Severe heartburn and vomiting blood last night
Last night, I experienced severe heartburn, and shortly afterward I began gagging. At first some clear fluid came up, and then I vomited some food chunks, and then I noticed I had vomited blood. It wasn't an enormous amount, more like the size of a couple half dollars. I've had 3 or 4 other episodes of heartburn over the last couple of months, but they went away after I took some medicine for antacid. It seems like in these cases, the heartburn coincided with the time I take my prescription drugs at night (I take 200 mg Lamictal, 100 mg Zoloft, a birth control pill, and 5 mg Melatonin all at once).
It seems like this last episode also coincided with me taking the medicine, but also with drinking a cup of Sleepytime tea, which has chamomile, lemongrass, and spearmint. I've steeped the tea before for a period of 10 minutes with no problems (it says on the box to steep it up to 6 minutes), but this time I steeped it a little longer—about 13 minutes, and the tea had a sharp, acidic taste to it. Also, I had stopped drinking the tea for about 3 weeks before resuming again a couple days ago.
One concern I have about this is that I have had colon cancer twice, although I am now 5 years cancer free. (I'm 29, and have a genetic cause.) I know from experience that a sign of colon cancer is blood in the stool, so I'm worried that blood coming from the esophagus or stomach could be a bad sign. I also smoke, which I know is bad, but I have limited myself to 4 or 5 cigarettes a day now over the past 6 months. However, I worry that even that amount may have contributed to a problem with my esophagus. I also will often experience nervousness and stress at night (my bipolar disorder may contribute to this) and I've heard that stress causes stomach issues.
My questions are: What do you think has caused the heartburn? What caused me to vomit the blood last night? Also, should I be concerned enough to a point where I have to go to the doctor? (I don't have health insurance, so I'd rather not, but I will if its a dire circumstance.