The digestive or gastrointestinal tract goes from the mouth to the anus. It is often called the GI tract.
Bleeding in the lower GI tract can happen anywhere in your small or large intestine. It can also happen in your rectum or anus. In some cases, it is caused by an infection, cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease. Or it may be caused by hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, or clotting problems.
Light bleeding may not cause any symptoms at first. But if you continue to bleed for a while, you may feel very weak or tired.
Sudden, heavy bleeding means you need to see a doctor right away. This kind of bleeding can be very dangerous. But it can usually be cured or controlled. The doctor may do some tests to find the cause of your bleeding.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you do not get better as expected.
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Current as of: November 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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