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Symptoms » Gastrointestinal bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Introduction

Gastrointestinal bleeding is an abnormal condition in which there is blood or bleeding that appears with vomiting, from the throat, from the rectum, or blood that accompanies or is mixed in with feces.

Gastrointestinal bleeding is a symptom of a wide variety of conditions. They include peptic ulcer, intestinal polyps, diverticula, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal prolapse, colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal abscesses, intestinal infections, constipation, or anal fissures. Gastrointestinal bleeding can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as aspirin, heparin, Coumadin, and ibuprofen.

Gastrointestinal bleeding can indicate a mild condition, such as hemorrhoids, or it can accompany a serious, even life-threatening condition, such as esophageal varices.

Gastrointestinal bleeding can appear in a variety of forms. Bright red bleeding may occur during vomiting or blood may be mixed with material that is vomited up (vomitus). Blood in small amounts may also be hidden in vomitus and not be visible to the naked eyes. Blood in vomitus may also have a dark, black or coffee-ground appearance. This is often diagnosed as upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Blood clots can also be present with upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Gastrointestinal bleeding can also appear in small amounts of bright red blood that is mixed with stool or that shows up on toilet paper after wiping. Bright red blood can also be discharged from the rectum in small to massive amounts without an accompanying bowel movement.

Another type of gastrointestinal bleeding occurs when there is blacken blood mixed in with stool. Stools may appear black and tarry, or maroon in color. Blood in the stool may also be in such small quantities that it cannot be seen by the naked eye (fecal occult blood). Bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool may be diagnosed as lower gastrointestinal bleeding or upper gastrointestinal bleeding, depending on the location in the gastrointestinal tract where bleeding occurs.

There are many complications and symptoms that can accompany gastrointestinal bleeding, depending on the underlying cause of the bleeding. Symptoms often involve the gastrointestinal system but can affect other body systems as well. For more details about symptoms and complications, see symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Diagnosing gastrointestinal bleeding and its underlying cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. A digital rectal examination and testing for fecal occult blood are generally performed at this time. A digital rectal examination involves inserting a finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities and obtain a sample of stool.

The stool sample is then tested for fecal occult blood, which can indicate invisible, hidden blood in the stool. Your health care provider may also examine the rectum in the office using an anoscope, which is inserted a short way into the rectum to look for causes of gastrointestinal bleeding, such as internal hemorrhoids.

Blood tests include a complete blood count (CBC), which can determine if there is significant enough bleeding to cause anemia. Blood clotting tests may also be done to evaluate how well the blood clots.

Making a diagnosis of gastrointestinal bleeding may also include performing special imaging tests to see a picture of the insides of the gastrointestinal tract. These may consist of some combination of tests, such as a barium X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and a variety of tests using video imaging technology. These include sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. These tests involve passing a small flexible tube fitted with a camera through the anus into the colon to look for abnormal areas and sites of bleeding. During this procedure, samples of tissue may be taken to be tested to confirm a diagnosis. The upper areas of the gastrointestinal tract can be examined in a similar way through the mouth and esophagus in an endoscopy procedure.

A diagnosis of gastrointestinal bleeding and its cause can easily be delayed or missed because tiny amounts of blood may not be visible to the naked eye. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding varies greatly depending on the underlying cause and a variety of other factors. Some conditions can be easily and successfully treated, while other may require intensive treatment. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding....more »

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Misdiagnosis

Gastrointestinal bleeding is a symptom of many different conditions, so a thorough medical evaluation is needed to ensure an accurate diagnosis of the disease or condition that is causing gastrointestinal bleeding. For example, if gastrointestinal bleeding appears to be caused by obvious external hemorrhoids, some patients may also need a colonoscopy to ensure that bleeding isn't also coming ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Gastrointestinal bleeding

Home medical tests possibly related to Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Causes of Types of Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Gastrointestinal bleeding, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Gastrointestinal bleeding Treatments

Treatment plans for gastrointestinal bleeding are individualized depending on the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases and complications, the age of the patient, and other factors.

It is possible that some types of gastrointestinal bleeding will resolve by themselves. Many causes of gastrointestinal bleeding, such as hemorrhoids ...Gastrointestinal bleeding Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Gastrointestinal bleeding may include:

Review further information on Gastrointestinal bleeding Treatments.

Stories from Users for Gastrointestinal bleeding

Real-life user stories relating to Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Diagnostic tests for Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Gastrointestinal bleeding. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
    • Look for evidence of anemia - e.g. pale skin and conjunctiva - may suggest chronic oesophagitis, chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer or stomach cancer.
    • Look for signs of shock - e.g. elevated heart rate, low blood pressure.
    • Abdominal examination for tenderness , masses, enlarged liver or spleen
  • more tests...»

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Animations

Medications or substances causing Gastrointestinal bleeding:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Gastrointestinal bleeding:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Gastrointestinal bleeding as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Citalopram (Celexa) and Diclofenac (Voltaren) interaction
  • Citalopram (Celexa) and Diflunisal (Dolobid) interaction
  • Citalopram (Celexa) and Etodolac (Lodine) interaction
  • Citalopram (Celexa) and Fenoprofen (Nalfon) interaction
  • Citalopram (Celexa) and Flurbiprofen (Ansaid) interaction
  • Citalopram (Celexa) and Ibuprofen (Motrin) interaction
  • more interactions...»

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Gastrointestinal bleeding may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Gastrointestinal bleeding

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Gastrointestinal bleeding. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Gastrointestinal bleeding Assessment Questionnaire (16 listings)

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Deaths

Read more about causes and Gastrointestinal bleeding deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Gastrointestinal bleeding

Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be correctly diagnosed. Women with the condition tend to have more »

Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed. The best known, irritable bowel syndrome, is over-diagnosed, more »

Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. more »

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is more »

Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning). In fact, it's more likely to be an more »

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, more »

Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see more »

Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable more »

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Gastrointestinal bleeding

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding as a symptom include:

Definitions of Gastrointestinal bleeding:

Bleeding in any segment of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT from ESOPHAGUS to RECTUM.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Organs affected by Gastrointestinal bleeding:

The list of organs typically affected by Gastrointestinal bleeding may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding

The list below shows some of the causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Gastrointestinal bleeding. Of the 218 causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 3 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 4 causes are "common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 3 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 16 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 196 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Gastrointestinal bleeding:

The following list of conditions have 'Gastrointestinal bleeding' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Gastrointestinal bleeding or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z























Conditions listing medical complications: Gastrointestinal bleeding:

The following list of medical conditions have Gastrointestinal bleeding or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

















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Causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Gastrointestinal bleeding?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Gastrointestinal bleeding, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    What are the alternative names for Gastrointestinal bleeding:

    Anal haemorrhage, BRBPR, Bleeding per rectum, Blood in faeces, Blood loss from GI tract, Bloody stool, GI bleeding, Gastrointestinal haemorrhage, Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, Hematochezia, Melaena, Melena, PR bleeding
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Gastrointestinal bleeding:

    Subtypes of Gastrointestinal bleeding:

    Intestinal hemorrhage (5 causes), Stomach bleeding (4 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Gastrointestinal bleeding:

    Bleeding symptoms (1783 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Intestinal symptoms (5299 causes), Lower abdominal symptoms (3048 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Digestive system symptoms (5299 causes), Circulatory system symptoms (1579 causes), Blood vessel symptoms (480 causes)

    Symptoms related to Gastrointestinal bleeding:

    Internal bleeding (22 causes), Blood in sputum (124 causes), Rectal bleeding (324 causes), Bowel inflammation (20 causes), Stomach bleeding (4 causes), Esophageal bleeding, Intestinal bleeding (218 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Gastrointestinal bleeding

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Gastrointestinal bleeding and many other medical conditions:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Gastrointestinal bleeding

    Medical research papers related to Gastrointestinal bleeding include:

    Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Gastrointestinal bleeding:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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