Can gastrointestinal bleeding cause anemia?

Posted on Mon, 2 Jan 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Thanks for asking. Had colonoscopy/endoscopy yesterday, no internal bleeding discovered, so cause of anemia still unknown. Passed out during prep, had to receive emergency hydration at ER
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please see the discussion below.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome and thanks for your query.
Please have your stools checked for occult blood.
If it is negative and with a negative colonoscopy, gastrointestinal blood loss is not very likely to be the cause of your anemia.
If stools is positive for occult blood, then you need to have an upper GI endoscopy to see if there is any silent peptic ulcer which may be the cause of blood loss.
If there is no blood loss, then your diet may be insufficient in iron or there is malabsorption of iron.
You could try an iron supplement for 2 months and see if there is an improvement in the Hemoglobin, blood iron and Ferritin.
Do get back to me if you have further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 7 hours later
I had an endoscopy at the same time, nothing there. There is often XXXXXXX blood in my stools, which has been the case for more than 10 years. That is supposedly due to hemmoroids. My diet is high in iron-rich foods, and hasn't changed recently.
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 28 hours later
Brief Answer:
Discussion continues

Detailed Answer: XXXXXXX blood in stools is very likely to be from bleeding hemorrhoids. Avoid constipation, the commonest cause of bleeding from hemorrhoids.
With each bleed you lose iron and hemoglobin. In addition there may also be malabsorption of iron. Take vitamin C with the iron preparation.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Noble Zachariah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2276 Questions


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