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Symptoms and Signs of Gastrointestinal Bleeding (GI Bleeding)

Doctor's Notes on Gastrointestinal Bleeding (GI Bleeding)

G.I. bleeding is when bleeding occurs in any part of the gastrointestinal tract which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, colon, rectum and anus. G.I. bleeding is a symptom of a number of different underlying medical problems that are the cause of this symptom. The following are signs and symptoms that the G.I. tract is bleeding:

  • blood in the stool,
  • blood in vomitus,
  • black, tarry stools, and
  • blood noticed on toilet paper

Symptoms associated with blood loss due to G.I. bleeding are as follows:

In general, G.I. bleeding causes are usually classified as either upper or lower G.I. tract problems. For example, the following are considered causes of upper G.I. bleeding:

  • upper G.I. structure trauma,
  • peptic ulcers,
  • gastritis,
  • esophageal varices,
  • cancers, and
  • inflammation and/or erosion of the G.I. lining from ingested materials.

The following are considered causes of lower G.I. bleeding:

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.