Digestion

Watermelon Stomach – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Watermelon Stomach

Watermelon stomach is another name for the medical condition, Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia (GAVE). It is a gastrointestinal disease condition that appears in the form of red parallel sores in the stomach. This appearance gave the condition the name watermelon. Small blisters develop on the blood vessels of the stomach as a result of this condition. Chronic internal bleeding in the stomach may be also a cause for watermelon stomach. The condition is common among women who are above the age 50.

Watermelon Stomach Causes

Watermelon stomach is caused when the blood vessels enlarge due to some disease conditions. The disease conditions include:

  • Abdominal trauma or injury
  • Several heart diseases that affect digestive tract
  • Blood vessel inflammation in the stomach
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Grave’s disease

Other rarer causes include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Chronic constipation
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Scleroderma i.e hard skin caused by abnormal growth of connective tissues
  • Collagen vascular disease, an immune system disorder that affects collagen protein

The enlarged blood vessels rupture the stomach lining. This causes hemorrhage and blood bleeds excessively. Thus the condition leads to watermelon stomach.

Watermelon Stomach Symptoms

Watermelon symptoms vary from person to person. The common signs and symptoms of watermelon stomach include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Migraine
  • Headache
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Lack of concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

Some other people experience typical symptoms like:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Light-headedness
  • Confusion
  • Anaemia

Watermelon Stomach Diagnosis

The medical professional diagnose the watermelon stomach. Patient’s medical history and physical examination help in diagnosing the condition. The doctor performs a biopsy test to detect the red parallel sores in the lining of stomach. After the condition is diagnosed, gastrointestinal specialists treat the condition to prevent bleeding and provide relief from the symptoms.

Watermelon Stomach Treatment

Watermelon stomach is treated through medications and surgery. The doctors suggest treatments for the causes of watermelon stomach. The treatments include:

  • Cryotherapy –

    This is an endoscopic cryotherapy in which the dilated blood vessels that cause bleeding are treated. An endoscope is inserted into the stomach through which liquid nitrogen is released. This helps in stopping bleeding by freezing the blood vessels.

  • Blood transfusion –

    The affected person who has severe blood loss may suffer from anaemia. In this case blood transfusion is effective and relieves the person from anaemic conditions.

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