Clinical Pearl of the Day: Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal bleeding can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a symptom of a disorder in the digestive tract.

Insight:

  • The blood often appears in stool or vomit but isn't always visible, though it may cause the stool to look black or tarry.
  • The level of bleeding can range from mild to severe and can be life-threatening.
  • Symptoms may include vomiting blood, black or tarry stool, rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, and fainting.
  • Causes of upper GI bleeding include peptic ulcer, tears in the lining of the throat, or esophagitis.
  • Causes of the lower GI bleeding include diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, tumors, colon polyps, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and proctitis.
  • Diagnosis may include blood test, stool test, upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and imaging tests.
  • Treatment may include IV proton pump inhibitors, as well as stopping the source of the bleeding.

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