What You Need To Know About Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is the bleeding of any part of the gastrointestinal tract. While some cases of GI bleeding can only be detected with laboratory tests, other cases present signs and symptoms, such as black and tarry stool that may oftentimes look like coffee grounds, abdominal pain, weakness, pale skin, and difficulty breathing.
There are many possible causes of GI bleeding. Among the most common are the following:
- Gastritis, or the inflammation of the lining of the stomach
- Diverticulitis, or the inflammation of the diverticulum (small pouches found along the inside lining of your colon)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cancer along the GI tract, including colon cancer and cancer of the small intestine
- Radiation therapy to treat cancer
- Hemorrhoids, or swollen veins of the anus
- Crohn’s disease, or the chronic inflammation of certain portions of the large intestine
According to the website of Williams Kherkher, some cases of GI bleeding result from the use of certain medications. One of them is Xarelto, which was approved by the FDA to prevent the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis. However, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, there have been a number of cases of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with this drug.
If you notice any signs and symptoms of GI bleeding, it is important to speak with your doctor right away to see its underlying medical cause. Apart from physical examination, your doctor may recommend imaging tests, such as abdominal X-ray, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), enteroscopy (to examine the small intestine), and sigmoidoscopy (to examine the lower part of the colon).
Keeping your GI tract healthy prevents diseases that may cause GI bleeding. One way to do it is by drinking plenty of water. You should also consider regulating your caffeine intake. Smoking may irritate the GI tract, so talk to your doctor today about possible ways on how to quit smoking. Finally, an active lifestyle and a diet rich in fiber can also keep GI tract diseases at bay.