Cause of your symptoms

Your rectal bleeding is probably from piles and your change in bowel habit could be due to something you have eaten.


Try the simple treatments outlined below for two weeks.


Eat more roughage to make your stools softer and easier to pass. It is normal to strain a little when passing a motion but too much can cause bleeding. Try careful cleaning of your bottom for your pile symptoms and if necessary use creams and suppositories. A pharmacist can advise on suitable treatments.

What now?

If you get better nothing further needs to be done. However, if the symptoms persist for two more weeks or recur after stopping treatment see your GP.

Summary of your symptoms

Date checker completed: Monday 20th May 2024

You are over 50 years old and have rectal bleeding with pile symptoms and a non-specific change in bowel habit but no abdominal pain.

Additional information if you see your GP

Your GP will probably examine your tummy and back passage and do a blood test. If these are normal you will be at low risk of having a serious bowel disease and it would be reasonable to advise a further period of treat, watch and wait. However, if your symptoms still do not settle completely or recur after stopping treatment you are likely to be referred to a routine hospital clinic for investigations and local treatments to stop the bleeding.
In healthy patients aged 50-70 years old not having previous colonic investigations, a single flexible sigmoidoscopy has the added benefit of detecting incidental but significant polyps which if removed may prevent a bowel cancer developing in the future - ‘opportunistic screening'.

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