Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

Finding blood somewhere it does not belong should never be ignored. Causes can range from mild gastritis and inflammation, to ulcers and even cancer. It is important that a board certified gastroenterologist run the necessary tests to determine the cause of the bleeding.

The digestive tract (or the GI tract) is a continuous tube joining a series of organs, that runs from the mouth to the anus. The digestive tract is responsible for the entire digestive process, from the breaking down of food, the absorption of nutrients, to the elimination of waste. Bleeding can occur at any point along the way. There are two types of gastric bleeds, acute and chronic. 

Acute bleeding is sudden and sometimes severe, while chronic bleeding is best described as slight, and either lasts a long time or occurs intermittently.

Symptoms vary depending on where in the digestive tract the bleeding has occurred. Some known symptoms include:

  • abdominal cramps
  • black or tarry stool
  • dark or bright red blood in stool
  • bright red blood in vomit or vomit that resembles coffee grounds
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Paleness
  • shortness of breath, weakness

Acute bleeding can cause the patient to go into shock. This is an emergency condition and should be seen immediately. Call 911 if you or someone you love is experiencing rapid pulse, a drop in blood pressure, and little or no urine. Losing consciousness and death can result from shock.

Make an appointment with Dr. Islam today and discuss your symptoms and medical history.