A proper diagnosis of the cause is required if a person vomits blood. This can be a symptom of some very serious ailments. Quick and appropriate treatment is essential. There can be several factors that can lead to throwing up blood. A few major ones are briefly described in the following article.
The forceful expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose is called vomiting. It is medically termed as emesis. In common language, it is known as throwing up. It can be a symptom of a wide variety of illnesses. Proper diagnosis of the condition is always necessary. The need to seek medical attention becomes even more necessary if you are vomiting blood. Hematemesis is the medical term used to describe this condition. It is mostly a life-threatening medical condition. In case you are experiencing symptoms after drinking, standing, or walking, you need immediate medical intervention.
Causes of Vomiting Blood
Acute Liver Failure
One of the foremost causes of throwing up blood is acute liver failure. It is an uncommon medical condition which is marked by rapid deterioration of the vital functions of the liver. The liver develops damage within a couple of days, in case of acute liver failure. This condition is more common in occurrence in young children than adults. Normally, the liver takes months and years to get damaged. Symptoms of throwing up blood are noticed in cases of acute liver failure. The patient needs immediate medical attention and care.
Hepatic fibrosis, also called liver cirrhosis, is a medical condition which is characterized by scarring of the liver. It can result due to injury or some long term disease. A liver carrying a scar tissue cannot perform the functions that it normally does when healthy. The liver cannot make protein, clean blood, assist the immune system, and store vitamins. The symptoms of hepatic fibrosis are easy bruising, high blood pressure in the vein supplying blood to the liver, enlargement of veins in stomach and liver and throwing up blood. Hepatic fibrosis needs to be treated on time else it may lead to liver cancer.
Duodenum is the first part of the small intestine. The condition of an inflamed duodenum is known as duodenitis. It can be both acute and chronic. Duodenitis causes a lot of discomfort to the sufferer. Pain in the stomach, intestinal bleeding, loss of appetite, nausea, and throwing up blood are some of the commonly observed symptoms of doudenitis. It can be caused by the irritation of the intestine wall due to the intake of drugs like aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, etc. In many cases, it has been reported to occur due to over secretion of stomach acids.
The group of disorders which are marked by a common symptom of inflamed stomach lining is called gastritis. It is caused by bacterial infection, long term intake of pain killers, over-consumption of alcohol, traumatic injury, etc. The identifiable symptoms of gastritis are loss of appetite, swelling in the abdomen, nausea, and throwing up blood. Gastritis can occur both suddenly and over a period of time. Chronic gastritis increases the risk of stomach ulcers and cancer. Therefore, it should be treated on time and effectively. The symptoms recede quite rapidly with the treatment.
The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach and next to the duodenum. Its function is to secrete enzymes for digestion. The secretion occurs through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreas may develop inflammation. This condition is called pancreatitis. The common causes of pancreatitis are over-consumption of alcohol, injury, genetic disorders, malnutrition, excessive iron, etc. The symptoms are bloating, heartburn, indigestion, fever, chest pain, nausea which is followed by throwing up blood, etc.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Visit a medical practitioner for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The diagnostic tests generally include complete blood count (CBC), blood chemistry, liver function tests, clotting tests, rectal examination, x-rays, and complete examination of the digestive and excretory tract with a technique called esophagogastroduodenoscopy. The condition of vomiting blood can be treated completely by curing its underlying cause. In case of severe cases, transfusion, administration of fluids through veins, medications, and surgery can be required.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.