Spitting bloodVomiting blood or. spitting up blood (Hematemesis) may indicate a serious illness. When spitting up blood, it depends on the amount, intervals and coloration of the blood. After tooth extractions, blood spitting is likely to be more benign in nature – especially if small amounts of blood are involved. If necessary one should let blood spit clarify however also here.
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What is blood spitting (hematemesis)??
Spitting blood or hematemesis is the vomiting of large amounts of bloody sputum or stomach contents. However, it may also be a case of spitting after oral injuries, such as biting the tongue.
When people suddenly spit blood without warning, it usually indicates a serious problem, the cause of which must be clarified as soon as possible. One can spit blood by a poison ingestion, a burst vein or after an accident and have suffered internal injuries.
The causes after which one spits blood are varied. They range from tuberculosis disease to cancer of the esophagus. Duodenal ulcers to an esophageal rupture. Any form of spitting blood must be clarified in the causes as soon as possible. Spitting up blood can indicate serious illness or serious consequences of an accident.
Stomach cancer or ruptured esophageal varices can lead to blood spitting. Occasionally, blood may be spit up due to acute gastritis or gastric ulcers. Ingestion of certain toxins can cause blood spitting, as can Mallory-Weiss syndrome, hemophilia, or malaria.
With syphilis one can spit blood, with diverticulitis likewise. So, what is interesting is what were the accompanying symptoms before or while someone had to spit blood. They may provide clues to the nature of the disease, problem, or poisoning.
Even as a result of an accident, spitting blood is a serious symptom that should prompt further investigation. But you can also spit blood because you have strained the veins in your throat through constant vomiting as a result of alcoholism or bulimia.
When to see a doctor?
If blood spitting occurs, in most cases it is wise to consult a doctor. However, there are also exceptions. If, for example, the gums bleed easily, it is not necessary to see a doctor. However, if no explanation can be found for the spitting up of blood, it is important to have the symptomatology clarified by a doctor.
Only the doctor can determine where the blood comes from and whether there may be an infection or even an internal source of bleeding. In the case of such a symptom, it is better to consult a doctor as a precaution than to wait and see. Spitting blood can have serious causes that, if left untreated, can result in the most serious damage.
For this reason, a doctor should always be consulted if the blood is not obviously the result of a minor injury in the mouth. This can be seen from the amount of blood – if there is very little blood, it is probably a minor injury. In general, spitting up blood should be taken seriously and a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Diagnosis and course
The diagnosis and course of hematemesis depend greatly on the cause. The diagnosis to be made looks for the focus or injury causing hematemesis.
Since hematemesis can result in relatively high blood loss, unnoticed internal bleeding can exist or serious illnesses are causative, an emergency situation is always given. Therefore, in any case, immediate medical attention is necessary. A quick diagnosis is important.
Clarification of the most important vital parameters (pulse, blood prere) and other symptoms or questions about the color of the leaked blood help to find the cause more quickly.
Existing underlying diseases (stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcer) often already provide information about possible causes.
If necessary, gastroscopy or. Colonoscopy, MRI scans, X-ray examinations or immediate surgical intervention necessary. If someone has to spit up blood, a life-threatening situation may exist.
In some cases, X-rays, ultrasound scans or a blood test are needed to determine the cause of the hematemesis.
The course or. The appropriate therapy for hematemesis depends on the underlying disease. For example, the course of illness and therapy of poisoning is different than if the cause is cancer, intestinal problems, nosebleeds with vomiting of swallowed blood or a burst vein in the esophagus.
Since spitting blood can be an indication of a life-threatening condition, this symptom should be treated immediately and a doctor should be consulted. Due to this threatening nature, the affected person usually experiences anxiety. Spitting up blood can cause shock or paralysis. Sometimes the affected person finds it difficult to make a rational decision. May react hysterically, feel intense agitation, and tend to overreact. Many people immediately think of cancer when they spit blood. It must be treated as soon as possible and is associated with further complications, such as surgery or chemotherapy.
In addition, spitting up blood can be associated with impairment of the cardiovascular system. Dizziness, malaise or an unsteady gait are possible symptoms. In harmless cases, spitting blood is due to injured blood vessels. It may be burst in the nose or gastrointestinal tract. In most cases, the bleeding stops on its own within a few hours or days. A further complication of hematemesis is aspiration. Vomit can enter the nasopharynx. There is reflex gagging, which carries the inhaled substances back into the oral cavity. If this is not completely successful, respiratory problems develop and there is a risk of suffocation. In addition, the risk of pneumonia increases.
Treatment and therapy
The treatment for hematemesis depends on the cause found. Often, when spitting blood, emergency surgery is unavoidable. Without hemostasis measures, spitting blood can lead to fatal blood loss. Sometimes the cause can be remedied already during gastroscopy or colonoscopy.
If a burst varicose vein is sclerosed, it is no longer necessary to spit blood. However, if the spitting blood originates from a ruptured gastric ulcer, surgery must be performed immediately. In the case of tuberculosis, which has recently become more frequent again, the possible risk of infection must be taken into account in particular. Similar is the case with syphilis. An important therapy for spitting blood is a change in lifestyle habits that make you ill. For example, spitting blood may be due to alcoholism or poor dietary habits. The loss of blood and electrolytes must be compensated quickly by infusions.
In the case of recognized underlying diseases such as gastric ulcers, mucosal damage or cancer, drug treatment is also possible. So, for spitting blood, you can choose between long-term therapies. Distinguish emergency measures.
Here you will find your medication
Outlook and prognosis
If blood is spat once, the prognosis is good. Strenuous physical activities, such as e.B. lifting or holding heavy objects, cause tears in the walls of the blood vessels. This leads to the complaints. Intensive sporting exercises often have a comparable effect. Since the blood vessels heal in a few hours or days, spontaneous healing of the spitting blood occurs as soon as activities are reduced.
If the spitting of blood occurs due to a carcinoma, the course of the disease depends on the present cancer diagnosis as well as the present stage of the disease. The earlier a tumor is detected, the better the chances of cure. Optimally, the diseased tie is completely removed and the blood spitting disappears.
If an eating disorder occurs, vomiting of ingested food is often mechanically induced. This process is extremely stressful for the organism. The more regularly vomiting occurs, the more affected the mucous membranes and organs are. Spitting blood is a warning sign that in most cases does not subside until successful therapy against the eating disorder is initiated. If spitting blood occurs as a symptom of a cold, it subsides as soon as the infarction is cured. Usually, the process takes a few days or weeks to achieve a complete cure.
One way to prevent spitting blood is to live a healthy lifestyle, avoid excessive alcohol consumption and avoid foods that irritate the mucous membranes of the digestive tract.
Some causes of blood spitting are hereditary, others nutritional. Chronic alcoholism in particular will eventually lead to vomiting blood and should therefore be treated. Travel abroad can become the cause of spitting blood if one is infected with malaria or with frequent unprotected sexual contacts with syphilis.
Appropriate countermeasures should be taken. Accidents and accidental ingestion of poison, after which one has to spit blood, are not always avoidable. Children, in particular, should be better protected by taking appropriate safety measures. However, there is a lot you can do to avoid spitting blood.
– Herold, G.: Internal medicine. Self-published, Cologne 2013 – Hahn, J.-M.Checklist Internal Medicine. Thieme, Stuttgart – Siegenthaler, W. (ed.): Siegenthaler's Differential Diagnosis of Internal Diseases – from Symptom to Diagnosis. Thieme, Stuttgart 2005 – Koop, I.: Gastroenterology compact. Thieme, Stuttgart 2013 – Arasteh, K., et al.: Dual series. Internal medicine. This article was written in accordance with the current medical literature. Sound scientific sources written. Quality arance by: Dr. med. Nonnenmacher Last updated on: 7. December 2021