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Recovering alcoholic, vomiting, blood in spit. Should I be concerned?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 1337 Questions
I am a recovering alcoholic and haven't had a drink in 11 months. When I used to drink, I drank a lot and it landed me in the hospital twice when I threw up blood. After the second time I called it quits and stopped drinking. I have been very healthy and my last check up came out well. Great liver enzymes, good blood pressure, a good XXXXXXX of health. (this was 1 month ago). I was just laying on the couch, felt sick and threw up fairly hard. After throwing up, and clearing my throat I can see slight lines of red in my spit. If I really try and pull spit out of my throat, get almost 1/4 of my spit to contain blood. I am nervous because the doctors told me before (when I threw up a pint or two of blood before) that throwing up blood can be very XXXXXXX and deadly. I'm concerned. Should I be or would just a heavy vomit irritate some of the capillaries in my espohogus to cause a slight amount of blood.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 36 minutes later

Thank you for submitting your query.

Your health record hints to Esophageal varices which are abnormal, enlarged veins in the lower part of the esophagus which is the tube that connects your throat to stomach, more commonly seen in people with severe liver pathology. They develop when the normal blood flow to your liver is sluggish owing to portal hypertension (raised blood pressure in portal vein that drains into liver) which develops secondary to some serious liver diseases such as Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD).

I advise you not to be nonchalant about your situation and get yourself examined at the earliest by a proficient medical Gastroenterologist who after a all inclusive physical assessment will do Endoscopy, CT (Computerized Tomography)/MRI (Magnetic Resonant Imaging) scans to diagnose varices and propose required treatment such as variceal banding, medications to reduce portal hypertension or injecting a solution into bleeding veins. The line of treatment will be decided depending upon the severity of your condition.

I really appreciate that you have been avoiding alcohol and hope you will continue to do so, because if you get back to alcoholism your liver may fail. In the interim, eat a healthy diet XXXXXXX in fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables, maintain a healthy weight by regular exercises and avoid stress.

Hope this answers your query, Please accept my answer if you have no follow-up queries.

Wish you Good Health.

Dr. Mohammed Tauseef.
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