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What increases my risk for GI bleeding?

The main risk factor for GI bleeding is older age—but remember, GI bleeding is usually a sign of another condition, and having that condition is what raises your risk. Common problems like hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). gastritis (possibly caused by overuse of alcohol and/or NSAID pain relievers), anal fissures, colitis, and diverticular disease are all associated with gastrointestinal bleeding. Other conditions that made lead to it are ulcerative colitis, benign tumors, polyps, or cancer in the digestive tract, esophageal varices, or angiodysplasia (abnormal blood vessels in the digestive tract). Colorectal cancer and hemorrhoids are the most common causes of GI bleeding in older people. You can't always tell the origin of the bleeding from its symptoms; rectal bleeding, for example, may come from the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract. It is a good idea to consult a doctor for evaluation, as some causes of GI bleeding can be quite serious.

Continue Learning about GI Bleeding

Does GI bleeding affect children differently than adults?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Anyone can develop GI bleeding. However, this condition is mostly found in the elderly. Some think t...
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How do other illnesses affect GI bleeding?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The underlying conditions for GI bleeding can be even more serious than the actual illness. This is ...
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What causes gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding?
Dr. Elif E. Oker, MDDr. Elif E. Oker, MD
A variety of conditions may cause GI bleeding. GI bleeding may occur in the esophagus, stomach, inte...
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Should I talk to my doctor about my GI bleeding symptoms?
Marc B. Sonenshine, MDMarc B. Sonenshine, MD
All GI bleeding should be discussed with a physician, particularly a gastroenterologist. Bleeding al...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.