Signs and Symptoms of Gastric Varices

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Signs and Symptoms of Gastric Varices

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Are you aware of the signs and symptoms of gastric varices? Do you even know what they are?

While gastric varices are not commonly discussed, they occur often when there is too much pressure in the portal veins. They are commonly found in half of all liver cirrhosis patients.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of gastric varices, below.

Gastric Varices

Gastric varices can be separated into two categories depending on where they are located.

These two categories are cardiac or fundic.

Gastric varices work by promoting the submucosal veins in the stomach to dilate and swell.

This can cause secondary conditions which can lead to internal bleeding and other concerns.

What Are the Symptoms?

Gastric varices do not present with symptoms in the beginning.

However, eventually, you may experience symptoms such as a bloody stool, vomiting of blood, increased heart rate, hypertension, shock, or dizziness.

Liver Disease

Patients with cirrhosis or chronic liver disease often experience gastric varices.

Common things to look for are:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Feelings of weakness or increased fatigue
  • Weight loss (appetite loss)
  • Easy to bruise or excessive bleeding
  • Muscle cramps

Portal Vein Hypertension

When increased pressure in portal veins re-routes the blood from the liver, smaller veins are not able to handle the new larger blood flow.

This can lead to swelling and rupturing of these smaller veins.

Symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Melena or hematemesis
  • Symptoms of Neuropsychiatric Syndrome
  • Hematochezia
  • Ascites
  • Anal hemorrhoids
  • Caput medusa
  • Paraumbillical hernia

Treating Bleeding Varices

While bleeding varices are an emergency medical condition, they can be restrained through beta-blockers and banding techniques.

Additionally, antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent recurrence or other complications.

Learn More About the Signs and Symptoms of Gastric Varices

To learn more about gastric varices in Maryland, or to find out what your treatment options may be, contact our office online or call (410) 970-4892 today!

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