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
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 by answering questions that your doctor may ask
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Why: oral iron therapy , bismuth-containing antacid tablets and charcoal ingestion can cause black colored stool and be confused with the black tarry stool due to gastrointestinal hemorrhage; Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, anticoagulant therapy, reserpine, caffeine and high dose corticosteroids can increase risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Alcohol history?
Why: Alcohol induced cirrhosis can increase the risk of peptic ulcers, gastro- esophageal varices.
- Family history?
Why: colon or rectal cancer; bleeding disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcer.
- Recent dietary history
Why: some foods can cause black-colored stool and are not true melena e.g. red wine, licorice, beetroot.
- Black stool (melena)? If yes, explain the nature of the black stool?
Why: to determine if true melena ( black tarry sticky stool with strong odor) due to gastrointestinal hemorrhage - usually suggests bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract e.g. peptic ulcer, esophageal varices, erosive oesophagitis, stomach cancer.
- Hematemesis (vomiting blood) or coffee-ground vomit (black dots like coffee grounds in vomit)?
Why: suggests bleeding from the esophagus, stomach, duodenum e.g. esophageal varices, peptic ulcer, gastritis.
- Rectal bleeding?
Why: suggests bleeding from the distal colon or rectum, or from a major bleed higher in the gastrointestinal tract e.g. diverticular disease, bowel cancer, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, colonic polyp.
- Fainting and sweating?
Why: may be signs of shock and thus indicate a sudden loss of blood volume.
- Acid regurgitation?
Why: may suggest oesophagitis.
- Waterbrash (excess secretion of saliva into the mouth)?
Why: may suggest oesophagitis or peptic ulcer.
- Indigestion, heart burn or stomach pains recently?
Why: suggests peptic ulcer, oesophagitis, gastritis, stomach cancer.
- Pain on swallowing?
Why: may suggest oesophagitis (especially if with hot and cold fluids) or stomach cancer.
- Recent weight loss?
Why: may suggest stomach cancer, chronic gastritis, bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease.
- Easy bruising?
Why: purpura ( multiple small hemorrhages into the skin or mucous membranes); petechiae (small pinhead size purpura); ecchymoses ( large purpura) - may suggest a bleeding diathesis.
- Symptoms of stomach cancer?
Why: e.g. early satiety, loss of appetite, weight loss.
- Symptoms of peptic ulcer?
Why: e.g. intermittent symptoms of gnawing or burning-type pain in the epigastrium (midline, under the ribs) which can be located by finger point, pain is worse before meals and relieved by taking antacids or food. Pain may waken the person at night.
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.
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.