What are bleeding problems?
Bleeding can range in severity from a simple bruise to blood in the urine, stool, or sputum (mucus and phlegm). Bleeding can occur from any body part including the digestive tract, blood vessels, eyes, brain, and joints. Bleeding from the surface of the body, such as from a puncture wound, is often promptly identified and treated; whereas, internal bleeding is much more difficult to track and diagnose.
Abnormal spontaneous bleeding occurs as a consequence of vascular injury, decreased platelet number and function, absent or ineffective clotting factors, and deficient blood clot formation.
People who take blood-thinning medication or who have a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia, are at risk for severe and prolonged bleeding because their blood does not clot properly. However, these types of conditions usually can be well managed when you adhere to your overall treatment plan prescribed by your doctor. Severe bleeding and suspected internal bleeding need a prompt professional medical diagnosis.
Types of bleeding symptoms:
What other symptoms might occur with bleeding?
Bleeding may be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition including:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Abdominal swelling or bloating
- Fecal incontinence (inability to control stools)
- Joint stiffness or immobility
- Pale skin
- Rectal pain
- Swelling of extremities
- Urgent need to pass stool
- Weight loss
Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition
In some cases, bleeding might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, are exhibiting any of these life-threatening symptoms:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Heart palpitations
- High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Rapid pulse
- Rigid, board-like abdomen
- Severe abdominal pain
- Vomiting blood or black material (resembling coffee grounds)
- Weakness (loss of strength)
What causes bleeding symptoms?
Bleeding symptoms, such as bloody stools and vomit, are often due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Here the precipitating cause is known and the bleeding will usually subside on its own (normal hemostatis). However, excessive unexplained bleeding or bruising can be caused by bleeding disorders and other severe diseases such as leukemia.
Gastrointestinal causes of bleeding symptoms
Gastrointestinal causes of bleeding include:
Bleeding peptic ulcer
Blood vessel malformation
Bowel ischemia or bowel obstruction
Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
Intestinal infection, polyps or tumor
Other causes of bleeding symptoms
Other causes of bleeding symptoms include:
Hemophilia (rare hereditary disorder in which blood does not clot normally)
Hemorrhagic fever (viral infection)
Leukemia (cancer of the blood or bone marrow)
Long-term use of antibiotics
Menorrhagia (heavy bleeding during menstrual period)
Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count; platelets help form clots to stop blood loss)
Vitamin K deficiency
Von Willebrand’s disease (a hereditary bleeding disorder)
Serious or life-threatening causes of bleeding symptoms:
Any bleeding symptom you develop should be evaluated by a physician or health care professional. In some cases, bleeding may be due to a serious or life-threatening condition including:
Bleeding peptic ulcer
Ruptured esophageal varices
Severe abdominal trauma
Over time, bleeding symptoms can lead to serious complications including:
Severe blood loss