Definition & Facts of GI Bleeding

What is GI bleeding?

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is any type of bleeding that starts in your GI tract, also called your digestive tract. GI bleeding is a symptom of a disease or condition, rather than a disease or condition itself.

Acute GI bleeding is sudden and can sometimes be severe. Chronic GI bleeding is slight bleeding that can last a long time or may come and go.

Learn more about your digestive system and how it works.

Does GI bleeding have another name?

GI bleeding is also called bleeding in the digestive tract, upper GI bleeding, or lower GI bleeding. The upper GI tract and lower GI tract are different areas of your GI tract.

How common is GI bleeding?

Every year, about 100,000 people in the United States go to the hospital for upper GI bleeding.1 About 20 to 33 percent of GI bleeding episodes in Western countries are in the lower GI tract.2

Who is more likely to have GI bleeding?

Men are twice as likely as women to have upper GI bleeding.3

Female nurse speaking to gentlemen and going over medical charts.
Men are twice as likely as women to have upper GI bleeding.

References

July 2016
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