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.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K069 in the search box to learn more about "Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Care Instructions."
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.