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Gastrointestinal Bleeding (cont.)

Gastrointestinal Bleeding Diagnosis

  • A doctor will perform a complete history and physical exam to evaluate the patient's problem. The physical will include a digital rectal exam, to test for visible or microscopic blood from the rectum.
  • The doctor may need to perform a procedure called an endoscopy or a colonoscopy. An endoscope is a long tube with a tiny camera at the end. It is passed into the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. A colonoscopy refers to the passage of a tube with a tiny camera through the rectum into the colon, to directly see the source of bleeding. Both procedures can be diagnostic, finding the source of bleeding; and therapeutic, stopping it.
  • Lab tests also can be helpful to determine the rate or severity of bleeding and to determine factors that may contribute to the problem.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2014
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Gastrointestinal Bleeding - Causes

What was the cause of your gastrointestinal bleeding?




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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