Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a sign of a digestive tract problem. Blood is frequently found in stool or vomit, but it is not always visible, and it can cause the stool to appear black or tarry. The severity of the bleeding can range from mild to severe, and it can be fatal.
When necessary, sophisticated imaging technology can usually pinpoint the source of the bleeding. The treatment is determined by the source of the bleeding.
The signs and symptoms of GI bleeding can be visible (overt) or hidden (occult). The signs and symptoms are determined by the location of the bleed, which can be anywhere on the GI tract, from where it begins — the mouth — to where it ends — the anus — as well as the rate of bleeding.
Overt bleeding might show up as:
With occult bleeding, you might have:
If your bleeding starts abruptly and progresses rapidly, you could go into shock. Signs and symptoms of shock include: