Why Do I Throw Up Blood after Drinking Alcohol

by healcure

What causes vomiting blood after drinking alcohol or why am I vomiting blood after taking much or excessively alcohol last night? Is it normal? Am I the only one this is happening to? Find out why it happens.

Overview

To being with, vomiting blood is known as hematemesis and it can be due to a number of reasons including drinking. We will focus on hematemesis due to alcoholism in this post.

There may have been instances when you ended up throwing up blood after drinking a lot whiskey, beer, gin, brandy, wine, vodka, champagne, rum, Tequila, or other brands the night before. The vomit might have been bright red or dark red or looked like ground coffee. Furthermore, the vomit can contain a little blood or a lot.

This is not a normal happening since it indicates that something is totally wrong, probably with the upper gastrointestinal system. The possible causes puking or even coughing up blood after drinking are many. We are going to discuss some of them before we go look at general treatments.

Causes

If it happens, it simply means you have some medical conditions which get agitated with alcohol that result in internal bleeding on your upper gastrointestinal system or you drink excessively. Some the possible causes include the following:

Gastrointestinal tract erosion

Since alcoholic drinks are acidic in nature, taking them into your body can “cause damage to the mouth, esophagus, pharynx stomach or small intestine” [md-health.com] lining. Since this lining has blood vessels, bleeding is possible. In fact, if you throw up blood, you have a higher chance of developing ulcers.

Ruptures in GI tract

If you throw up whenever you drink even water, you might be having ruptures in your upper gastrointestinal tract. Excessive coughing, eating, puking can lead to ruptures which will make one vomit blood.

Having ulcers

This is a common problem noticed in people who are suffering from ulcers. Alcohol, especially when you drink excessively can agitate your ulcers leading to a bloodstained puke and stool. Even if it is not liquor, throwing up blood due to ulcers can even after drinking water.

The amount of blood one will vomit depends on the how serious your ulcers are.  Common ulcer symptoms include weight loss, nausea and vomiting, bloating, heartburn, weight loss, dull stomach pain, and trying to avoid food due to the pain.

Advanced stage of liver cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is a condition caused by excessive consumption of alcohol among other causes. At an advanced stage, puking blood does happen to those who have this liver disease.

Vomiting often

If you often throw up often when you drink or you have any other condition that makes you vomit,  including pregnancy in some women, having blood in your vomit is possible. This is due to the tearing and erosion of the vomit which is acidic in nature.

Gastritis

Another possible connection between alcoholism and this problem is gastritis. This is the “inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. It can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic)” [webmd.com]. When this condition is severe, bleeding is possible and one may end up with blood in their vomit especially after taking liquor since it can agitate already inflamed stomach lining.

Some of the common symptoms of gastritis include abdominal pain and bloating, vomiting, hiccups, loss of appetite, “vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material” [webmd.com], stomach upsets that recur and feeling nausea, indigestion, tarry black stools, burning feeling in your stomach in between meals and during night time.

Drugs and medications

This can happen if you are fond of drinking while using some medications especially medications such as aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen and other non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines. When these medications are combined with alcohol, they may have serious side effects and damage gastrointestinal track lining resulting in some blood in vomit.

Gastrointestinal tumors

Having any of the gastrointestinal tumors is another possible cause of puking up blood after drinking. As tumors grow, they may cause tears and damages to surrounding tissues. These tissues will get irritated and may cause not only an internal bleeding but also make one vomit some blood after taking alcohol.

Can excessive drinking

Excessive alcohol consumption especially stronger brands on an empty stomach could also cause this problem. Being a weak acid with can corrode your gastrointestinal mucus lining making it bleed. So do not be surprised if you have this issue after a night of drinking and smoking because it could be just due to the too much alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption include ulcer like pain, acid reflux, lightheadedness, abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

These are just but a few of the causes. There are many other reasons why alcoholics vomit blood which includes having acid reflux after, bleeding esophageal varices, intussusception, etc. This can happen the same day or the next day.

Other symptoms of puking after drinking

Symptoms of vomiting after drinking besides blood itself will range from mild such as burning sensation in the stomach, chest, and throat and feel nausea, Severe symptoms such as stomach pain, weakness, fainting, chest pain, abdominal cramps, dizziness, circulatory shock, as well as too much blood in your vomit are an indication something is total wrong.

If you have any of the severe symptoms, see a doctor immediately for emergency treatment since they could result in more complications or even death.

Treatments

Vomiting after drinking alcohol whether it happens immediately, the following morning or every time you drink it is something you should not ignore. Although some minor cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding may resolve on their own, others could be life-threatening and can cause death. Besides not drinking at all, the best way to deal with this problem is seeing a doctor.

After visiting a doctor, he will ask about the color (bright red or dark), amount of blood in your puke, medications you are currently, how often you drink alcohol and other questions relating to this condition.

Afterwards, you are likely to take some blood and/or urine test and also get a sample of your vomit for analysis. Depending on the cause, you might have treatment and/or be advised to check your diet, staying well hydrated, adjust your drinking habits and a few other remedies.

These advice and specific treatments which could be causing it will be addressed after they have known. Each of the cause may be having a unique treatment.

Black vomit?

Note that, there are people who have black vomit after drinking alcohol. If you puking up black after drinking, this means that the blood has been oxidized by the acids that your stomach produces to aid in digestion.

It also indicate that the bleeding was so little or it has stopped i.e. “vomit that resembles coffee grounds usually means that blood has been oxidized by acid in the stomach so that the iron in the blood turns black, and is a sign that bleeding is either in a small quantity or has stopped” [goaskalice.columbia.edu]

I hope this discussion has been enlightening. Always remember the fact that even if you do not puke blood after drinking the whole night or weekend, excessive alcohol consumption can harm lead to a number of problems including liver cirrhosis, heart problems, and even death.

If you are an alcoholic who has this problem, get help before it is too late. Why wouldn’t you be willing to quit it if you end up throwing up blood after a night of drinking? Health comes first.

Our references and sources

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