Gastrointestinal bleeding

Lower GI bleeding; GI bleeding; Upper GI bleeding; Hematochezia

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding refers to any bleeding that starts in the gastrointestinal tract.

Bleeding may come from any site along the GI tract, but is often divided into:

  • Upper GI bleeding: The upper GI tract includes the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach), stomach, and first part of the small intestine.
  • Lower GI bleeding: The lower GI tract includes much of the small intestine, large intestine or bowels, rectum, and anus.
GI bleeding - series

The gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth, which leads to the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and finally, the rectum and anus. The GI tract is a long, hollow, muscular tube through which food passes and nutrients are absorbed.

Fecal occult blood test

A fecal occult blood test is a noninvasive test that detects the presence of hidden blood in the stool. Blood in the stool that is not visible is often the first, and in many cases the only, warning sign that a person has colorectal disease, including colon cancer.



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