Sudden bleeding happens in the portal veins due to formation or swelling of varicose veins. This is the most serious stage of portal vein hypertension. Portal veins are found in the stomach and intestine which lead to the liver. When there is scar tissue in the liver due to cirrhosis it causes blockage in the portal vein. Portal vein develop swellings and lead to high pressure. This condition is called Portal Hypertension.
In patients of portal hypertension, there is bleeding in the intestine due to rupture of the portal vein. This is a serious condition which requires immediate medical intervention. Other symptoms of portal hypertension include tarry stools, vomiting of blood, fluid accumulation in the abdomen and encephalopathy or a state of confusion. Poor liver function accompanies decrease in platelets in the blood and increase in WBCs due to infection in the intestine.
Patients who have any of the above symptoms should consult a general doctor or a gastroenterologist. Portal Hypertension can only be managed and cannot be treated. Treatment includes change in diet, medications and therapy. Endoscopic therapy like sclerotherapy or banding is carried out to prevent bleeding of the blood vessels.
Alcohol abuse and drug addiction are high risk factors which can cause portal vein hypertension. Avoiding use of alcohol and drugs is essential for patients of portal hypertension. A healthy life style including proper nutrition and diet coupled with exercise will go a long way in managing portal hypertension.
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