GI bleeding, also known as gastrointestinal haemorrhage, is a symptom of a digestive tract infection (from mouth to rectum). Blood usually appears in the stool or vomit, causing hematemesis (blood vomiting) or black tarry stools (melena). The severity of the bleeding can range from minor to severe, and if not treated promptly, it can be fatal, says a gastrointestinal surgeon in Kolkata.
Symptoms of GI Bleeding
The amount of GI bleeding varies from little quantities that are not visible to huge amounts that are obvious. If there is a lot of bleeding, you can get gastrointestinal symptoms, including hypovolemia, which can lead to shock and syncope.
Fatigue and dizziness are other possible side effects. Chronic occult bleeding is also observed, which can be detected by examining a stool sample.
GI Bleeding Types
According to the best gastro surgeon in Kolkata, the types of gastrointestinal bleeding are:
- Upper GI bleeding: It occurs when bleeding takes place in the oesophagus, stomach, and upper portion of the small intestine.
- Lower GI bleeding: It happens when bleeding occurs in the small intestine, large intestine, rectum, or anus.
Causes of Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Peptic ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, haemorrhoids, colon polyps, stomach or intestine cancer, diverticulum, anal fissure, ulcerative colitis, and esophagitis are all causes of GI bleeding.
As per the gastroenterology surgeon in Kolkata, anticoagulants like heparin, antiplatelets like aspirin or clopidogrel, and several nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can all induce gastrointestinal bleeding.
Treatment Options for Gastrointestinal Bleeding
The goal of GI bleeding treatment is to alleviate symptoms while also addressing the underlying cause. The main goals of therapy are to keep the airway open and restore intravascular volume.
- When a patient is unconscious or has a weak gag reflex, endotracheal intubation is used. IV fluids are started right away if a patient has hypovolemia or haemorrhagic shock. A transfusion of packed RBCs is provided to restore circulation volume.
- Proton pump inhibitors are prescribed by the gastro surgeon in Kolkata if peptic ulcer disease is the cause. Endoscopic coagulation is used in cases of persistent bleeding or rebleeding.
- Prokinetics are administered if there is a substantial upper GI haemorrhage. Prokinetics are drugs that speed up the emptying of the stomach.
- If there is substantial bleeding in the lower GI, the bleeding can be managed by coagulating with a heating probe, clipping, or injecting diluted epinephrine using colonoscopy.