Gastrointestinal bleeding (GI bleed), refers to bleeding from the mouth to the rectum.
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is when bleeding occurs in any part of the gastrointestinal tract. The GI tract includes your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, and anus. GI bleeding itself is not a disease, but a symptom of any number of conditions.
The causes and risk factors for gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding are classified into upper or lower, depending on their location in the GI tract.
Causes of upper GI bleeding include
Causes of lower GI bleeding include
Acute gastrointestinal bleeding first will appear as vomiting of blood, bloody bowel movements, or black, tarry stools. Vomited blood from bleeding in the stomach may look like "coffee grounds." Symptoms associated with blood loss can include:
GI bleeding can usually be diagnosed by a digital rectal exam, an endoscopy or colonoscopy, and lab tests.
Treatment for GI bleeding usually includes hospitalization because blood pressure may drop and heart rate may increase and this needs to be stabilized. In some cases, IV fluids or blood transfusions are needed, and surgery may be required. The prognosis for a person with GI bleeding depends upon the cause and location of the bleeding, how bad the bleed is when the person sees the doctor, and any underlying medical conditions that may affect the patient's recovery.