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Small Amount of Blood in Vomit

Small amount of blood in vomit is a condition when a person finds small traces of blood while throwing up. Scientific name for vomiting blood is hematemesis. Blood in vomit can be due to a lot of reasons and some of which can be serious diseases. Small amount of blood in vomit although is not that serious but if continues for a longer time, should be examined by a medical professional. In some cases, the vomit in a cough is mistaken with blood in the vomit. These are two very different conditions but both are equally harmful. A small amount of blood in vomit can be normal or a symptom of some major disease.

Symptoms of Blood in Vomit

The symptoms associated with the blood in vomit can be:

Picture 1: Vomiting small amount of blood

Stomach aches 

In most of the cases vomiting that has a small amount of blood in it is accompanied by stomach aches. The aches are not very severe and go away after a small period of time. Usually, after throwing up, a person might feel a slight pain in his stomach and in esophageal area along with throat.


Nausea is a feeling of discomfort in upper abdominal area of a human body that causes an urge to vomit. After vomiting, there is a nauseous feeling and the person constantly feels as if they are going to throw up again. This usually happens if vomiting has happened due to some infection.


Usually after constant episodes of vomiting a person feels weakness in legs and even in the whole body. While vomiting a lot of abdominal and upper body strength is used to push out the food that has been fed to the body.

Abdominal cramps

In addition to the pain in stomach, a person also sometimes suffer from abdominal cramps. Abdominal cramps differ from stomach ache because these happen in lower abdomen area that is small and large intestine. This usually happens due to either rupture or bruising of the inner intestinal lining.


As already mentioned above, vomiting requires a lot of strength and a person feels weak after doing it. In addition to weakness there is also dizziness while standing up or sitting down too fast. If the amount of blood in the vomit somehow increases and if person feels dizzy or faints, immediate medical assistance should be sought. This might indicate some very serious medical condition.


Breathlessness, and anxiety are also two very common symptoms that are associated with small amount of blood in the vomit and constant vomiting. A person is not able to breathe properly since not a lot of oxygen is able to reach the body. In the cases of constant bleeding, there is a lot of blood loss which leads to the lessening in the transportation of blood and hemoglobin to the brain and the other parts of the body.

Blurred vision

Along with nausea and dizziness a person might have difficulty in seeing things for sometimes after throwing up. Head might feel heavy and vision affected. This usually goes away in a little while.


Due to constant bouts of vomiting the body loses a lot of water. If the water is not replenished then there is a big chance that the body might get dehydrated. Drinking a lot of water after throwing up is advisable in such cases.

Is it normal to have a small amount of blood in vomit?

Having small or large amount of blood is not a normal thing. Although if this happens only once, the situation can be put under control. But if the bleeding lasts more than a week and starts to increase with time, consulting a doctor is very important. This might be the reason for some underlying disease. Many pregnant women often see small traces of blood in their vomits, this happens when the vomiting is done in excess and is totally normal if it occasionally happens. If the baby has a small amount of blood in their vomit, then it should not be ignored and immediate medical attention should be sought. Sometimes a person might get small traces of blood after drinking a lot of alcohol, this is common when you have been throwing up for a long time. However, it is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol for some time after the bloody vomit.


The basic and the most prominent cause of the small amount of blood in vomit is the scratching or tearing of the abdominal cavity. But sometimes this might be an indication of something big. In future, the blood might increase and the condition should not be taken lightly.

Here are a few causes that might lead to bleeding in the stomach:

Bleeding in the digestive tract

This is the most common reason for the small amount of blood in vomit. When a person constantly keeps vomiting, a pressure is repeatedly exerted on their stomach to throw out its contents. In doing so, in most cases, the soft inner lining of the stomach gets scratched or bruised. This leads to a little bleeding the next time a person vomits. Pregnant women have morning sickness and vomit many times. So, small traces of blood is common in their cases. If color of the blood that comes out is red then that means blood is fresh and if the blood that comes out is brownish or maroon in color, this means that it has been in the stomach for a while and there has been an injury sometimes back.

Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are sores that have an open mouth and usually are formed on the inner lining of the stomach. They are usually caused due to erosion of inner lining of stomach. They are like small wounds. In many cases ulcers do not bleed but, sometimes when not cared for properly there is a slight bleeding. This blood is either passed out through stools or has to be passed out through vomit. These ulcers usually worsen after drinking alcohol or eating spicy food.

Esophageal Varices

Esophageal varices is a condition in which due to a blockage in the normal blood flow to the liver. This happens either due to a scar tissue or a clot that forms in the liver. To compensate for this, the blood is transferred to smaller blood vessels. These blood vessels do not have the capacity to hold a lot of blood and eventually leads to leakage of some. This is the blood that goes to the stomach and comes out with the vomit. However, if continued, this condition might even cause life-threatening blood loss.

Swallowed blood

This is another reason for small blood in the vomit. Sometimes a person swallows the blood that has come out of the nose or with a cough. This blood might be due to some nasal or throat infection or a nose bleed. The swallowed blood goes into the stomach and is then thrown out while vomiting. This throwing up blood usually happens once.

Continuous vomiting

If the person keeps on constantly vomiting there is a fair chance that he might damage his gastrointestinal tract. Constant vomiting is the cause of bleeding in the case of toddlers. This can be due to some allergic reaction to a food item, or an infection caused due to some virus or bacteria. If the bleeding continues for more than one time, medical assistance should be sought.

Swallowing a foreign substance

When a person accidentally swallows some foreign substance that is hard to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, it might lead to some amount of bleeding. This blood accumulates in the stomach. Since the substance does not get digested and irritates the wall of the stomach, the body throws it out. This happens as the natural reflex of the body.


  • Diagnose – The most basic step in the treatment of small amount of blood in vomit is to find out the reason behind it. So the doctor usually runs a few of the following tests in order to determine the exact cause that has been causing the bleeding in the stomach or the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Endoscopy – Endoscopy is a medical procedure in which a small fiber tube is inserted into a person’s digestive tract. This tube has a small high definition camera attached to it which helps the doctor in looking for any tear or bruise in the lining of the stomach.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasound of the upper and lower abdomen is done to see whether there is any ulcer or swelling in the digestive organs that might be the reason for the bleeding in the area.
  • Blood test – The doctor might also run the complete blood count in order to determine any deficiency in the blood.


Whatever might be the reason for the bleeding, oral medicines in the form of capsules or tablets are given to the patients in order to reduce the vomiting and heal the wounds in the gastrointestinal area.


For the time, till the body is completely healed, avoid eating spicy food and drinking alcohol. Both these things might cause further irritation in the lining of the stomach and further bleedings. In addition to this, oily foods should also be avoided.


Drinking lots of water is very important. Not only does water helps neutralize acids in the stomach, but it also helps to keep body hydrated. A lot of water is lost while vomiting and there is, even more, water loss if the vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea. So drink more than 6 glasses of water each day.

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