Clinical Pearl of the Day: Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a symptom of a disorder in the digestive tract.
- 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.