Rectum bleeding after exercise may relate to a number of conditions. Bleeding from the rectum after any form of exertion often signals the presence of a hemorrhoid. In others cases, bleeding indicates a more serious gastrointestinal problem such as diverticulitis or a bleeding ulcer. In the most serious instance, rectal bleeding indicates colon cancer. Speak to your doctor or health care provider if you experience bleeding from your rectum after exercise, or if you notice blood in your stool.
Rectal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids, inflamed veins usually caused by straining during defecation, constipation, a chronic lack of fiber in the diet or dehydration. Two types of hemorrhoids exist: internal, located inside the anus, and external, which protrude. Typically if you notice bleeding from your rectum after exercise, you will also experience pain, swelling and itching in the anal region. Over-the-counter corticosteroid creams will take care of the pain and swelling, and the bleeding will stop as soon as the hemorrhoid clears up.
Another possible cause of rectal bleeding is a bleeding peptic ulcer. Typically ulcers result either from the presence of the infectious bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach, or from prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Bleeding ulcers can cause anemia or loss of consciousness. They are usually treated with medication, but in some cases, the ulcer will need to be cauterized if it bleeds considerably.
Diverticula are pouches within the lining of the colon that protrude through weakened areas of the wall. If these pouches become inflamed, it results in diverticulitis. Bleeding from the rectum after exercise may indicate diverticulitis, which is often caused by lack of fiber in the diet. Diverticulitis often responds well to treatment with antibiotics. This condition can be serious and may lead to acute infection, perforation or obstruction of the colon.
Bleeding from the rectum after exercise can also signal colon cancer. Other symptoms will present, including pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen, unexplained weight loss and narrow stools. The prognosis for colon cancer is good when detected early enough. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and ranges from surgery to radiation therapy.
- MedlinePlus; Hemorrhoids; Todd Eisner, MD; May 2009
- American College of Gastroenterology; Peptic Ulcer Disease; Theodore W. Schafer, M.D., FACP
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis; July 2008
- MedlinePlus; Colon Cancer; Yi-Bin Chen, M.D.; December 2010