What is it?

Gastrointestin the medical term for all the organs in your body that process food, includes your: Esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach), Stomach, Small intestine (also known as the small bowel) and Large intestine (also known as colon or large bowel)
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleed is when any of these organs start to bleed. Often you do not know you are bleeding, because it's happening inside your body. But sometimes there are signs that it is happening.
There are 2 common types of GI bleeds. "Upper GI bleeds" affect the esophagus, the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine, And "Lower GI bleeds" affect the colon.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding (GI Bleed)

Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding can be either obvious or hidden . Signs and symptoms depend on the location of the bleed, which can be anywhere on the GI tract, and the rate of bleeding.
Obvious bleeding might show up as:
- Vomiting blood, which might be red or might be dark brown and resemble coffee grounds in texture
- Black, tarry stool
- Rectal bleeding, usually in or with stool
With hidden bleeding, you might have:
- Lightheadedness
- Difficulty breathing
- Fainting
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain


In order to diagnose gastrointestinal bleeding, your doctor will take a medical history, including a history of previous bleeding, conduct a physical exam and possibly order tests. Tests might include:
- Blood tests: a complete blood count, a test to see how fast your blood clots, a platelet count and liver function tests.
- Stool test : Analyzing your stool can help determine the cause of occult bleeding.
- An upper endoscopy: This procedure uses a tiny camera on the end of a long tube, which is passed through your mouth to enable your doctor to examine your upper gastrointestinal tract
- A colonoscopy: This test is similar to an upper endoscopy, but it involves going in through the anus.
- A capsule endoscopy: In this procedure, you swallow a vitamin-size capsule with a tiny camera inside. The capsule travels through your digestive tract taking thousands of pictures that are sent to a recorder you wear on a belt
- Imaging tests that involve putting a dye or weakly radioactive chemical into the blood so that doctors can trace where the blood goes.


Depending on how much blood you have lost and what seems to be causing your bleeding, you might get 1 or more of these treatments:
- Oxygen through a mask or a tube that sits under your nose
- Blood or fluids into one of your veins (to replace blood you lost or treat a bleeding disorder)
- Medicines that reduce stomach acid or treat a bleeding disorder
- Medicines that help clean out and empty your gut (so that doctors can see clearly what is happening inside)
- Antibiotics
- A small tube that goes up your nose and down your throat so doctors can rinse out your stomach

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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