Alternate Names : GI Bleeding, Bleeding in the Gut, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
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Gastointestinal (GI) bleeding describes any blood loss that occurs through the digestive tract.
What is going on in the body?
The GI or digestive tract is a passage that leads from the mouth to the anus. This tract also includes the:
esophagus, a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach
Bleeding can occur anywhere in the GI tract due to various conditions.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
There are many possible causes of this condition, including:
peptic ulcer, which may occur in the stomach or small intestine
gastritis, or inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This often occurs in those who have been using aspirin or pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Gastritis is also common in a person who is alcohol dependent.
enlarged veins in the esophagus called esophageal varices, which are prone to rupturing. This condition is usually seen as a part of alcoholic liver disease.
a Mallory-Weiss tear, which is a small tear in the inside lining of the esophagus, usually due to severe retching or vomiting
diverticulosis, a condition that causes outpouchings of the walls of the colon
infections in the gut, such as certain forms of infection-related diarrhea, or diverticulitis, an infection of the outpouchings that occur in diverticulosis
cancers or tumors, such as colon cancer, stomach cancer, or esophageal cancer
inflammatory bowel disease, a poorly understood condition that results in inflammation in the bowels
hemorrhoids, which are enlarged veins around the anus
abnormal blood vessels in the digestive tract, which may rupture
inflammation of the colon from a lack of blood flow, or from radiation therapy
Other causes are also possible. Sometimes, no cause can be found.