Why am I vomiting blood?
Hematemesis, the regurgitation of sole blood or stomach contents combined with blood, is referred to as vomiting blood. The stomach is a typical upper gastrointestinal (GI) source of blood in vomit.
Minor factors, such as ingesting blood from a mouth wound or a nosebleed, can sometimes cause vomiting blood. There won’t likely be any long-term consequences from these events.
The following more severe conditions, which can be life-threatening, can also induce vomiting blood:
- internal wounds
- bleeding organs and
- organ rupture
What does blood vomited look like?
Your doctor may be able to determine the cause and extent of the bleeding from the colour of the vomited blood. Blood from the stomach may appear:
- vibrant red, as well as,
- brown food staining that frequently mimics coffee grounds
- Bright crimson blood is frequently a sign of an acute stomach or esophageal bleeding episode. It can be a source that bleeds quickly.
Blood that is darker in colour indicates that it has been in your GI tract for several hours. It typically denotes a more gradual and consistent source of bleeding.
To show your doctor, if at all feasible, take a photo of the vomit that contains blood.
Do I need to visit the ER?
If you vomit blood, call your doctor immediately, or head to the emergency room immediately, especially if you’ve recently been hurt. Vomiting blood can have a variety of causes, from minor to seriously dangerous. Determining the cause of the bleeding might be challenging without a medical examination.
Can spitting up blood result in death?
Vomiting blood from extensive internal GI bleeding can result in shock. Typical signs of shock include:
- shallow, rapid breathing
- quick heartbeat
- low urination
- perplexity Pale skin, chilly or clammy skin
- dizziness upon standing up, fainting, and blurred vision
Shock can cause irreversible organ damage, multiple organ failure, and death if treated immediately.
If you notice any shock-related symptoms, ask someone to transport you to the ER or dial 911.
What to do if you have blood in the vomit after drinking?
Some people who drink alcohol get blood in their vomit. After consuming alcohol, you might be more likely to vomit if you:
- on an empty stomach, consume
- puff on cigarettes
- use a mood stabiliser or antipsychotic drug
Alcohol-related liver disease and esophageal varices are two more severe chronic illnesses that can result in blood vomiting that can be brought on by alcohol use disorder. Typically, symptoms like vomiting blood don’t show up until the liver has been seriously injured.
Vomiting blood can have a variety of causes, ranging from trivial to serious. Usually, they result from an illness, injury, or pharmaceutical use.
Typical reasons of blood vomiting include:
- ingesting blood after having oral surgery or a nosebleed
- severe coughing or vomiting that causes an esophageal rip, a bleeding ulcer, gastritis (stomach inflammation)
- significant esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Less frequent and graver causes include:
- Ectopic varices
- alcoholic liver disease
- A fatty liver condition
- Long-term usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications in cirrhosis (NSAIDs)
- hemophilia \sanemia
- stomach cancer
- gastric cancer
Any time you vomit blood, you should let your doctor know.
Your doctor will first inquire about your symptoms and whether you recently sustained an injury before attempting to determine the reason of the blood in your vomit.
While you’re unconscious, your doctor will probably do an upper endoscopy to examine your GI tract.
An endoscope is a tiny, flexible tube that is inserted into your mouth, small intestine, and stomach by a medical professional. Your doctor can view the contents of your stomach with a fibre optic camera in the tube and check you internally for any causes of bleeding.
To determine your full blood count, your doctor might also request a blood test. This aids in determining the volume of blood loss.
Your doctor might prescribe imaging tests to check inside your body if they think bleeding is the result of a different problem, such cancer. These scans can identify abnormal growths or burst organs, among other anomalies, in your body.
- X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans
- MRI images
- PET scans are positron emission tomography scans.
Based on the condition they suspect may be causing you to vomit blood, your doctor might undertake further tests, a biopsy of any worrisome tissue, and other investigations.
Complications of vomiting blood
Vomiting blood can result in other health issues, depending on the cause.
One side effect of heavy bleeding is anaemia. It’s a shortage of sound red blood cells. It happens mainly when there is a quick and rapid blood loss.
However, anemia may gradually develop over a few weeks to months in those with illnesses that advance slowly, like gastritis, or who use NSAIDs regularly. In this situation, anemia may go unnoticed until the patient’s hemoglobin, or blood count, is extremely low.
Blood in the vomit can also cause shock, which can be dangerous and must be treated very soon.
How is vomiting blood treated?
You might require a blood transfusion based on how much blood you’ve lost. With a blood transfusion, donor blood is used to replace your own blood loss. The blood is injected into your vein through an intravenous (IV) line. To rehydrate your body, you might also need liquids through an IV.
Your doctor may recommend medication to stop the vomiting or to lessen stomach acid, depending on the underlying cause. Your doctor will recommend drugs to treat an ulcer if you have one.
Your doctor might recommend a gastroenterologist if the upper GI bleeding is more severe.
The gastroenterologist may use upper endoscopy to identify and address the bleeding’s cause. Surgery, such as stomach or intestinal perforation, might be required in extreme circumstances.