Everything you need to know about gastrointestinal bleeding (2023)

If you have gastrointestinal bleeding, you may experience blood in your stools or darker, stickier stools. It could indicate a serious health problem in the stomach, intestines, or other organs.

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a serious symptom that occurs in your digestive tract. Bedigestive tractconsists of the following organs:

  • esophagus
  • Magen
  • Small intestine, including duodenum
  • colon or colon
  • GUT
  • once again

Gastrointestinal bleeding can occur in any of these organs. When bleeding occurs in the esophagus, stomach, or at the beginning of the small intestine (duodenum), it is called upper GI bleeding. Bleeding in the lower part of the small intestine, colon, rectum, or anus is called lower GI bleeding.

The amount of bleeding you experience can range from a very small amount of blood to life-threatening bleeding. In some cases, the bleeding may be so small that blood can only be detected by examining the stool.

There are a few things to watch out for if you suspect you may be having gastrointestinal or rectal bleeding. Your chair might turndarkerand sticky, like tar, if the bleeding is from the stomach or upper GI tract.

You can pass blood from your rectum during a bowel movement, which can cause you to see some blood in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper. This blood is usually bright red.vomit bloodit is another sign that there is bleeding somewhere in your gastrointestinal tract.

If you get any of these symptoms or if you have vomitingcoffee beans, contact a doctor immediately.

If it is an emergency: Symptoms of shock

Gastrointestinal bleeding can indicate a life-threatening condition. Immediate medical treatment is essential. Also, seek treatment right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • paleness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • difficulty breathing

Different parts of the digestive tract are affected by certain diseases. Gastrointestinal bleeding is generally divided into upper gastrointestinal bleeding or lower gastrointestinal bleeding. There are different causes of bleeding in different regions.

Causes of Upper GI Bleeding

Upper GI bleeding has a number of causes, including:

  • Peptic ulcers.peptic ulcersare a common cause of gastrointestinal bleeding. These ulcers are open sores that develop in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) may increase the risk of stomach ulcers. You may also be at greater risk if you take itanticoagulants. an infection ofH.pyloriBacteria can also cause stomach ulcers.
  • Tears in the veins of your esophagus.Dilated veins in your esophagus can tear and bleed as a result of something called a conditionesophageal varices. You may be at higher risk for this condition if this is the caseportal hypertension, which often resultscirrhosis, severe scarring of the liver.
  • Tears in the walls of your esophagus.This condition is known asMallory-Weiss-Syndrom. This condition is often caused by severe or repeated vomiting.
  • gastritis and duodenal inflammation. Gastritisit is the inflammation in the stomach while duodenitis is the inflammation in the small intestine. Both are commonly caused by an infectionH.pyloriBacteria, but they can also be caused by other factors, including overuse of NSAIDs or alcohol.
  • ingestion of foreign objects.Swallowing something inedible can cause tears and upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Tumors of the upper digestive tract.tumors such as B. caused byesophageal cancer, stomach cancer and small intestine cancer can cause bleeding. Sometimes, depending on the location, pancreatic tumors can also cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Angiodisplasie.Angiodisplasiecauses the blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract to widen.

Causes of bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract

Bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract can be caused by:

  • Hemorrhoids.Hemorrhoidsare another common cause of GI orrectal bleeding. A hemorrhoid is an enlarged vein in the rectum or anus. These enlarged veins can rupture and bleed, leading to rectal bleeding. This condition can resolve on its own or with minimal therapies. However, a doctor may decide to do a colonoscopy if the bleeding seems suspicious of other, more serious GI problems.
  • Fisura anal.Andfisura analit can also cause bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract. This is a tear in the muscle ring that forms the anal sphincter. It is usually caused byconstipationor hard stool
  • Diverticulosis.This is a chronic condition in which the wall of the colon bulges at the site of the vessels and over time can cause the vessels to rupture and bleed. Bleeding from diverticulosis can often resolve on its own without invasive therapies. A doctor may do a colonoscopy to rule out other, more serious causes of lower gastrointestinal bleeding, such as cancer.
  • colon cancer. colon cancerbegins in the colon or rectum.
  • Angiodisplasie.This condition causes the blood vessels in the digestive tract to widen.
  • Colitis.One of the most common causes of bleeding is in the lower gastrointestinal tractinflammation, which occurs when your colon becomes inflamed.

Colitis has several causes, including:

  • Infection
  • poisoned food
  • parasites
  • Crohn's diseaseo Ulcerative colitis
  • decreased blood flow in the colon

If you think you might be having gastrointestinal bleeding, it's important to talk to a doctor. If the bleeding is profuse, you may need emergency care to determine the cause and treat the condition. If your bleeding is profuse, you may be hospitalized.

Tests can be helpful not only in diagnosing gastrointestinal bleeding but also in treating it.

Special endoscopes with cameras and laser attachments can be used along with medication to stop the bleeding. Also, the doctor can use tools in conjunction with endoscopes to attach clips to bleeding vessels to stop the bleeding.

If hemorrhoids are the cause of your bleeding, over-the-counter (OTC) treatments might work for you. if you find thatover-the-counter remediesdon't work, a doctor may use heat treatment to shrink your hemorrhoids or, in severe cases, surgery to remove them.

Antibiotics can usually treat infections.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of your GI bleeding usually begins with a doctor asking about your symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also order a stool sample to check for blood, along with other tests to check for signs of bloodAnämie.

Diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal bleeding

To diagnose upper gastrointestinal bleeding and find out what's causing it, a doctor may do the following tests:

  • endoscopy.Upper GI bleeding is most commonly diagnosed with aendoscopy. This procedure involves using a small camera placed on a long, flexible endoscope tube that the doctor inserts down your throat. The scope is then passed through your upper gastrointestinal tract. The camera allows the doctor to see inside your gastrointestinal tract and possibly pinpoint the source of your bleeding.
  • enteroscopy.This procedure is performed when the cause of your bleeding is not found during an endoscopy. AenteroscopyIt's similar to an endoscopy, except there's usually a balloon attached to the tube at the top of the camera. Once this balloon is inflated, your doctor can open your bowel and look inside.

Diagnosis of bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract

A doctor may do the following tests to determine the cause of lower GI bleeding:

  • colonoscopy.during onecolonoscopyYour doctor will insert a small, flexible tube into your rectum. A camera is attached to the tube so your doctor can see the full length of your colon. Air is moved through the tube to allow for a better view.
  • Biopsy.During the colonoscopy, the doctor may take oneBiopsyfor additional tests.
  • bone scanThey may also have a scan to locate your gastrointestinal bleeding. A harmless radioactive tracer is injected into your veins. The mark lights up in abone scanso your doctor can see where you are bleeding.
  • CT-Angiography.AComputed Tomographyis an imaging test that can help doctors locate gastrointestinal bleeding in the abdomen and pelvis. It often shows more detail than an X-ray.
  • Endoscopic Capsule.If your doctor can't find the source of your bleeding with an endoscopy or gastrointestinal bleeding scan, he or she can perform oneendoscopic capsule. Your doctor will ask you to swallow a pill that contains a small camera that takes pictures of your bowel to find the source of your bleeding.
  • Nuclear scan of red blood cells.In this test, a doctor injects a harmless radioactive tracer to track your red blood cells. This can reveal how the cells in your body are functioning.

Bleeding in the digestive tract can be aSigns of a serious and life-threatening condition. It is important to see a doctor immediately.

Untreated GI bleeding can lead to serious complications, including:

  • breathlessness
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Schock
  • Tod

Gastrointestinal bleeding is a serious symptom that requires immediate medical attention. From tears in the organs of the digestive tract to inflammatory conditions, these causes often require an evaluation by a doctor in order to diagnose and treat them.

Left untreated, they can lead to serious complications, including heart attack and shock.

Some causes of bleeding, such as hemorrhoids, can be treated with over-the-counter medications. It is best to make an appointment with a doctor to clarify the cause of your bleeding.

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