If a tear or cut happens on the surface of your skin and it causes bleeding, then you can immediately stop oozing out of the blood by applying for ointment and medicines. But have you ever thought what will happen if you start bleeding but you can neither see it nor diagnose it? Sounds scary right?
Internal bleeding claims approximately 1.3 million lives around the world every year causing it to be the deadliest factor for death. The scariest is that people do not have proper knowledge about internal bleeding and its risks and hence tend to remain unaware of its seriousness.
So let us get to know about internal bleeding through this article.
What is internal bleeding?
Internal bleeding, also known as haemorrhage is bleeding that occurs inside the body due to damage caused to a blood vessel.
Internal bleeding is never a condition in itself but always a symptom of an underlying cause.
Internal bleeding causes:
As already stated internal bleeding is always a symptom of injury, condition or disease. It is the aftermath of a complication.
Some of the most common causes of internal bleeding are listed down below.
- Damage to blood vessels- The most cause of internal bleeding is when a blood vessel is wounded and it leads to minor tears on the vessel walls or rupturing of it causing haemorrhage.
- Clotting factors- When blood oozes out of our skin externally or minor bleeding takes place due to rupturing of a blood vessel inside the body, our body tackles the situation by producing clotting factors which result in the blood to clot. However, sometimes the body may not produce enough clotting factors which can lead to internal bleeding.
- Medications- Blood thinners can influence the clotting mechanism of the body. They can prevent clotting of blood which can lead to severe bleeding in the body.
A common example is Aspirin which can cause the thinning of the lining of the stomach and cause haemorrhage.
- Chronic High Blood Pressure- If you are a person suffering from high blood pressure then you may have a risk of internal bleeding. High blood pressure can lead to the weakening of the blood vessels that can lead to a condition known as Aneurysm. Otherwise harmless, if Aneurysm condition worsens it can lead to haemorrhage and even death.
- Haemophilia- A genetic disorder in which the body is not able to produce enough clotting factors for the clot to takes place. For a person suffering from Haemophilia, a minor cut can also prove very fatal for him as that can lead to severe bleeding and can also lead to death.
- Gastrointestinal troubles- A person suffering from Colon polyps, colitis, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, esophagitis or peptic ulcers can lead to thinning of the stomach or intestinal walls which can cause haemorrhage.
- Endometriosis- Next on the list, is a little complicated condition. In Endometriosis, uterine tissue grows outside the uterus and causes the blood vessels to be damaged and leads to bleeding in the pelvis.
- Trauma- Sometimes without any cut, damage to blood vessels, organs or bone can lead to internal blooding.
According to a study conducted, trauma is one of the leading causes of death of every year and haemorrhage plays the biggest role in it.
- Aneurysms– A condition in which due to weakening of blood vessels, it can cause abnormally large swelling inside the body. The swelling generally does not cause any sensation but if it gets rupture, then it may cause serious complications. The rupturing causes internal bleeding which may get worse with time if not treated properly.
- Ectopic Pregnancy- A medical condition in which the fertilized egg gets implanted outside the uterus. The fertilized egg cannot survive outside the uterus. If not attended on time and not given proper treatment and medication, it damages the nearby organs and leads to life-threatening loss of blood.
- Surgery- If any cut inside the body is left attended during surgery, then it may lead to a haemorrhage in the future.
- Lifestyle factors- The rarest cause for internal bleeding, it has been observed that alcohol, smoking and illicit drugs can also lead to internal bleeding.
Internal bleeding symptoms
When you cannot see an ailment, it becomes difficult for treatment. Nonetheless, through years of research and study, it has been concluded that internal bleeding also shows some symptoms which upon encountering should be immediately consulted with a doctor.
- If internal bleeding occurs in the head, then
- Unbearable pain and numbness felt usually on one side of the body.
- Tingling sensation in hands and feet.
- Difficulty in vision and hearing and loss of coordination and focus.
- Change in overall alertness and also difficulty in speaking and understanding speech.
- If internal bleeding occurs in the upper part of your body
- Abdominal pain
- Bruising around navel or sides of the abdomen.
- Blood in urine and black, tarry stool.
- Blood oozing out of mouth, ears, nose and anus.
- If internal bleeding occurs in muscle or joints
- Pain and swelling of joints
- Difficulty in moving muscles and decrease in motion.
These are some specific symptoms pertaining to some distinct areas of our body but some common symptoms that can be deduced are
- Low blood pressure, severe weakness and passing out.
- Shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Can internal bleeding kill you?
Internal bleeding can kill hundreds of people but simultaneously thousands of people with the help of proper treatment and medications get completely cured of it.
The biggest treatment applied for internal bleeding is to find the source of bleeding and stop it. If the source of internal bleeding is left untreated it can lead to organ failure, coma and death.
The treatment provided generally depends on the following characteristics:
- Severity of cause
- Organ or blood vessel injured
- The overall health of the person infected
If the origin of the internal bleeding is a minor one, proper rest and medication to control the symptoms are prescribed. Rest gives the body the time to heal. During this time, reabsorption of blood takes place and eventually the inflammation decreases.
For severe cases of inflammation, more in-depth measures and surgeries are generally recommended.
Internal bleeding does sound scary but every problem has a solution. Always consult a doctor whenever you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Do not hesitate to reach out for help. Identify your potential threat and treat it as early as possible.