The term Watermelon Stomach is used to refer to a medical condition known as Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia (GAVE). It is usually associated with dilated blood vessels in atrium or end cavity of stomach with possibility of internal bleeding. The rare gastrointestinal disease appears as bright red streaks at the atrium with striking resemblance to that of the streaks in a watermelon. The disease causes small lesions on the stomach blood vessels. There is also a symptom of chronic internal bleeding inside the stomach. The exact cause of such a symptom is not known but it is stated to be the onslaught of acute internal bleeding that is a result of several medical conditions.
The condition can affect anyone, however it is prominently seen in women over 50 years and above. Women diagnosed with abdominal injury, cirrhosis, irritable bowel syndrome or any autoimmune disease are most susceptible. Causes and symptoms usually differ in each case. Some of the common symptoms of the disease includes weakness, fatigue, headache, migraine, loss of appetite, lack of concentration and irregular heart rate. The symptoms of watermelon stomach are distinct and quite different from other patients. Shallow breathing, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea are symptoms experienced as well.
The treatment is often based on the underlying causes that can be detected using endoscopic techniques. It involves coagulating blood vessels with blood transfusion performed to restore the healthy blood levels. The disease is caused due to chronic internal bleeding with symptoms that are related to increased loss of blood. Major symptoms are chest pain, lightheadedness, heart palpitation, confusion or rapid heart rate. There is also the issue of iron deficiency or the case of heavy internal bleeding. With no distinct cause, the watermelon stomach ailment can be often found in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation are found to be the most susceptible.
The physician usually conducts diagnosis to understand the underlying cause vital to determine the course of the treatment. The patient’s medical history is pivotal to realize the exact cause of the syndrome. Advanced levels of endoscopic investigation of stomach tissues and internal lining of stomach can be performed by the gastrointestinal specialist. Watermelon stomach treatment includes medication or even surgery. To stop bleeding endoscopic cryotherapy is performed that coagulate and seal blood vessels. This involves insertion of endoscope into the stomach and release of liquid nitrogen to freeze blood vessels and stop blood loss effectively. The individuals with excessive loss of blood may require transfusion to induce into the road to recovery.
Most patients that receive watermelon stomach treatment and its underlying causes recover in about four weeks. The healing process gets accelerated once the treatment commences and is good to combat further disorders or symptoms of the disease. While many people can delay understanding the symptoms, realizing the cause at the earliest is good to prevent any complex disorders. A physician will be able to diagnose the condition to be able to start with the proper treatment and help you stay fit.