Gastrointestinal bleeding means some level of bleeding is happening within your esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine (colon, rectum or anus). And this bleeding could originate from several of these sites.
Also referred to as intestinal bleeding or GI bleeding, this health condition is a symptom that’s caused by a broad range of diseases. Here’s several of those possible causes of gastrointestinal bleeding:
- celiac sprue
- colon polyps
- stomach polyps
- anal fissure, fistula
- esophageal varices
- intestinal vasculitis
- intestinal obstruction
- cow’s milk food allergy
- diverticulosis, diverticulitis
- cancer ~ colon, stomach, esophageal
- IBD ~ Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
The extent of your gastrointestinal bleeding can be in an undetectable amount to hemorrhaging to the point of shock or even death. General intestinal bleeding symptoms are:
If the amount of blood is significant, you may also have symptoms of fatigue, weakness, faintness and pallor. Insignificant GI bleeding that’s left untreated for a long period may cause enough of an iron deficit to result in anemia.
Treatment for GI bleeding causing a massive amount of blood loss somewhere along your intestinal tract may require blood transfusions and drainage. Otherwise, there are various treatments available to stop your excessive bleeding depending on the site of your blood loss.
Endoscopy is the test used to discover where your gastrointestinal bleeding is coming from. And a colonoscopy is a type of endoscopy that looks at your large intestine.