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Blood in vomit/spit
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Questions in the Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Forum are being answered by Dr. Patricia Pitts, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist from The Bella Vita Program - CA.

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Blood in vomit/spit

Okay, so to begin I'd like to start off with saying that I've been bulimic since I was in 6th or 7th grade. I'm currently 17, and recently (about a month ago) I've tried to get over my bulimia and stop vomiting. This is because about a month ago I vomited blood and it really affected me physically and psychologically - I was really bothered by it and I think I've finally "woken up" to what I've been doing. Unfortunately I can already tell that my attention is starting to focus more on strictly watching my eating habits rather than eating whatever I want and throwing it up later, but that's not why I'm here.

To get to the point - I have not been throwing up intentionally, but twice since last month I've thrown up (I honestly don't know what caused it) and both times there was a visibly noticeable amount of blood in it, not just a reddish tinge (I'd say about a tablespoon was there, more or less). The past few days I've also been spitting up blood (although not as much as when I vomit) and I'm getting more worried as time goes on, so I decided to try and research it a bit on my own and ask others for help. My question is, do I have a Mallory Weiss tear? Is it serious? Do I need to see a doctor, etc. or will this heal on its own over time? The only reason I'm so apprehensive about seeing a doctor and would rather ask here first is that I know it would kill my mother if she knew about this, and I'm afraid of her finding out.

Thank you for reading. =)
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Dear Nessie,

Thank you for writing and being honest about your condition.  I understand that you do not want your mom to know that you are purging your food.  Yet blood in your vomit is of grave concern.  

When we have a patient purging blood, we send them for immediate medical attention.  You could have inflammation in the esophagus or a Mallory Weiss tear.  It could also be a sign of wearing down the lining of your stomach from ongoing purging.  The later can cause death.  Thus blood in your vomit needs to be taken seriously.  I urge you to see a medical doctor asap.
Best,

Dr. Patricia Pitts
The Bella Vita
Los Angeles, CA
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