stomach lining allows digestive juices to damage and inflame it, causing gastritis. It comes in both acute and chronic forms.

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Cirrhosis is the severe scarring and poor function of the liver caused by long-term exposure to toxins such as alcohol or viral infections.

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Colitis is inflammation of the colon, often causing discomfort and pain in the abdomen, as well as other gastrointestinal symptoms. Colitis has many possible causes, which determine the type.

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Amebiasis is a parasitic infection, common in the tropics and caused by contaminated water. Symptoms can be severe and usually start 1-4 weeks after exposure.

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Necrotizing Enterocolitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is inflammation and death of intestinal tissue. It may involve just the lining or the entire thickness of the intestine. This very dangerous disease is most common in premature infants.

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Proctitis is a condition in which when the lining tissue of the inner rectum becomes inflamed. The rectum is part of your lower digestive system.

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The Many Sides of Bacterial Gastroenteritis

Bacterial infections are common causes of gastrointestinal infections. This type of infection is also called "food poisoning" and is often caused by poor hygiene or ingesting foods contaminated with bacteria.

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Christmas Disease (Hemophilia B)

Also called hemophilia B or factor IX hemophilia, Christmas disease is a rare genetic disorder in which your blood does not clot properly. A common symptom is unexplained or excessive bruising.

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E. coli Infection

E. coli is a type of bacteria normally found in intestines. But certain kinds of E. coli can cause infection and severe symptoms like diarrhea and dehydration.

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Low Platelet Count (Thrombocytopenia)

A low platelet count, also called thrombocytopenia, affects your blood's ability to clot. This can cause red, purple, or brown bruising, prolonged bleeding, and nosebleeds.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.