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Bleeding in Digestive Tract

What is Bleeding in Digestive Tract?

Bleeding in the digestive tract is not a disease but a sign of something going on in the body. It’s important to understand that while digestive tract bleeding is a condition that needs to be addressed medically, it is actually a sign of other underlying medical problem, and not a disease in itself.

There are many different causes of bleeding in the digestive tract, the majority of which can be easily treated or at least controlled. There are also different symptoms associated with this condition and can manifest itself in different ways. It’s important to locate the source of the bleeding to help diagnose a possible condition.

The digestive tract, which is often referred to as the gastro-intestinal (or GI) tract, takes up a large part of the internal body, and comprises of many different organs, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon (also known as the large intestine), rectum, and anus. Bleeding can occur in one or more of these organs and be considered bleeding in the digestive tract.

Causes of Digestive Tract Bleeding

Because bleeding in the digestive tract can come from a number of different internal organs, the causes of this condition are numerous. The most common causes of bleeding in the esophagus include tearing in the lining (known as the Mallory-Weiss syndrome) from vomiting or abdominal pressure, a condition called esophagitis (referring to inflammation in the esophagus, often the result of stomach acid), or enlarged veins that rupture (normally from cirrhosis of the liver), liver disease, and even cancer of the esophagus.

Bleeding in the digestive tract can be traced back to the stomach, which can harbor all kinds of problems for people. The three most common causes of bleeding in the stomach are ulcers (the most common stomach-related cause of GI bleeding), as well as gastritis (inflammation in the stomach), and stomach cancer. Bleeding can also originate from the small intestine. Here, specific causes include something called the duodenal ulcer, irritable bowel disease, which is essentially inflammation of the small intestine.

Bleeding in the colon (large intestine) and rectum may range from simple but annoying hemorrhoids-the most common but least serious cause of visible (usually bright red) bleeding in this part of the body-and various infections to ulcerative colitis (inflammation), diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, colorectal polyps, and colorectal cancer.

Recognizing Symptoms of Digestive Tract Bleeding

The most obvious symptom of bleeding in the digestive tract is blood-but the type and color of blood, amount of blood, severity of the bleeding will vary depending on the source of the bleeding as well as the particular underlying condition that is causing the bleeding.

For example, blood from the upper gastro-intestinal tract-the esophagus or the stomach-normally will produce a stool that is quite black or even tarry-looking in appearance. If the blood comes out the other end-from vomiting-it will usually be either bright red or look somewhat similar to coffee grounds. However, blood from lower down in the digestive tract, such as the rectum or colon, will normally be bright red and either mix with or coat the surface of the bowel movement. Blood coming from the small intestine or the top part of the colon will show up in the stool as a darker, deeper red color.

If the bleeding is mild or coming out in small amounts, the person with digestive tract bleeding may not experience any other symptoms. However, if the bleeding is quite severe and coming out in large amounts, the person could experience diarrhea (with lots of liquid blood), moderate to severe cramps or other abdominal pain, dizziness, faintness, weakness, shock, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and difficulties breathing and urinating. Emergency medical attention is recommended in these cases.

Gastro-intestinal Tract Bleeding Diagnostics

When a person experiencing digestive tract bleeding goes to visit the doctor, the goal is to locate the source of the bleeding. The affected individual would need to give a full account of his or her symptoms, and the doctor would construct a full medical history and physical examination, including a stool test and a blood count, to figure out what’s causing the GI tract to bleed.

Specific diagnostic techniques for bleeding in the digestive tract include an endoscopy, which uses the endoscope to directly view the affected area. An endoscope is used to diagnose acute bleeding and sometimes treat the cause of the bleeding. There are different types of endoscopes, depending on where it is inserted and what part of the GI tract is suspected to be the source of the bleeding. Other procedures include barium x-rays, CT scans, angiography, and radionuclide scanning.

Natural Treatments for Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

Traditionally, digestive tract bleeding is treated through the use of endoscopy (chemicals injected through a needle in the endoscope), heat treatment, laser therapy, medicine and drugs, the removal of polyps, the removal of hemorrhoids, and even surgery. However, many people nowadays are looking for natural methods of treating GI tract bleeding. For more serious causes and cases of bleeding in the digestive tract, it’s always best to seek medical attention.

However, there are a few natural products, remedies, and suggestions for those who are looking for alternative therapies, particularly if the bleeding isn’t severe or life-threatening. Eating natural, raw, fiber-rich, whole, and organic foods is one thing to try. One product on the market that claims to fight digestive tract bleeding is Serovera, made from the Aloe plant.

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