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Lower GI Bleeding

Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract can be cause by a variety of conditions. This symptom is considered quite serious and should be addressed immediately by a specialized physician, if detected.

Causes

If the bleeding is linked to the lower intestine, it will typically be caused by one of the following medical conditions:

  • Anal Fissures – Tear in the lining of the anus.
  • Colon polyps – These small tissue formations form within the lining of the colon and can cause bleeding if torn.
  • Diverticulosis– Instead of protruding outward into the colon like a polyp, these are pouches that form within the lower digestive tract.
  • Diverticulitis– When the pouches caused by diverticulosis become inflamed, they are categorized as diverticulitis.
  • Hemorrhoids – Swollen veins located at the end of the rectum or on the anus.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – General inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
    • Crohn’s Disease – An IBD that most often affects the upper intestine, but it can present itself anywhere in the GI tract.
    • Ulcerative Colitis – An IBD that refers to inflammation of the colon and rectum.
  • Proctitis – This condition causes swelling within the lining of the rectum, which can lead to lower intestinal bleeding.
  • Tumors – This may or may not be cancerous.

Diagnosis 

Our physicians will require additional testing or endoscopic procedures to obtain an official diagnosis of internal bleeding that presents itself in a person’s stool. We also need to diagnose the source of the lower intestinal bleeding.

Symptoms

Individuals should seek treatment if they notice blood in their stool. Seeking emergency care is imperative if any signs of shock are present, e.g., sudden drop in blood pressure, feeling faint or passing out, quickened pulse. 

Treatment

More than 80% of lower GI bleeding events resolve on their own. But severe, persistent, or recurring bleeding can become serious. Treatment depends on the cause of the bleeding or if bleeding is caused by a medication, for example those which reduce the formation of blood clots. Diverticular disease is estimated to be responsible for about 40% of lower GI bleeds. To treat diverticular bleedings, we find the site of the bleeding using a colonoscopy, angiogram, or CT scan. If the bleeding cannot be stopped, a surgical solution such as a colon resection may be needed. For people who experience bleeding due to chronic health conditions, long-term dietary and lifestyle changes may be necessary to reduce irritation and inflammation.

Find an Office

Gladstone Office

6060 North Oak Trafficway
Suite 101
Gladstone, MO 64118
Phone: (816) 941-0800

Leawood Office

4370 W 109th St.
#350
Overland Park, KS 66211
Phone: (816) 941-0800

Overland Park Office

10100 W 87th St.
Suite 200
Overland Park, KS 66212
Phone: (816) 941-0800

Independence Office

19550 E 39th St
Suite 320
Independence, MO 64057
Phone: (816) 941-0800

Lee’s Summit

1980 SE Blue Parkway
Suite 2330
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Phone: (816) 941-0800