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Gastrointestinal bleeding

Discover the symptoms and treatment options for gastrointestinal bleeding. Learn about the causes, diagnostic procedures, and available treatments for this potentially serious condition. Seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms such as black or tarry stools, abdominal pain, or fatigue.

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Medriva Correspondents
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Symptoms and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

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Overview of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding (GI bleeding) is the passing of blood from the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. It can range from a mild sign of irritation to a life-threatening emergency. The aim of having a gastroenterologist evaluate the problem is to diagnose the cause and determine the most effective and appropriate treatment. Diagnostic procedures may include endoscopy or barium x-ray.

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

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Common symptoms of GI bleeding can include any of the following: black or tarry stools, light-colored or bright red stools, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramping, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Less common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and rapid heartbeat. Because these symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, it is important to listen to your body and seek medical attention if your condition does not improve or gets worse.

Causes of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

There are many possible causes of GI bleeding, including infections, hemorrhoids, ulcers, inflammatory bowel diseases, gastritis, diverticulosis, tumors, and other forms of intestinal obstruction. Other causes can include the use of blood thinners, constipation, and prolonged aspirin use. Depending on the cause, a patient may require medication, lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, or other corrective measures.

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Treatment of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

The manner of treating GI bleeding depends on the cause and severity. For minor cases, treatment often includes lifestyle and dietary changes, such as eliminating the use of alcohol and caffeine and avoiding spicy food. In some cases, medications such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be recommended to reduce the amount of stomach acid. In more severe cases, treatment may require endoscopic procedures or other forms of surgery.

The goal of any treatment is to identify and address the underlying cause of GI bleeding. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the condition can often be controlled and successfully managed. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to speak to your doctor to determine what treatments may be best for you.

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