Vomiting blood-medically known as hematemesis is a condition that requires urgent medical care. There are many different causes of blood to appear in vomit, some may be benign, and some may indicate a serious disease.
Vomiting blood is different from coughing up blood- referred to as hemoptysis. When blood appears after coughing, it is due to some lung disease such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. Hematemesis is when the blood shows up along with vomiting.
If you experience vomiting with blood, you should consult a gastroenterologist. You can visit a Gastroenterologist in Lahore.
Presentation of hematemesis
Hematemesis is not a disease in itself. It is a symptom and points towards some underlying condition or disease.
The blood in the vomiting may be mixed with food particles from the stomach, or there may be blood only in the vomit.
The color of the blood may be bright red, red, or brown. Brown blood looks similar to coffee grounds. The color of the vomited blood can help your doctor evaluate the location and severity of the bleeding in the GI tract.
Hematemesis may be associated with other symptoms, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark-colored stools
- Fast heart rate
Causes of Hematemesis
Hematemesis can occur due to many different causes, such as:
- Peptic or duodenal ulcer: A peptic or duodenal ulcer refers to erosion in the wall of the stomach and duodenum, respectively. It can cause bleeding, which can show up in vomit. Infections or prolonged use of NSAIDs can cause peptic ulcers.
- Mallory-Weiss Syndrome: This refers to a tear in the lining of the gastroesophageal junction-the point where the esophagus and stomach meet. It can result in severe bleeding in the GI tract, causing hematemesis.
- Variceal bleeding: Esophageal varices refer to abnormally enlarged veins in the esophagus. The veins in the esophagus become enlarged due to restricted blood flow through the portal vein- a vein that carries blood from the stomach and other organs to the liver. When there is a liver disease, like cirrhosis, esophageal varices develop and can rupture. It can cause severe bleeding in the GI tract, resulting in hematemesis.
- Hemorrhagic fevers: Different viruses like dengue cause viral hemorrhagic fever and interfere with the blood’s normal clotting ability. Patients affected with hemorrhagic fever can bleed through anywhere in the body and can also vomit blood.
Other causes of hematemesis can include:
- Tumors or cancer of the GI tract
- Nose-bleed that enters the GI tract
Complications of hematemesis
- Choking: A person who is vomiting blood may experience breathing difficulty if they aspirate the blood. The blood can accumulate in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
- Shock: Hematemesis can cause significant blood loss. The patient may develop shock- a condition in which the blood pressure falls, causing a low amount of blood to reach different organs. It can result in severe organ damage and death.
Vomiting blood is a condition that requires urgent medical care. It can be a presentation of different diseases, from benign to serious ones. If not treated on time, a huge amount of blood can be lost, which can be fatal.
If you experience vomiting with blood, it is essential to consult a gastroenterologist. You can visit a Gastroenterologist in Karachi.