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Gastrointestinal Bleeding (cont.)

Gastrointestinal Bleeding Self-Care at Home

There is no home care for heavy gastrointestinal bleeding. A person should go to a hospital's emergency department if they have heavy gastrointestinal bleeding.

For hemorrhoids or anal fissures, a diet high in fiber and fluids to keep stools soft may be helpful.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding Treatment

  • Serious gastrointestinal bleeding can destabilize vital signs. Blood pressure may fall sharply and heart rate may increase.
  • The physician may need to resuscitate the patient with IV fluids and possibly a blood transfusion.
  • In some cases, the patient may need surgery.
  • For an upper GI bleed, patients may be given IV proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as omeprazole (Prilosec) to suppress acid.
  • If a large amount of blood is in the upper GI tract, patients may be given prokinetics (medications that help stomach emptying) such as erythromycin or metoclopramide (Reglan) to help clear the stomach of blood, clots, or food residue before an endoscopy procedure to clear the stomach.
  • Other medications may include somatostatin or octreotide (Sandostatin) if there is treatment of variceal (small blood vessel) bleeding, or antibiotics in patients with cirrhosis of the liver.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2015
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding »

Acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a potentially life-threatening abdominal emergency that remains a common cause of hospitalization.

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