Gastrointestinal bleeding can have a number of causes and can be either chronic or acute. It can result from bleeding or injury anywhere within the GI system. While many cases of this bleeding resolve on their own, it is very important to determine the cause and source of the bleeding and receive treatment.
When people have mild or chronic bleeding, it may not be immediately noticed but may result in anemia due to iron deficiency. This type of bleeding can often be discovered during testing of a stool sample. However, acute or heavier bleeding can produce symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath or visible blood in the stool.
The causes of GI bleeding can vary greatly and include peptic ulcers, esophageal varicose veins or tears between the esophagus and stomach. They can also include diverticulosis, colon cancer and colitis.