Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Am I bleeding internally if I vomited blood?"
Got very nauseous at work today and vomited. There was some blood in it. Does this mean I have internal bleeding? What about an ulcer?
If you continue to feel ill or if you continue to vomit with streaks of blood in it, you will need to see a doctor. Similarly, if the amount of blood you vomited was significant (rather than just streaks) then that is also an emergency and you need to see your doctor right away. Having a few flecks of blood in vomit can occur with many common illness, such as viruses which cause nausea and vomiting. The important thing is that this should clear up quickly and not worsen. Any significant blood could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as an ulcer. You should drink plenty of fluids, avoid smoking or alcohol, and stay away from anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin, as these all make irritation of the stomach lining much worse. If you have recurrence of the bleeding, if you feel lightheaded, short of breath, or dizzy, or if you notice any dark black color in your bowel movements, these are all emergency signs of potentially significant bleeding that would require you to go immediately to an emergency room. Otherwise, you can follow up with your primary care doctor for what is most likely just a bit of stomach irritation in the setting of a viral bug.
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