Symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding


General information about symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding. Furthermore, symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding.

List of symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Gastrointestinal bleeding includes:

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding: Bleeding in the digestive tract is a symptom of digestive problems rather than a disease itself. Bleeding can occur as the result of a number of different conditions, many of which are not life threatening. Most causes of bleeding are related to conditions that can be cured or controlled, such as hemorrhoids. The cause of bleeding may not be serious, but locating the source of bleeding is important. 1

Bleeding can sometimes occur without the person noticing it. This type of bleeding is called occult or hidden. Fortunately, simple tests can detect occult blood in the stool. 1

The signs of bleeding in the digestive tract depend upon the site and severity of bleeding. If blood is coming from the rectum or the lower colon, bright red blood will coat or mix with the stool. The stool may be mixed with darker blood if the bleeding is higher up in the colon or at the far end of the small intestine. When there is bleeding in the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, the stool is usually black or tarry. Vomited material may be bright red or have a coffee-grounds appearance when one is bleeding from those sites. If bleeding is occult, the patient might not notice any changes in stool color.

If sudden massive bleeding occurs, a person may feel weak, dizzy, faint, short of breath, or have crampy abdominal pain or diarrhea. Shock may occur, with a rapid pulse, drop in blood pressure, and difficulty in producing urine. The patient may become very pale. If bleeding is slow and occurs over a long period of time, a gradual onset of fatigue, lethargy, shortness of breath, and pallor from the anemia will result. Anemia is a condition in which the blood's iron-rich substance, hemoglobin, is diminished.1

How Do You Recognize Blood in the Stool and Vomit?

  • Bright red blood coating the stool
  • Dark blood mixed with the stool
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Bright red blood in vomit
  • Coffee-grounds appearance of vomit

What Are the Symptoms of Acute Bleeding?

  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Crampy abdominal pain
  • Faintness
  • Diarrhea

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Bleeding?

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lethargy
  • Pallor

More symptoms of Gastrointestinal bleeding: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Gastrointestinal bleeding, underlying causes of Gastrointestinal bleeding, associated conditions for Gastrointestinal bleeding, risk factors for Gastrointestinal bleeding, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:

1. excerpt from Bleeding in the Digestive Tract: NIDDK

Last revision: Oct 28, 2003

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