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Hemorrhoids (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

When to call the doctor

  • Bleeding from the rectum or anus is never normal and although hemorrhoids are the most common reason to have blood in the stool, it should be discussed with your primary health care professional. Other causes of rectal bleeding exist and can be serious. Inflammatory bowel disease and cancers of the colon can present with rectal bleeding. Blood in the stool should never be ignored.
  • Medical care should be sought urgently if a person is taking anticoagulation medication such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or prasugrel (Effient).
  • Individuals who have associated symptoms such as lightheadedness and weakness may have significant blood loss and may require more urgent care.
  • Hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain; should this be present with bleeding, medical care should be sought immediately.
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids that cannot be pushed back through the anus require medical care.
  • Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may cause significant pain and medical care may be necessary to repair.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2013
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