Esophageal Varices Symptoms - Silent Signs

Esophageal Varices Symptoms – Silent Signs

By: - Health & Fitness - September 14, 2011
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Esophageal varices are veins in the lower esophagus and upper stomach that are abnormally large. These varices are usually caused by some type of liver disorder like liver cancer, liver failure or cirrhosis of the liver. When the liver is damaged, blood flow is reduced and the blood backs up into the stomach and esophagus causing the very dangerous esophageal varices.

Esophageal varices symptoms can be quite frightening and can range from difficulty swallowing to vomiting blood. Blood in the stool is also quite common. Most of the blood that you see will come from bleeding esophageal varices. Bleeding esophageal varices happen when the veins get so full from the backup between the liver and stomach that they simply cannot hold the blood any longer. The problem with these esophageal varices symptoms is by the time you see them, the disease has progressed so much that it is extremely dangerous and deadly.  If there are any early esophageal varices symptoms they may include heartburn and difficulty swallowing. If you have those symptoms and also liver problems, it is important to see a doctor.

If you have liver problems, there is about an 85% chance you will develop bleeding esophageal varices. If they are already bleeding you will likely need quick surgery of some kind depending on the severity of the esophageal varices. Once the bleeding esophageal varices are under control through surgery, life style changes are a must. You will have to stop drinking alcohol, take medications like Beta-blockers or Nitroglycerin and also medication to shrink the veins. You may also need a shunt placed into your body to redirect blood flow.

Prevention is the best way to combat esophageal varices.  If you drink alcohol heavily, you should make every effort to stop or reduce the amount you are drinking. You should also maintain a healthy diet and keep a healthy weight. Exercise is essential as it helps blood flow. You should stay away from chemicals of all kinds, even use cleaning chemicals sparingly. Since your liver cleanses the body, any chemicals that get inside can cause the liver to work overtime. You should also reduce your risk of hepatitis by abstaining from sex or using a condom if there is a chance of getting the disease. You should also never share needles.

If you have any symptoms of esophageal varices or even any suspicion that something is wrong in your body, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. This disease is not something that can wait. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can save your own life.