Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding Overview

What is upper gastrointestinal bleeding?
A person with upper gastrointestinal bleeding has bleeding from the esophagus, the stomach, or the first portion of the small intestine. Common causes of upper gastrointestinal bleeding include gastritis, esophagitis and peptic ulcer disease. Blood loss may result in anemia.

What are the symptoms of upper gastrointestinal bleeding?
Common symptoms of upper gastrointestinal bleeding include vomiting blood, vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds, black stools, red stools, or rectal bleeding. Additional symptoms of anemia include rapid pulse, lightheadedness, fainting, and pale skin.

How does the doctor treat upper gastrointestinal bleeding?
The treatment for upper gastrointestinal bleeding depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for upper gastrointestinal bleeding may include intravenous fluid, medications that reduce the production of stomach acid, or a blood transfusion. Severe upper gastrointestinal bleeding may require treatment with upper GI endoscopy or surgery.

Continue to Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding Symptoms

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Upper Gastrointestinal 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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