Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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GI Bleeding Overview

Another name for GI Bleeding is Gastrointestinal Bleeding.

What is gastrointestinal bleeding?
A person with gastrointestinal bleeding is bleeding from the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon or rectum. A person with upper gastrointestinal bleeding has bleeding from the esophagus, stomach or upper portion of the small intestine. A person with lower gastrointestinal bleeding has bleeding from the lower small intestine, colon or rectum. Common causes for gastrointestinal bleeding include peptic ulcer disease, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, angiodysplasia, and intestinal polyps.

What are the symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding?
Symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding include vomiting blood or coffee grounds-appearing material. Other symptoms include blood in the stool, black stool, rapid pulse, lightheadedness, fainting, pale skin, and other symptoms of anemia.

How does the doctor treat gastrointestinal bleeding?
The treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding may include intravenous fluids, blood transfusion, proton pump inhibitors, and upper GI and lower GI endoscopy to control bleeding. Surgery may be required in more severe cases that cannot be controlled with endoscopy.

Continue to GI Bleeding Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed GI Bleeding References
  1. Farrell JJ, Friedman LS. Review article: the management of lower gastrointestinal bleeding. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jun 1;21(11):1281-98. [15932359]
  2. Hernandez-Diaz S, Rodriguez LA. Incidence of serious upper gastrointestinal bleeding/perforation in the general population: review of epidemiologic studies. J Clin Epidemiol. 2002 Feb;55(2):157-63. [11809354]
  3. Khuroo MS, Khuroo MS, Farahat KL, Kagevi IE. Treatment with proton pump inhibitors in acute non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding: a meta-analysis. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Jan;20(1):11-25. [15610441]
  4. Lewis B, Goldfarb N. Review article: The advent of capsule endoscopy--a not-so-futuristic approach to obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 May 1;17(9):1085-96. [12752345]
  5. Olds GD, Cooper GS, Chak A, Sivak MV Jr, Chitale AA, Wong RC. The yield of bleeding scans in acute lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;39(4):273-7. [15758618]
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