Orlando Doctors Help Heal Digestive Tract Bleeding

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Digestive Tract Bleeding & Blood in the Stool: What Orlando Patients Need to Know

Bleeding in the digestive tract is a symptom of a condition or a disease. Most conditions that cause bleeding, such as ulcers or hemorrhoids, can be cured or controlled. Some causes of bleeding may be life-threatening.

Locating the source of bleeding is important. Different conditions cause bleeding in the upper digestive tract and the lower digestive tract.

What are the signs of bleeding in the digestive tract?

Signs of bleeding in the upper digestive tract include:

  • bright red blood in vomit
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • black or tarry stool
  • dark blood mixed with stool
  • stool mixed or coated with bright red blood

Signs of bleeding in the lower digestive tract include:

  • black or tarry stool
  • dark blood mixed with stool
  • stool mixed or coated with bright red blood

Sudden, severe bleeding is called acute bleeding. If acute bleeding occurs, symptoms may include:

  • weakness
  • dizziness or faintness
  • shortness of breath
  • crampy abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • paleness

A person with acute bleeding may experience a rapid pulse, dropped blood pressure, and difficulty producing urine. He or she may also go into shock.

Light bleeding that continues for a long time or starts and stops is called chronic bleeding. Chronicblood loss can lead to anemia.

What causes bleeding in the digestive tract?

  • Peptic ulcers
  • Esophageal varices–enlarged veins, located at the lower end of the esophagus, that rupture and bleed
  • Mallory-Weiss tears in the esophagus lining
  • Gastritis
  • Esophagitis
  • Benign tumors and cancer
Causes of bleeding in the lower digestive tract
  • Diverticular disease
  • Colitis
  • Hemorrhoids or fissures
  • Angiodysplasia
  • Polyps or cancer

How is bleeding in the digestive tract diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing bleeding in the digestive tract is locating the site of the bleeding. The doctor will take the patient’s complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, black or red stools, and pain or tenderness in the abdomen may tell the doctor which area of the digestive tract is bleeding.

The doctor may need to test the stool for blood. A blood test can help determine the extent of the bleeding and whether the patient is anemic.

Endoscopy is the most common method for finding the source of bleeding in the digestive tract. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a small camera on the end. The doctor inserts the endoscope through the patient’s mouth to view the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An endoscope can also be inserted through the rectum to view the colon. This procedure is called a colonoscopy.

Enteroscopy is an examination of the small intestine. Because traditional endoscopes cannot reach the small intestine, special endoscopes are used for enteroscopy.

Several other methods can help locate the source of bleeding. These include barium x-rays, radionuclide scanning, angiography, and exploratory laparotomy.

How is bleeding in the digestive tract treated?

Endoscopy can be used to stop bleeding in the digestive tract. A doctor can insert tools through the endoscope to:
  • inject chemicals into the bleeding site
  • treat the bleeding site and surrounding tissue with a heat probe, electric current, or laser
  • close affected blood vessels with a band or clip

How can bleeding be prevented?

To prevent bleeding in the future, doctors can treat the conditions that cause bleeding, such as H. pylori and other infections, GERD, ulcers, hemorrhoids, polyps, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

The above information comes from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that you’re viewing the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the bleeding in the digestive tract entry at the NIDDK website.

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Date of Birth:

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Requested Date of Appointment

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Digestive Tract Bleeding & Blood in the Stool: What Orlando Patients Need to Know

Bleeding in the digestive tract is a symptom of a condition or a disease. Most conditions that cause bleeding, such as ulcers or hemorrhoids, can be cured or controlled. Some causes of bleeding may be life-threatening.

Locating the source of bleeding is important. Different conditions cause bleeding in the upper digestive tract and the lower digestive tract.

What are the signs of bleeding in the digestive tract?

Signs of bleeding in the upper digestive tract include:

  • bright red blood in vomit
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • black or tarry stool
  • dark blood mixed with stool
  • stool mixed or coated with bright red blood

Signs of bleeding in the lower digestive tract include:

  • black or tarry stool
  • dark blood mixed with stool
  • stool mixed or coated with bright red blood

Sudden, severe bleeding is called acute bleeding. If acute bleeding occurs, symptoms may include:

  • weakness
  • dizziness or faintness
  • shortness of breath
  • crampy abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • paleness

A person with acute bleeding may experience a rapid pulse, dropped blood pressure, and difficulty producing urine. He or she may also go into shock.

Light bleeding that continues for a long time or starts and stops is called chronic bleeding. Chronicblood loss can lead to anemia.

What causes bleeding in the digestive tract?

  • Peptic ulcers
  • Esophageal varices–enlarged veins, located at the lower end of the esophagus, that rupture and bleed
  • Mallory-Weiss tears in the esophagus lining
  • Gastritis
  • Esophagitis
  • Benign tumors and cancer
Causes of bleeding in the lower digestive tract
  • Diverticular disease
  • Colitis
  • Hemorrhoids or fissures
  • Angiodysplasia
  • Polyps or cancer

How is bleeding in the digestive tract diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing bleeding in the digestive tract is locating the site of the bleeding. The doctor will take the patient’s complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, black or red stools, and pain or tenderness in the abdomen may tell the doctor which area of the digestive tract is bleeding.

The doctor may need to test the stool for blood. A blood test can help determine the extent of the bleeding and whether the patient is anemic.

Endoscopy is the most common method for finding the source of bleeding in the digestive tract. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a small camera on the end. The doctor inserts the endoscope through the patient’s mouth to view the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An endoscope can also be inserted through the rectum to view the colon. This procedure is called a colonoscopy.

Enteroscopy is an examination of the small intestine. Because traditional endoscopes cannot reach the small intestine, special endoscopes are used for enteroscopy.

Several other methods can help locate the source of bleeding. These include barium x-rays, radionuclide scanning, angiography, and exploratory laparotomy.

How is bleeding in the digestive tract treated?

Endoscopy can be used to stop bleeding in the digestive tract. A doctor can insert tools through the endoscope to:
  • inject chemicals into the bleeding site
  • treat the bleeding site and surrounding tissue with a heat probe, electric current, or laser
  • close affected blood vessels with a band or clip

How can bleeding be prevented?

To prevent bleeding in the future, doctors can treat the conditions that cause bleeding, such as H. pylori and other infections, GERD, ulcers, hemorrhoids, polyps, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

The above information comes from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that you’re viewing the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the bleeding in the digestive tract entry at the NIDDK website.

Make an Appointment

Name

Date of Birth:

Phone Number

Requested Date of Appointment

Time Requested

Additional Information