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Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding

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Definition & Facts

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

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Symptoms & Causes

The symptoms of GI bleeding depend on the location and how severe your bleeding is. Many different conditions can cause bleeding in your GI tract.


To diagnose GI bleeding, a doctor will first find the site of the bleeding. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor will order one or more diagnostic tests to confirm whether you have bleeding in your GI tract.


Treatment of bleeding in your GI tract depends on the cause or location of your bleeding. Doctors can prevent GI bleeding by treating the conditions that cause the bleeding.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

You can help prevent GI bleeding by avoiding certain foods and habits. Do not drink alcoholic beverages if you have GI bleeding.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

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Related Research

Last Reviewed October 2016

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.