Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Overview of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is not a disease. It is a symptom of a disorder or any problem in the digestive tract which can occur in any part of the digestive system. Symptoms and treatment may vary depending on the type of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Doctors Treating Gastrointestinal Bleeding

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Signs and Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

The common symptom of GI bleeding includes blood in the vomit or stool, and black or tarry stool. Other symptoms include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pale skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Coffee ground appearance of vomit

Other symptoms include weight loss, anemia, fever, dehydration, and low blood pressure.

Types of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

There are two types of GI bleeding 

  • Upper GI bleeding 
  • Lower GI bleeding 

Upper GI bleeding can occur in the upper part of the digestive tract like esophagus, stomach, and initial part of the small intestine. Lower GI bleeding can occur in the lower part of the small intestine, large intestine, and anus. 


Causes of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

GI bleeding is caused by many conditions. Common causes of gastrointestinal bleeding includes:


Risk Factors of Gastrointestinal Bleeding





A doctor will perform a complete history and physical examination to evaluate the problem. Diagnosis may include:

Treatment of Gastrointestinal Bleeding | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment will depend on the cause of bleeding

  • If the bleeding is from the upper digestive tract. A medication is carried out using an endoscope to directly inject the medicine into the bleeding site.
  • A clip may be placed on the bleeding blood vessel to seal it to prevent blood loss.
  • Sometimes heat is used to treat the bleeding site via laser or a probe.
  • In some cases, medication also includes antibiotics to clear H. pylori infection and allow peptic ulcers to heal.
  • Inhibit the use of medication or practices that are causing bleeding or ulceration.
  • Surgery is also performed in severe cases.