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Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Intro

Any presence of blood in the stool or the upper gastrointestinal tract is significant and needs medical investigation. Black or dark stools may represent slow bleeding into the GI tract and should be investigated by a physician.

Any significant bleeding into the GI tract, either vomited blood or blood through the rectum, should be evaluated in the emergency department.

Self-Care at Home

There is no home care for heavy gastrointestinal bleeding. Go to a hospital's emergency department. For hemorrhoids or anal fissures, eat a diet high in fiber and fluids to keep stools soft.

Follow-up
  • Maintain a proper diet and take the medication prescribed to you as your doctor directs.
  • Follow up with your physician on a regular basis to monitor progress, so that your doctor can prevent further progression and complications of your gastrointestinal bleeding.
Prevention

You can prevent some causes of gastrointestinal bleeding.

  • Avoid foods and factors, such as alcohol and smoking, that increase gastric secretions.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet to increase the bulk of the stool, which helps prevent diverticulosis and hemorrhoids.
Outlook

The outcome of treatment for gastrointestinal bleeding greatly depends on the cause and location of the bleeding, the rate of bleeding when you see a doctor, and your age and prior health.

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