Erika Grigg

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Erika Grigg
Dr.
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Kingsport
Gastroenterology
Gastroenterology Associates
135 West Ravine Rd., Suite 3A
Kingsport
TN
37660

What is Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding?

Bleeding that starts anywhere within the GI tract from the esophagus to the rectum. GI bleeding is more a symptom of a disease rather than an actual disease itself. Bleeding may be mild, but can also be life threatening. There are many different causes for bleeding which vary depending on the location. Seek treatment if you experience vomiting blood (may be bright red or appear like “coffee grinds”), bloody bowel movements, or black tarry stools. You may also experience symptoms of abdominal pain, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, or dizziness.  

What are some causes of GI bleeding?

Upper GI bleeding originates in the first portion of the GI tract (esophagus, stomach or duodenum-which is the first part of the small intestine). The most common causes include: peptic ulcer disease, inflammation (esophagitis, gastritis), varices, Mallory-Weiss tear, and cancer.

Lower GI bleeding originates from beyond the duodenum to the anus. The most common causes include: diverticular disease, hemorrhoids, polyps, cancer, inflammation (infections, inflammatory bowel disease, radiation injury, ischemia), abnormal collection of blood vessels (angiodysplasia), and anal fissures.

What is ulcerative colitis (UC)?

UC of one of the 2 main types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with the other being Crohn’s disease. Unlike Crohn’s disease, which can affect any part of the GI tract, UC usually affects only the large intestine (colon). Inflammation in the lining of the colon can lead to sores (ulcers) that can result in rectal bleeding, mucus in the stools, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. 

Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease) caused by psychological problems?

No. There is no evidence that IBD is caused by psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and emotional stress. However, these factors can modify the course of the disease, aggravate discomfort caused by the disease, and affect response to therapy. The exact cause of IBD is unknown, but researchers speculate that it may result from a virus or bacteria interacting with the body’s immune system. There is also evidence that a genetic component may be involved. 

Erika Grigg
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Erika Grigg
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