Do You Have A Stomach Ulcer
If you suspect that you have a stomach ulcer, it is beyond important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As you can tell from the symptoms listed above, things can only get worse if your ulcer goes untreated. Call the experts at West Gastroenterology in Los Angeles today and make an appointment!
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Dr Ellie Cannon: Why Do I Get Tight Chest Pain Now Ive Cut Back On Booze
17:00 EST, 26 February 2022 | Updated:
For the past month Ive had a tight pain in my chest and my stomach has felt unsettled.
I used to drink three bottles of wine most weeks but I recently cut back now Im having only the odd glass.
The pain seems to have coincided with my different drink schedule. Could the two be related?
Drinking more than the recommended amounts of alcohol over a long period of time can cause issues including acid reflux and stomach ulcers, which can cause chest pain.
Three bottles of wine contain 30 units of alcohol, more than twice the safe alcohol limit for an adult, which is under 14 units a week.
If this has been a regular consumption for a considerable time, it could cause problems.
One would be inflammation of the stomach and gullet conditions known as gastritis and oesophagitis, which would cause chest and stomach symptoms.
This inflammation triggers pain, vomiting and, for some, bleeding.
It also causes acid reflux and stomach ulcers and these can be the causes of chest pain and unsettled stomachs.
These symptoms all develop with drinking too much alcohol over years.
First Off Whats To Blame For Back Pain
When itcomes to discussing about causes of back pain, there are a wide range offactors and conditions that can contribute to the pain.
Thatswhy its not always easy to figure out the exact underlying cause. Severaltests are sometimes necessary to get accurate diagnosis. But in general, the followingare some common answers on this !
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Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Not all peptic ulcers cause symptoms, but the most common one is upper abdominal pain or discomfort. People with peptic ulcers can feel this gnawing or burning pain just below the rib cage.
About 70 percent of ulcers are asymptomatic, or silent, Dr. Yalamanchili says. Older patients are more likely to have vague symptoms or none at all. If there is pain, the timing of its development in relation to eating can offer clues about where the ulcer is located.
With a stomach ulcer, eating worsens pain by inducing acid production in the stomach. Pain may be felt within 15 minutes to half an hour, Dr. Yalamanchili says.
For duodenal ulcers, eating may provide temporary relief of pain due to the buffering effect of food in the GI tract, so the pain occurs later, usually two to three hours after eating or during the night, she says.
Other symptoms of peptic ulcers include bloating, nausea, a feeling of fullness, weight loss or bleeding.
Causes of Peptic Ulcers
H. pylori causes 90 percent of duodenum ulcers and 70 to 90 percent of stomach or gastric ulcers, Dr. Yalamanchili says. H. pylori is the most common chronic bacterial infection in humans, and most people dont even know that they have it.
People are often infected with H. pylori in childhood. It is spread through person-to-person contact and through contaminated food or water. Poor hygiene can be a risk factor for contracting H. pylori.
Tylenol is not an NSAID, so it is a good choice for people prone to ulcers.
Can Stomach Ulcers Just Go Away
Some ulcers follow a chronic pattern of healing temporarily on their own and then returning. This might happen if the factors contributing to your ulcer, such as NSAID use, smoking and alcohol, are temporarily reduced and then resumed. You wont completely heal your ulcer until you eliminate the cause, whether that is chronic NSAID use, H. pylori infection or an overactive stomach. Even after successful treatment, you can get another ulcer.
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Differences Between Duodenal Ulcer And Gastric Ulcer Pain Locations And Symptoms:
The following table summarizes all the differences between duodenal and stomach ulcers.
|Duodenal Ulcer||Gastric Ulcer|
|The primary pain is in the epigastric area, may spread to the left or right hypochondrium and the back.||The same pain locations and radiations.|
|Often improved by eating.|
|Good appetite, with normal or overweight.||Loss of appetite is often associated with weight loss.|
|Pain starts later after eating .||Pain starts shortly after eating|
|The pain is often episodic .||The pain is often persistent for long hours or days.|
|More likely to occur at night .||Less common for the pain to occur at night .|
|Nausea and vomiting are slightly less common||Nausea and vomiting are slightly more common|
|Less likely to turn malignant||more likely to turn malignant , especially in the elderly.|
|Associated with H. Pylori infection100% of the time.||Associated with H. Pylori infection in 70% of the time|
|When it bleeds, it is more likely to cause hematemesis .||When it bleeds, it is more likely to cause melena .|
Commonest Duodenal Ulcer Pain Locations
NOTE: The numbers and frequencies of duodenal and gastric pain locations are derived from Yamadas Textbook of Gastroenterology version SIXTH EDITION .
A. Epigastric pain location .
The commonest duodenal ulcer pain location is the upper central part of your abdomen . It lies a few inches above the belly button, just below the rib cage.
This epigastric area is the most common site of gastric and duodenal ulcer pain.
The location of the pain is not a good differentiator of the ulcer location. For example, 67% of gastric ulcers and up to 86% of duodenal ulcer pains are felt in the epigastric area.
Also, the characteristic pain type is often the same in both gastric and duodenal ulcers.
The pain character of duodenal ulcers in the epigastric area is often:
- Burning or
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What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
Is Your Persistent Stomach Pain An Ulcer
Its normal to have a stomachache every now and then. Maybe you ate something that isnt agreeing with you or youre having a stressful day. These run-of-the-mill pains usually resolve on their own or with basic treatment.
But if you experience daily abdominal pain, or pain that comes and goes frequently, you could have a more serious problem, such as a peptic ulcer.
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When Should I See A Doctor If I Think I Have A Peptic Ulcer
- If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Don’t assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
- If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
- Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
- Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.
Is There A Peptic Ulcer Diet Plan
No particular diet is helpful for people with peptic ulcers. At one time, a bland diet and avoidance of spicy or greasy foods was recommended. Milk and dairy food have been used in the past for ulcer symptoms, but have not been proven to be effective. We now know diet has little effect on ulcers. In some people, however, certain foods seem to aggravate stomach ulcer symptoms. Keep a food diary with your intake and the resulting symptoms and avoid eating any foods that aggravate symptoms.
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How Are Stomach Ulcers Diagnosed
Stomach ulcers are most commonly diagnosed by endoscopy using a flexible tube with a tiny camera that is passed into the mouth and down to the stomach. This procedure is done under general anaesthetic.
Your doctor may also order blood tests, stool tests or an x-ray. You are also likely to have tests to check for Helicobacter pylori infection. Usually this involves a breath test, or a test of the stomach lining during endoscopy.
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You Have Pain Specifically In Your Upper Abdomen
One of the most common ulcer symptoms is severe pain in the upper abdomen, according to Neil Sengupta, MD, a gastroenterology specialist at the University of Chicago, Illinois. Ulcers can develop anywhere in the upper digestive tract, says Dr. Sengupta, but we often think about those occurring in the stomach or small intestine, where we feel pain. This ulcer pain usually occurs when your stomach is empty and can come and go for as long as several months, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Find out what other types of stomach pains might mean.
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Overeating Or Eating Trigger Foods
It is easy to understand why a person with debilitating back pain often becomes less active and eats more.
Back pain can get severe enough that it makes even the slightest movements or motions hurt a ton.
Eating more and not exercising enough , however, does take its toll on your body.
It increases your risk for acid reflux and GERD, particularly greasy foods that are known as common triggers for acid reflux.
Here are some other trigger foods to avoid:
Foods that trigger acid reflux for one person may not necessarily trigger the condition in you.
As unfortunate as this may seem, finding out your complete list of trigger foods may take some trial and error.
You can, however, make an effort to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux by reducing your meal portions.
You can also take other steps, such as not eating shortly before heading to bed, as that can contribute to acid reflux while sleeping.
When acid reflux or GERD is not properly managed, the symptoms can get worse over time.
What you will want to do is talk about acid reflux and back pain issues with your doctor so that an appropriate remedy can be provided.
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Ulcers And Back Pain:
In some cases, abdominal pain caused by ulcers may radiate to the back and result in mid to low back pain. Usually, such pain lasts for a short duration, but some people experience intermittent back pain for a few days or even weeks. Excruciating and persistent back pain could be a sign of a perforating peptic ulcer that penetrates the pancreas. This condition needs immediate medical assistance in order to avoid further complications. Those who experience back pain due to ulcers may not be able to recall any event or injury that triggered such pain. Sometimes, they may relate the pain with intake of food.
Complications Of Peptic Ulcers
Sometimes ulcers can erode into blood vessels and cause bleeding, the most severe complication.
This bleeding can manifest when patients pass melenablack, sticky, tarry-appearing stoolsor they might vomit red or coffee ground-appearing contents. This bleeding can be slow or rapid, which can be life-threatening, Dr. Yalamanchili says.
Rarely, an ulcer causes so much inflammation that it creates a hole in the GI tract. This perforation can be life-threatening and require surgical intervention.
When an ulcer forms at the passageway between the stomach and small intestine, it can cause inflammation that blocks food or liquid from passing through into the stomach, called a gastric outlet obstruction.
Common Causes Of Abdominal And Back Pain
Abdominal and back pain occurring together can beindicative of:
- Disease or injury to thepart of the gut that sits deep inside the abdomen, like the duodenum
- Disease of the stomach, gallbladder and pancreas
- Injury or disease in one of the large bloodvessels that runs deep through the abdomen, like the abdominal aorta
- Problems with the kidney or one of the tubes that runs from the kidney
- Disease, injury or infection affecting the urinary bladder
- Injury, disease orinfection of the reproductive organs like the ovaries ,uterus , andtesticles
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Diagnosis Of A Duodenal Ulcer
To diagnose a duodenal ulcer, your doctor will talk to you and examine you. They will probably also run some tests, which could include:
- a gastroscopy , where a specialist uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end to look inside your stomach and duodenum
- a blood test, stool sample, or breath test to find out if you have a H. pylori in your system
If you have a gastroscopy, the surgeon might take a sample of tissue to test for H. pylori.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Stomach Ulcer
Always seek medical care for a stomach ulcer. While you may be able to manage symptoms temporarily with over-the-counter medications, these wont heal the ulcer. You need to identify and treat the underlying cause. An untreated ulcer can lead to serious complications, even if your symptoms are mild. The major cause of stomach ulcers, H. pylori infection, can also lead to other complications.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Its important to get treatment for ulcers. The symptoms of an ulcer, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss, are all reasons to see a healthcare provider.
For those who have been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer, its important to see a healthcare provider if any new symptoms develoop or if symptoms get worse.
This can include:
Diagnosis Of A Stomach Ulcer
Diagnosing a stomach ulcer is done using a range of methods, including:
- Endoscopy a thin flexible tube is threaded down the oesophagus into the stomach under light anaesthesia. The endoscope is fitted with a small camera so the physician can see if there is an ulcer.
- Barium meal a chalky liquid is drunk and an x-ray is performed, showing the stomach lining. These tests are less common nowadays, but may be useful where endoscopy is unavailable.
- Biopsy a small tissue sample is taken during an endoscopy and tested in a laboratory. This biopsy should always be done if a gastric ulcer is found.
- C14 breath test this checks for the presence of H. pylori. The bacteria convert urea into carbon dioxide. The test involves swallowing an amount of radioactive carbon and testing the air exhaled from the lungs. A non-radioactive test can be used for children and pregnant women.
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Outlook With Gastric And Duodenal Ulcers
There are good treatments available for ulcers, and surgery usually is not necessary. Its important to see a healthcare provider and to find out how to get an ulcer managed and healed. In most cases, ulcers from H. pylori or NSAIDs can be healed. Taking steps to prevent ulcers in the future may also be recommended.
Can Peptic Ulcer Disease Be Prevented Or Avoided
Stress and spicy foods dont cause ulcers. However, they can make them worse. Smoking and alcohol can cause a peptic ulcer. Men should limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per day. Women should have no more than 1 drink per day. Talk to your doctor if you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen regularly.
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How Are Peptic Ulcers Treated
Treatment will depend on the type of ulcer you have. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on what is causing your ulcer.
Treatment can include making lifestyle changes, taking medicines, or in some cases having surgery.
Lifestyle changes may include:
- Not eating certain foods. Avoid any foods that make your symptoms worse.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking can keep your ulcer from healing. It is also linked to ulcers coming back after treatment.
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine. They can make your symptoms worse.
- Not using NSAIDs . These include aspirin and ibuprofen.
Medicines to treat ulcers may include:
- Antibiotics. These bacteria-fighting medicines are used to kill the H. pylori bacteria. Often a mix of antibiotics and other medicines is used to cure the ulcer and get rid of the infection.
- H2-blockers . These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These lower stomach acid levels and protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum.
- Mucosal protective agents. These medicines protect the stomach’s mucus lining from acid damage so that it can heal.
- Antacids. These quickly weaken or neutralize stomach acid to ease your symptoms.
In most cases, medicines can heal ulcers quickly. Once the H. pylori bacteria is removed, most ulcers do not come back.
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