Causes of Bleeding in the Digestive Tract
Causes of bleeding in the stomach and intestines (digestive tract) include:
- Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples are aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can irritate the stomach lining and cause an ulcer.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Colon polyps or colorectal cancer, especially in older adults. It is important to find and treat these as early as possible. Without treatment, they may be life-threatening.
- Frequently occurring hemorrhoids. People with hemorrhoids often don't seek treatment right away. They can have chronic bleeding as a result.
- Esophagitis. This is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach).
- Hookworm and other parasites. These parasites feed upon blood from the intestinal wall. If they aren't treated, they can cause a lot of blood loss.
- Long-distance running (runner's anemia). People who regularly run long distances often have some type of bleeding in the digestive tract.
Current as of: June 6, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine