What is Gastrointestinal bleeding?
Gastrointestinal bleeding is a disorder of the digestive system, which consists of blood loss through the digestive tract. It appears as blood in the stool or vomit.
The intensity or level of bleeding can change and if not treated it can be fatal.
Gastrointestinal Bleeding is classified in two ways:
Upper, originates from the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum (first part of the small intestine)
Lower, originate in the small intestine or colon
Gastrointestinal Bleeding occurs due to various factors, these can vary according to the severity of the bleeding, we group the following:
Abnormal blood vessels in the lining of the intestines (angiodysplasia)
Cancer of the stomach
Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis
Small intestine cancer
Intestinal polyps (precancerous disease)
Radiation injury to the bowel
Gastrointestinal Bleeding can present with the following symptoms:
Fresh or semi-digested blood present in the stool
Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal bleeding
We group some of the possible tests that could be carried out:
Nasogastric lavage helps to know the cause of bleeding
Upper digestive Endoscopy
Double balloon enteroscopy, examines areas of the small intestine where other tests using an endoscope cannot reach
Colonoscopy allows examining the large intestine and rectum
Flexible sigmoidoscopy allows you to see the rectum and the last part of the large intestine, which leads to the rectum (sigmoid colon)
Treatment of Gastrointestinal bleeding
In some cases, the patient with Gastrointestinal Bleeding may not need medication to treat it, and it will stop on its own.
The treatment provided will be according to the cause and severity of the gastrointestinal bleeding; in general, it is possible to administer medications or perform a procedure to control bleeding during specific tests.
Fluids through a needle (IV)
Living with gastrointestinal bleeding
The following are the most common recommendations:
Limit consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Do not smoke
Have a moderate alcohol consumption
Maintain a healthy diet
When to see a doctor?
If you are diagnosed with upper (acute) gastrointestinal bleeding, you can go directly to the BlueNetHospitals Emergency Room in Los Cabos or call an ambulance at 624 1043 911.
When consulting your doctor, we recommend keeping a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.