Gastrointestinal Bleeding


Causes of Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding, also known as GI bleeding, occurs when an individual’s small or large intestine bleeds. GI bleeding can range from mild to severe and be caused by any number of things. Underlying medical conditions can contribute to gastrointestinal bleeding, and the cause must be determined by a qualified medical professional.

Common Causes of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Common causes of GI bleeding include:

  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Injury to the bowel wall
  • Diverticulitis
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Esophagitis
  • Liver disease
  • Celiac disease

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the bleeding and the underlying cause but may include:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Passing black or tarry stools
  • Fever and chills
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Swollen abdomen

Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Bleeding

If you experience any symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding, seek medical attention immediately. A physician will perform a physical exam to diagnose the underlying cause of your GI bleeding. He or she may order diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count, abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, endoscopy, and a stool sample. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your bleeding and may include antibiotics, surgery, endoscopic procedures, medications, or lifestyle changes.