A few months back one of my elderly family members suddenly vomited blood and passed a blood filled tarry stool. We had to take her to emergency medical service and found out that she was suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. We had a real tough time handling this health issue so decided to share some knowledge regarding it with you under #IWBMovement program of our blog.
What and how of gastrointestinal bleeding
The main reason behind gastrointestinal bleeding is any sort of disorder in the digestive tract. The symptoms might be observed in the form of blood in vomit or stool which might not always be visible. The kind of treatment to be provided depends upon the cause of the bleeding which needs to be determined in the first place.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding
The signs are usually visible and need consultation for immediate treatment. The most visible signs include:
- Vomiting blood, (the most common one)
- Tarry and black stool
- Bleeding with stool at times
Sometimes when hidden bleeding occurs, the following can be the accompanying symptoms:
It has been seen generally that when bleeding starts abruptly, people can go into a condition of shock.The main symptoms include drop in blood pressure, changes in urination, rapid pulse rates along with unconscious. One should immediately see a doctor when any such conditions exist.
Causes of gastrointestinal bleeding:
In case of upper gastrointestinal bleeding;
These are the sores that develop on the lining of the stomach and small intestine. The acid present in the stomach, damages the lining resulting in formation of sores.
It is a condition that is a result of serious liver disease. Basically, the veins in the esophagus are enlarged leading to the blood in vomit at times.
This is the inflammation caused by the disease known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
In case of lower gastrointestinal bleeding;
Under this, small bulging pouches are developed in the digestive tract and when one or more than one of these pouches become infected, it leads to diverticulitis.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD):
This includes in ulcerative colitis which causes inflammation and sores in the colon and rectum.
When there is inflammation in the lining of the rectum it can lead to rectal bleeding.
The tears in the lining of the anus causes anal fissures which make visible spots of blood in the stool.
These are the small clumps of cells forming on the lining of the colon. Usually not cancerous but can result in that too.
These gastrointestinal blendings can cause shock, anemia and sometimes death too.
Precautions in gastrointestinal bleeding
In order to prevent any kind of gastrointestinal bleeding there are basic two precautions.
- usage of non steroidal drugs should be limited.
- consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking should be prohibited
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