Is Vomiting Blood After Alcohol Consumption Normal?

Table of Contents

Alcohol abuse is a spectrum of alcohol drinking behaviours. The excessive unhealthy use of alcohol includes heavy drinking, binge drinking, as well as alcohol use by pregnant women or people under 21 years.

In contrast to these unhealthy excessive drinking behaviour, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has mentioned what could be considered moderate drinking. According to these guidelines, moderate drinking is when men consume two or fewer drinks in a day, and women consume one or fewer drinks in a day.

However, drinking less is better than drinking more. Alcohol abuse can cause numerous health problems, including alcohol use disorders, chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, various cancers, and psychological disorders. 

In addition to the issues mentioned above, many people also experience throwing up after drinking. Although vomiting after drinking alcohol is not uncommon, if it contains blood, then it is pretty dangerous.

Approximately 150 per 100 000 people experience upper gastrointestinal bleeding annually, with a mortality rate of about 8%-14%.

People who are heavy alcohol drinkers are at greater risk of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding and death ultimately. Moreover, an analysis of 220 000 or more natural deaths in Sweden concluded that the mortality rate due to alcohol-related illnesses is 17%.

Small streaks of bright red blood in vomiting may not be an emergency. However, throwing up more significant amounts of blood after drinking could cause concern (e.g internal bleeding) – and you must seek immediate medical attention.

If you are struggling with alcohol-related issues, feel free to contact us today at Help4Addiction.

What Causes Vomiting Blood After Drinking Alcohol?

Lifestyle choices, how much one drinks, and similar other factors can throw up after drinking alcohol. However, vomiting blood can signal the following complications:


Drinking too much alcohol can cause gastritis which is the inflammation of the stomach lining. Although many people with gastritis don’t experience any symptoms, it can cause symptoms of indigestion including,

But gastritis can lead to further damaging the stomach lining, due to which it starts bleeding. As a result, the individual may experience the following symptoms:

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Another cause of vomiting blood due to regular drinking is an open sore, called an ulcer, in the small intestine, stomach, or oesophagus. Ulcers can cause intense pain and occur when the protective lining in any part of the gastrointestinal tract gets damaged.

Some of the symptoms of peptic ulcer include:

The individual who consumes alcohol regularly, despite the amount, develops ulcers that can perforate the gastrointestinal tract lining. This perforation causes blood vomit after drinking. According to a study, men who consume one or two drinks daily are more likely to develop peptic ulcers.

Another cause of vomiting blood may include a tear caused by taking too much aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications. 


Excessive alcohol consumption in a short time can cause retching. Retching is the reverse movement of the oesophagus and the stomach without vomiting.

However, prolonged retching can damage the lining of the oesophagus, which can lead to bleeding. Hence, the individual may experience throwing up blood after drinking.

Oesophageal Varices

Oesophagal varices is a potentially dangerous condition in which veins become swollen in the oesophagus. One risk factor for the oesophagal varices is alcohol-related liver disease. And a heavy drinker is more vulnerable to damage to the oesophagus. These swollen veins can also lead to uncontrollable bleeding.

Most people, however, don’t know that they have oesophagus varices until these veins start to bleed. Severe and sudden bleeding can cause the individual to vomit a large amount of blood. Some of the symptoms of bleeding or damaged varices include:

Alcohol-Related Liver Diseases

With long-term regular use, alcohol increases liver diseases such as fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

According to a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 10-25% of regular heavy alcohol drinkers develop alcohol-related liver disease.

Individuals with alcohol-related liver diseases experience different complications and symptoms, such as:

Is It Alcohol Poisoning?

When you drink excessive amounts of alcohol over a short period, alcohol poisoning can occur. It can not only severely damage the health but is also life-threatening. Moreover, in England, alcohol poisoning is the leading cause of poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning is considered a medical emergency – if you think you are displaying signs of alcohol poisoning, consult a medical professional immediately. 

Some signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning are:

In severe cases, symptoms can be:

If you experience repeated retching and vomiting, this can cause tears in the blood vessels at the gastroesophageal junction. As a result, blood vomiting occurs.

How to Avoid Vomiting Blood After Alcohol Consumption?

Alcohol addiction affects many people around the globe. Therefore, researchers have conducted many studies to determine different factors associated with its predisposition, precipitation, and treatment.

Although there is no single cause for alcohol addiction, socioeconomic status, gender, race, and genetics can predispose an individual. In addition, it changes the brain and its neurochemistry.

Moreover, different factors determine the individual’s health, such as the frequency and quantity of alcohol a person drinks, the health of the individual, etc.

Also, the amount of alcohol one consumes varies from one person to another. As a result, some people are heavy drinkers, while others are moderate drinkers.

You may find it challenging to control your actions and your alcohol use, resulting in further worsening of alcohol-related problems.

Throwing up after drinking can indicate complications, as mentioned earlier, especially if you vomit blood. Vomiting blood means that your body has been damaged.

In such cases, you need to follow up with your professional healthcare provider. This will help you and the healthcare provider to rule out the cause and find appropriate solutions.

On the other hand, if you have drunk alcohol and are worried about vomiting blood again, there are a few following things that you can do to avoid throwing up after drinking alcohol.

  • Don’t mix other drugs and medications with alcohol.
  • Don’t use alcohol as the only drink, instead stay hydrated and use water beverages as well.
  • Your body has been damaged internally, of which blood vomit is a sign. Use bland food and avoid spicy foods to prevent irritation further.
  • Don’t chug your drink. Instead, take small sips and drink slowly.
  • To slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream and protect your stomach, make a habit of eating before you drink.
  • Get ample rest. This will help you feel better. Also, avoid drinking on the day of a hangover.

Moreover, many people consider themselves moderate drinkers, even if they’re not. As there are many different glass sizes and drinks available, it can be difficult to know how many units of alcohol you are having.

In 1987, the idea of counting alcohol units was first proposed in the UK. According to which one unit is 8g or 10ml of pure alcohol.

The average adult body can process this amount in an hour, meaning that there should be little to no alcohol left in the blood in an hour. Moreover, the size of the drink and its alcohol strength determines the number of units it involves.

NHS has also provided low-risk alcohol unit guidelines, which are as follows:

  • Don’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol in a week to keep the health risks minimum.
  • If you are a regular drinker who consumes 14 units per week, spread these units for over three or more days.
  • 1 or 2 episodes of heavy drinking a week increases the chances of death from accidents, injuries, and long-term illnesses.
  • Go for many drink-free days every week if you want to cut down the amount of alcohol you drink.

However, cutting down on your drinks or abstaining from alcohol is not an easy task for most people. In this regard, many help centres have been developed that make the proper diagnosis and devise the right treatment plan individually for everyone.

Moreover, treatment depends on how much one drinks and whether you are trying to give up drinking entirely or drink less.

Following are some of the treatment options for alcohol addiction.

Brief Intervention

Suppose an alcohol-related accident, injury, or concern, brief intervention or short counselling sessions work for you.

It lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes, covering the education of risks involves and the advice for different cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and drinking patterns. Moreover, keeping a drinking diary is also beneficial.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a collaborative approach that works in collaboration with the client. It is a practical problem-solving approach for people with alcohol dependence.

The individual learns to identify, avoid, and cope with triggers that cause the person to drink. Moreover, it also involves changing unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behavioural patterns associated with drinking.

12-Step Facilitation Therapy

AA devised the 12-step facilitation program, which is effective group therapy for treating alcohol or drug addiction. These steps include ideas from religion and philosophy.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended several medications for alcohol abuse treatment. Some of these medications include nalmefene, disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone.

Some other treatment options include detox, group therapy, family therapy, etc. 


Throwing up after drinking is every day, but vomiting blood can be a symptom of severe conditions. Some of the many underlying causes are alcohol-related liver diseases, peptic ulcers, gastritis, and oesophagal varices.

If not treated early, these conditions can lead to death. Hence, if you are a regular drinker and experience, any such complication, Help4Addiction is here to help. Call us at 0203 955 7700 and start your consultation now.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are different reasons behind vomiting blood after alcohol consumption. Some of the causes are gastritis, alcohol-related liver diseases, oesophagal varices, retching, and ulcer.

Taking care of your body and monitoring the symptoms is essential for healthy functioning. For example, although small streaks of blood in the vomit may not be much alarming, you should immediately consult a professional if you throw up more significant amounts of blood.

It is possible that the individual with damaged liver may not experience any symptoms. However, some noticeable signs and symptoms include swelling and pain in the abdomen, yellowish skin and eyes, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, pale stool, chronic fatigue, itchy skin, and swelling in the ankles and legs.

Some of the NHS guidelines for moderate alcohol drinking are drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol in a week and spreading these units over 3-4 days or going alcohol-free for several days a week.

If someone has oesophagal varices and is a regular alcohol consumer, there are chances of death from exsanguination within a few hours after vomiting blood.

Alcohol poisoning is when you drink an excessive amount of alcohol within a short time. Among other symptoms, repeated vomiting or retching can cause vomiting blood.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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