Gastrointestinal bleeding

(GI bleeding)

About Gastrointestinal bleeding

Your digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine or colon, rectum, and anus. Bleeding can come from any of these areas. The amount of bleeding can be so small that only a lab test can find it.

Signs of bleeding in the digestive tract depend where it is and how much bleeding there is.

Signs of bleeding in the upper digestive tract include

  • Bright red blood in vomit
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Dark blood mixed with stool

Signs of bleeding in the lower digestive tract include

  • Black or tarry stool
  • Dark blood mixed with stool
  • Stool mixed or coated with bright red blood

GI bleeding is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease. There are many possible causes of GI bleeding, including hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, tears or inflammation in the esophagus, diverticulosis and diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, colonic polyps, or cancer in the colon, stomach or esophagus.

The test used most often to look for the cause of GI bleeding is called endoscopy. It uses a flexible instrument inserted through the mouth or rectum to view the inside of the GI tract. A type of endoscopy called colonoscopy looks at the large intestine.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

  • Also known as
  • GI bleeding
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Intestine bleeding

Top Medications for Gastrointestinal bleeding according to our users

Button Group. All currently active
  • All men

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
  • All women

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it

All Medications for Gastrointestinal bleeding

  • Anaphylaxis > Alpha agonist, Beta agonist

    • Epipen
      Prescription only

      Epipen (Epinephrine) is a life-saving medication for severe allergic reactions. Just make sure you know how to give an injection before it's needed.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Injection
  • Acid reducer > Proton pump inhibitor

    • Omeprazole
      Prescription or OTC

      Prilosec (Omeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief. Choose the cheapest proton pump inhibitor because they all work equally well for heartburn.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Extended release
  • Acid reducer > Histamine blocker

  • Antihypertensive > Beta blocker

    • Propranolol
      Prescription only

      Inderal (Propranolol) is good for treating many heart problems and other problems in the body, but it has more side effects than other beta blockers. You can't miss doses.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
      • Liquid

Medication side effects for Gastrointestinal bleeding

We’re still collecting side effect information for Gastrointestinal bleeding medications, so we can’t show you a comparison right now.

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Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Gastrointestinal bleeding

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