Anaemia in Alimentary Tract Disease

Review Article

Austin J Gastroenterol. 2019; 6(1): 1100.

Anaemia in Alimentary Tract Disease

Weledji EP*

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, S.W. Region, Cameroon, W/Africa

*Corresponding author: Elroy Patrick Weledji, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, S.W. Region, Cameroon, W/Africa

Received: April 06, 2019; Accepted: May 03, 2019; Published: May 10, 2019


Blood loss from the alimentary tract may be chronic and occult resulting in anaemia, or, acute requiring emergency resuscitation, investigation and management. Anaemia in alimentary tract disease usually results from deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid. In this review, the common causes of chronic anaemia manifesting in the alimentary tract are discussed. The importance of clinically diagnosing and treating the underlying disease is emphasized.

Keywords: Bleeding; Chronic; Anaemia; Disease; Alimentary tract


Anaemia may be the result of blood loss due to a number of causes in the gastrointestinal tract. The loss can be obvious and spectacular as in bleeding oesophageal varices, peptic ulcer, or insidious and occult from a colonic polyp. Anaemia can also be due to malabsorption of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 because of a variety of disease, or can simply reflect an inadequate dietary intake through illness, alcoholism, depression. Chronic or occult bleeding may occur from any part of the gut causing iron-deficiency anaemia [1,2]. Other causes of anaemia occasionally encountered for example, the normocytic normochromic anaemia from bone marrow depression of chronic disorders such as malignancy, the functional iron deficiency in chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease), the autoimmune hemolytic anaemia associated with ulcerative colitis and the tuberculosis of the small intestine and the sideroblastic anaemias which are genetic or acquired disorders characterized by dyserythropoisesis and iron overload will not be discussed. When the type of anaemia has been determined as a result of examination of the blood, the diagnosis of the underlying cause must always be sought (Table 1) [2-4].