Vomiting Blood After Alcohol Consumption
Common Causes Of Vomiting Blood
A wide range of conditions and causes that can lead to throwing up blood.
Causes for blood in sick can include:
- A tear (called a Mallory-Weiss tear) in the lining of the oesophagus, caused by excessive vomiting
- Swollen veins (varices) in the lower part of the oesophagus and stomach. This often happens in people with severe liver damage, including people with long-term alcoholism.
- A bleeding stomach or duodenal ulcer
- Irritation or swelling of the oesophagus called esophagitis
- A benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous tumour in the stomach or oesophagus
- A severe injury to the abdominal area, as caused by a car accident or blow to the abdomen
- Inflammation of the stomach called gastritis
- Taking too much aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
- A condition called Dieulafoy’s lesion that affects an artery in the stomach wall
- Inflammation of the small intestine called duodenitis
- Pancreatic cancer
Why Would I Throw Up Blood After I Drink Alcohol?
Blood in your vomit or phlegm from drinking too much alcohol is a serious matter, and help should be sought immediately from your local hospital. This is a terrifying moment for any heavy drinker, but burying your head in the sand is only going to make things worse, so get help immediately. There are various reasons why drinking alcohol and throwing up blood may occur.
A Rupture In The Gastrointestinal Tract
In people with alcohol-associated gastritis, in contrast to those problems with some other causes, the symptoms may be perceived only after a night of binge drinking or, alternately, might display as a more chronic difficulty for individuals who engage in frequent, heavy drinking. The upper gastrointestinal tract consists of your mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, the small intestine and the stomach.
When a rupture occurs in this area, bleeding occurs (also known as hematemesis or coffee-ground emesis. This brown vomit may also be an indicator that you have a stomach ulcer which means immediate help is needed. Hematemesis is defined as vomiting of blood, which is indicative of bleeding from the oesophagus, stomach, or duodenum.
Hematemesis includes vomiting of bright red blood, suggestive of recent or ongoing bleeding, and dark material, which suggests bleeding that had stopped some time ago. (1,2)
How Does Cirrhosis Cause Blood In Vomit
Cirrhosis causes irreversible scarring of the liver. The main conditions causes are sustained through excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis B & C, and fatty liver disease; there are also many other possible causes for the liver to become diseased.
There are many warning signs that the liver is failing and vomiting blood is one of them. This particular symptom is called ‘Esophageal Varices’ and occurs in the late stages of liver disease. The vomiting of blood can be from ulcers in the stomach or from leaking varicose veins. If someone has reached this stage without seeking medical help, they should do so immediately.
Ulcers are usually caused by Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori bacterium’s in the stomach. Consuming copious amounts of alcohol can also bring on ulcers as the alcohol irritates the stomach lining, making it red, raw and inflamed, which causes bleeding. Excessive use of alcohol can also disrupt the healing process, allowing the ulcers to expand and worsen because of this. (3)
Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining and like ulcers, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Gastritis has many causes, such as:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Abuse of aspirin or ibuprofen
- Post-surgical gastritis
- Traumatic injury
Conditions such as gastritis and a rupture in the gastrointestinal tract may also become life-threatening. These are much more serious than side-effects like Delirium Tremens.
The liver has the ability to regenerate itself after being damaged more than a few times, but if alcohol consumption is has gone to a level of alcoholism, the livers regenerative repairs become less than perfect resulting in scar tissues forming a hard, scarred liver. The blood that usually passes down at ease from the oesophagus to the liver becomes very difficult due to the liver being scarred. When this happens, the bodies veins become enlarged with the trapped blood and flows back upstream into the oesophagus again. Due to this, the blood vessels rupture and cause a person to throw up blood. As a result, the body loses a significant amount of blood. Therefore, medical treatment at an emergency room is required immediately.
Diagnosing Reasons For Vomiting Blood
There are many reasons why someone may see blood in their vomit after drinking, but whatever you may think the reason is, you could be wrong; therefore it is always best to seek medical attention if this occurs. Upper endoscopy is the mainstay of initial investigations to decide the source of the bleed and to decide on the specific therapy. Diagnosis will usually involve a detailed history and a physical examination.