Causes of Bleeding in the Digestive Tract

Overview

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.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: June 6, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine