Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

When your physician speaks about GI bleeding, he/she is usually not talking about an external wound that re­sults invisible bleeding from one or more GI organs, but rather means something more specific. Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract means that some part of the body represented in the diagram on page 1 is bleed­ing internally, either slightly (which may or may not be very serious) or heavily (which may have serious health consequences).

Identifying Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Because GI bleeding is internal, it is possible for a per­son to have gastrointestinal bleeding without having pain, literally without knowing you are bleeding. That is why it is important to recognize those symptoms that may ac­company GI bleeding. The symptoms of possible GI bleeding vary, depending upon whether the source of the bleeding is in the upper part of the digestive tract (the esophagus, stomach or the beginning of the small intestine) or in the lower part (small intestine, colon or rectum).