What Can Cause Bloody Stool and Vomiting?

An esophageal tear can cause bloody stool and vomiting.
A wound in the digestive tract may cause bloody stool and vomiting.
Article Details
  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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When a person develops bloody stool and vomiting at the same time, it generally indicates that he has an injury or illness of the gastrointestinal tract. A small amount of blood in the stool along with mild vomiting may clear up on its own, though it may also be an indication of a serious disorder. Excessively bloody stool or vomiting that does not go away quickly can be an indication of a life-threatening condition. Some conditions that can cause the presence of these two symptoms are injuries to the gastrointestinal tract, infections, ulcers, and cancer.

In its most mild form, bloody stool and vomiting can indicate a tear in the esophagus. This condition may be caused by forceful vomiting, and the blood in the stool will usually appear dark brown and have the consistency of coffee grounds. If the vomiting persists, if there is a great deal of blood in the stool, or if there is pain, a patient with these two symptoms should see a medical professional promptly.

Some potentially serious conditions can also cause these symptoms. Infections caused by microorganisms, including E. coli or amoebas, can cause both of these symptoms. In most cases, an infection of the intestinal tract will be accompanied by fever and diarrhea, and the individual should be seen by a medical professional because antibacterial medications may be needed to help clear up the infection.

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An injury or wound in the digestive tract can also lead to bloody stool and vomiting in a patient. An injury in any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the intestines, can cause blood to appear in the stool. It is possible for the presence of blood to irritate the digestive tract which can lead to vomiting. Ulcers may also bleed into the digestive tract and can be responsible for these symptoms as well.

Cancer and other diseases of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines can also cause vomiting and blood in the stool. Diseases may present as a chronic condition that comes and goes or as an acute condition that comes on suddenly. Depending on the part of the intestinal tract that is bleeding, the blood in the stool may appear red, brown, or black. Bright red blood indicates a problem with the lower portion of the tract while dark blood that takes on the texture of coffee grounds usually indicates a problem with the stomach, esophagus, or mouth.

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Discuss this Article

irontoenail
Post 3

@Mor - I would go and see a doctor, but the chances are that it's not going to be a big deal. It sounds very serious to say someone is vomiting blood, but an irritated stomach lining will lead to that and it can be caused by eating the wrong thing, or drinking too much.

So I wouldn't completely panic unless the person is showing a lot of other dire symptoms. But don't leave it either, since it can be a sign of something worse. And most of those worse things are the kind of thing that you really need to get seen to right away.

We like to think that the stomach is very strong, but if it is treated the wrong way it can go downhill very quickly.

Mor
Post 2

@Fa5t3r - That's true, but you need to be sensible about your own self diagnosis. There are other signs of hemorrhoids than just bloody stools and you can look those up online to double check.

But if you are vomiting as well, and particularly if you are vomiting blood, I would most definitely go and see the doctor. It's not the kind of thing that you want to just "wait and see".

Fa5t3r
Post 1

Something to remember is that it's not likely to be fresh blood on the stool. If you've got very fresh blood, and particularly if it's painful to pass stools and you've got some constipation, it's far more likely that you've got a hemorrhoid than that something is wrong with your bowel.

These basically happen when someone is having to strain too much when on the toilet. It can be extremely embarrassing to turn up at the doctor in a panic, thinking you're about to die from internal bleeding and to have them explain that what you really need is fiber in the diet.

So you're better off just getting the fiber into your diet in the first place and avoiding all the pain and embarrassment.

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