Upper Gastrointestinal Bleed

Jagdish Kathwate
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Upper Gastrointestinal Bleed - Patient Education
What is Gastrointestinal Bleeding?
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a sign that there is a problem in digestive tract. Digestive tract consists of the following organs:
• esophagus
• stomach
• small intestine
• large intestine or colon
• rectum
• anus
GI bleeding can occur in any one of these organs. If the bleeding occurs in your esophagus, stomach, or small intestine, it is considered upper GI bleeding. Gastrointestinal bleeding in the large intestine, rectum, or anus is called lower GI bleeding.

What are Causes GI Bleeding?
Different parts of the digestive tract are affected by specific conditions and there are varying causes of bleeding in different areas.
Causes of Upper GI Bleeding
Peptic ulcers, which are open sores that appear in the lining of esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, are a common cause of GI bleeding. Peptic ulcers are most commonly caused by a bacterial infection. Enlarged veins in esophagus can tear and bleed as a result of a condition called esophageal varices. Tears in the walls of esophagus can also cause GI bleeding in a condition called Mallory-Weiss tears.

What Are the Signs of Gastrointestinal Bleeding?
stool might become darker, like tar, if the bleeding is coming from the stomach or upper GI tract. Vomiting blood is another sign that there is bleeding somewhere in your GI tract.

How to Determine the Cause of Bleeding?
A stool sample might be taken to check for the presence of blood, and blood tests looking for signs of anemia might be performed as well.
Upper GI bleeding is most commonly diagnosed by doing an endoscopic examination. Endoscopy is a procedure that involves the use of a small camera located atop a long, flexible endoscopic tube that your doctor places down your throat. The scope is then passed through your upper GI tract. This allows doctor to see inside GI tract and potentially locate the source of bleeding. Because endoscopy is limited to the upper GI tract, an enteroscopy might be performed if the cause of bleeding can’t be found during endoscopy. Enteroscopy is similar to endoscopy except there is usually a balloon attached to the camera-tipped tube.

What Can Be Done to Relieve Symptoms?
Endoscopy can be useful, not only in diagnosing GI bleeding, but also for treating it. The use of special scopes with camera and a laser attachment can be used stop the bleeding. In addition, tools can be used under visualization with the scope to apply clips to the bleeding vessels to stop the bleeding.


Upper Gastrointestinal Bleed Upper Gastrointestinal Bleed 08/01/2015
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