How can I tell if rectal bleeding I am experiencing is a result of my Ulcerative Colitis, hemorrhoids or something more serious such as colon cancer?
While history can be helpful in determining the cause of your bleeding, frequently, it will be necessary to undergo either a colonoscopy or at the least a flexible sigmoidoscopy to determine the source. With Ulcerative Colitis, you should be undergoing surveillance colonoscopy more frequently than the general population, depending on the extent of and duration of the disease. If you are experiencing diarrhea, abdominal pain and/or fever, you most likely have a flare of your Ulcerative Colitis. If the blood is only on the toilet tissue when you wipe, it is most likely hemorrhoids. If you have had a fairly recent colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy can be an easy test to exam the lower part of the colon to see if bleeding is from active colitis or hemorrhoids. You should check with your gastroenterologist to see what the best test is for you at this time.
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