What is Hematemesis?


is a condition characterized by the presence of blood in vomit.The blood is generally emitted because of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. A lot of times individuals cough up blood because of respiratory problems. The discussed problem should not be confused with it.
It is not as common as bleeding manifested through stools. However, gastrointestinal bleeding is a major concern when it comes to digestive ailments. In the US alone, 60 to 70 million people suffer from various digestion related problems. Upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding is often a symptom in many diseases.

Vomiting Blood

Symptoms of Hematemesis

  • Persistent vomiting tendency and nausea.
  • Vomit which is black or brown in color.
  • Vomit which is the color of ground coffee.
  • Dark tar colored stools indicating the presence of blood.
  • A history of digestive distress caused by alcohol abuse, chronic liver disease and gastrointestinal ulcers. Peptic ulcer disease is responsible for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in 27-40% of the patients.

What are the causes of vomiting blood?

  • Prolonged history of Gastrointestinal Acid Reflux disease which is associated with retching. Retching is the process when the gastric juices and contents flows back into the esophagus. This may cause tears in the blood vessels of the esophagus and throat and cause the individual to vomit blood.
  • Ulcer which is progressive and bleeding is present in the stomach, duodenum or esophagus.
  • Peptic ulcer.
  • Hemorrhage in the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus may cause one to swallow blood which may be later emitted through stools and vomit.
  • Tumors or cancerous mass in the stomach or esophagus.
  • Erosion, damage and irritation in the lining of the stomach and esophagus.
  • Chronic Viral hepatitis like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.
  • Dilation of blood vessels because of excessive pressure in the blood vessels of the liver causing bleeding varices in the stomach and esophagus.
  • Chronic and acute liver diseases like Cirrhosis of liver.
  • Gastritis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Radiation poisoning.
  • Prolonged smoking history and alcohol abuse.
  • Any external injury or obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Treatment of Hematemesis

    It is more a symptom than a disease. So the underlying disease should be treated first. It often warrants an immediate medical attention where the blood loss needs to be first arrested. An endoscopy is generally conducted to detect the source of the bleeding.
    Depending on the disease causing it, treatment with medications, therapy or surgery is administered.

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