Is Your Persistent Stomach Pain An Ulcer
Digestive Health, Gastroenterology
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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Pain That Comes With Fever
Severe back pain that comes with fever, plus tingling or numbness in your arms, can be a sign of a spinal infection. It doesnt happen often, but youre more at risk if you are obese, immunosuppressed, or have diabetes or cancer. Your doctor will ask for X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans to rule it out. In some cases, you may have to check in the hospital to get intravenous antibiotics.
What Is Indigestion And What Is An Ulcer
A lesion or sore that develops on the lining of your stomach or in the first part of your small intestine is called an ulcer. Ulcers are usually caused by the bacterium H. pylori or by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen. A lesion can get aggravated by your stomach acid and causes pain and other symptoms.
Indigestion or dyspepsia, on the other hand, describes a chronic or recurring pain in your upper abdomen. Indigestion can be caused by many things, including stress, eating too much, taking certain medications, or having an underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or gallbladder disease.
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What Are Stomach Ulcers
There are two kinds of stomach ulcers: gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are sores on the upper section of your small intestine.
Your body creates a protective layer of mucus to shield the linings of your stomach and small intestine from the harsh stomach acid required to break down food. When the mucus layer is worn away or doesnt function properly, the acid begins to damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine, creating an ulcer. Many people believe spicy foods or stress cause ulcers, but while these can exacerbate existing ulcers, they dont actually cause them.
Ulcers are usually caused by an infection from a common bacteria called helicobacter pylori or from the habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin. Other factors, such as being older than age 50, smoking, genetics, steroid use, and frequent alcohol use, can increase your risk of developing an ulcer.
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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Typical And Not So Common Symptoms Of Heart Attack
Intense pressurepain and shortness of breath often indicates heart attack or a heart problem such as angina . You can have a kind of early warning about heart problems several days or even several weeks before you actually have a heart attack. Maybe you will get out of breath more easily when you are going up and down stairs, or you will break out in a sweat on a cool day even with little exertion. You might have a passing sensation as if someone reached into your chest and squeezed your heart.
If you have these potential early warning signs of a heart attack, donât wait until you keel over in pain to see a doctor. There are many things your doctor can to prevent a heart attack: blood pressure control, high-dose statins , and nitroglycerin pills to open your arteries . If you are diabetic, keeping your blood sugar levels under control can help prevent heart attack .
If you are at the point of experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, the sweating, chest pain, and shortness of breath usually increase, and there may also be pain radiating to the left arm or neck. When there isnât a feeling of crushing or burning pain, there may be a feeling of fullness in the chest. There can be nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and confusion. Shortness of breath may be severe after physical exertion, but improve after a few minutes rest.
Peptic Ulcer Disease Symptoms
Symptoms of peptic ulcer disease may be similar to other upper gastrointestinal conditions. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Pain radiating to the back
- Burning or gnawing feeling similar to hunger pains
- Pain aggravated by meals
- Pain relieved by meals
Because the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease are often nonspecific, it is important that you see a gastroenterologist for diagnosis.
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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 !
Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer Disease
The most common symptom is a burning pain in your stomach. It usually lasts for a few minutes to a few hours. It comes and goes for days or weeks at a time. The burning typically occurs between meals and at night. Small ulcers may cause no symptoms.
Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty drinking as much liquid as usual
- Hunger or an empty feeling in your stomach after you eat
- Stomach pain that wakes you up at night
Less common symptoms include:
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What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
Endoscopy. An upper endoscopy exam is expedient because allows healthcare providers to see inside your digestive tract and also take a tissue sample to analyze in the lab. The test is done by passing a thin tube with a tiny camera attached down your throat and into your stomach and duodenum. Youll have medication to numb your throat and help you relax during the test. Your healthcare provider may use the endoscope to take a tissue sample to test for signs of mucous damage, anemia, H. pyloriinfection or malignancy. If they take a sample, you wont feel it.
Imaging tests. Imaging tests to look inside the stomach and small intestine include:
- Upper GI series. An upper GI X-ray exam examines the stomach and duodenum through X-rays. Its less invasive than an endoscopy. For the X-ray, youll swallow a chalky fluid called barium, which will coat your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The barium helps your digestive organs show up better in black and white images.
- CT scan. Your healthcare provider might recommend a CT scan if they need to see your organs in more detail. A CT scan can show complications such as a perforation in the stomach or intestinal wall. For the test, youll lie on a table inside a scanner machine while X-rays are taken. You may drink or have an injection with contrast fluid to make your organs show up better in images.
Tests for H. pylori. Your healthcare provider might want to test you separately for H. pylori infection. Tests may include:
What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of a peptic ulcer can include a burning, aching, or gnawing pain between the belly button and the breastbone, and belly pain that is temporarily relieved by taking an antacid. Symptoms can also include back pain, loss of appetite, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Some people have no symptoms.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
A dull or burning pain in your stomach is the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer. You may feel the pain anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. The pain most often
- happens when your stomach is emptysuch as between meals or during the night
- stops briefly if you eat or if you take antacids
- lasts for minutes to hours
- comes and goes for several days, weeks, or months
Less common symptoms may include
- feeling sick to your stomach
Even if your symptoms are mild, you may have a peptic ulcer. You should see your doctor to talk about your symptoms. Without treatment, your peptic ulcer can get worse.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers
The two most common causes are:
- H. pylori infection. This common bacterial infection affects up to half of people worldwide. It primarily lives in the stomach. In many people, it doesnt seem to cause problems. Their gut immune systems keep it in check. But a portion of those infected have H. pylori overgrowth. The bacteria continue to multiply, eating into the stomach lining and causing chronic inflammation and peptic ulcer disease. H. pylori infection is associated with about 60% of duodenal ulcers and 40% of gastric ulcers.
- Overuse of NSAIDs. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.â These include common over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. NSAIDs contribute to ulcers in several ways. They irritate the stomach lining on contact and repress some of the chemicals that defend and repair the mucous lining. Up to 30% of people who take NSAIDs regularly develop peptic ulcers. Up to 50% of all peptic ulcers are caused by the overuse of NSAIDs.
Less common causes of stomach ulcers include:
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. This is a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce too much gastric acid.
- Severe physiological stress. Severe illness, burns or injuries can produce stress ulcers in the stomach. Physiological stress changes your bodys PH balance, increasing stomach acid. Stress ulcers develop very quickly in response to stress, unlike normal stomach ulcers that develop gradually.
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What Causes Back Pain Can A Peptic Ulcer Cause Back Pain
Back pain causes are as diverse as they are common. The most common are muscular, skeletal, and disc problems. Despite their seemingly simple nature, these conditions can be very painful. Some of the most common cause of back pain is improper posture. You should always strive to sit with your shoulders over your hips. This helps to keep your spine in the proper alignment. When you deviate from this position, you put extra pressure on your back muscles, which may lead to muscle spasms and even a spinal stenosis.
Some of the most common back pain causes are as described above: a dull ache in the back that can radiate to the buttocks or legs. Although not all cases of back pain are as serious, there are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by back issues. A doctor can determine the exact cause of your back pain by asking about your symptoms and performing a physical exam. Sometimes an x-ray will be taken to check whether your bones are aligned properly and to rule out any broken bones. Unfortunately, x-rays cant detect if your disks and nerves have been damaged.
How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
If you take all medicines as prescribed and avoid irritating the ulcer with NSAIDs, alcohol or smoking, your ulcer should heal well within a few weeks. Surgical cases may take a few weeks more. Your healthcare provider will follow up with you at the end of your course of medication to make sure the ulcer has healed and any infection has cleared. They will probably take follow-up tests, including an upper endoscopy to look at the site of the ulcer and tests for H. pylori, if you had it, to make sure the infection is gone.
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How Is Peptic Ulcer Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will do a physical exam. They will ask you questions about your medical history. Tell your doctor if you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen frequently. Your doctor will look for stomach bloating. They will listen to sounds in your stomach with a stethoscope. Your doctor will tap your stomach to check for pain.
Your doctor may schedule a special procedure to look at your stomach. This is called an endoscopy. For this procedure, youll be given medicine to relax. The medicine may make you fall asleep. The doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube down your throat. A tiny camera on the end of the tube displays the lining of your stomach and duodenum. The doctor may take a sample of your stomach lining . This is done to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample testing can also be used to check for H. pylori.
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Surgical interventions to correct spinal deformity include spinal fusion, which is a surgical procedure that uses bone graft to replace a disc. After undergoing surgery, your back will require physical therapy for three to six months. In addition to doctors and dentists, you can also see neurologists, physiatrists, and chiropractors. These specialists specialize in the brain and spinal cord disorders. They are often the best choice for patients seeking treatment for back pain.
Non-specific back pain is usually not diagnosed until the pain is long-term. There is no clear cause for non-specific back pain, but doctors should seek a diagnosis to treat the condition. It is important to visit a specialist for treatment in order to get the best treatment options. If the pain is chronic or has no specific cause, a doctor will perform diagnostic imaging to help identify the exact source of the pain. Further, they can perform MRIs to help diagnose underlying conditions.
While back pain is a common ailment, it can also be caused by something else. Many people experience sciatica or other pain in the leg, and a slipped disc could be the cause. Other types of back pain may be more acute, such as a herniated disc. For nonspecific back pain, a doctor may need to perform radiological imaging to diagnose the exact cause of the pain.
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Peptic Ulcers And Spinal Subluxations
by HealthStar Clinic | Feb 26, 2013 | < Back, Archive |
Peptic ulcers are sores, craters, or lesions, either in the small intestine or the stomach. The term peptic comes from pepsin, an enzyme which works in harmony with hydrochloric acid to digest food. Normally those digestive chemicals do not affect the lining of the stomach and intestine, but when the linings resistance breaks down or too much acid is consistently produced, an ulcer is likely to develop.
NOT LIFE THREATENINGGenerally ulcers are not considered life threatening, though they do make the lives of millions miserable and anxious, and complications of ulcers do kill about 6,000 Americans each year.
The two main types of peptic ulcers are: Duodenal ulcers. Occur in the duodenum, the first few inches of the small intestine where digested food leaves the stomach. Most often strike people in their productive years. Much more common than gastric ulcers, especially in men. Gastric ulcers. Occur in the stomach itself. Rarely develop before age 40. The peak incidence is from age 55 to 65.
SYMPTOMSSymptoms dont always distinguish between a duodenal or a gastric ulcer. In some cases, particularly early on, no symptoms prevail, but usually a burning, gnawing pain occurs in the area between the navel and breastbone tip. Pain may awaken the victim at night.
WHO GETS ULCERS?While it is not always clear precisely what is causing a particular case of peptic ulcers, some of these factors are frequently present:
Bone Or Muscle Problems
If your chest is painful and tender to touch, it may be caused by a strained muscle in your chest wall. This can be surprisingly painful, but with rest the pain should ease and the muscle will heal in time.
If you have pain, swelling and tenderness around your ribs, and the pain is made worse by lying down, breathing deeply, coughing or sneezing, you may have a condition called costochondritis.
This is caused by inflammation in the joints between the cartilage that joins the ribs to the breastbone . The symptoms often improve after a few weeks and may be relieved by painkillers.
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Replenish Gastric Acid And Digestive Enzymes
At his Tahoma clinic Dr Wright Wright has conducted thousands of tests on stomach acid levels since 1976.
In all those years, the test results have consistently shown that hypochlorydria occurred in 90% of people with mild to moderate heartburn.
He also found that replenishing low stomach acid with HCL supplements were successful in helping to increase production of stomach acid and eliminate the symptoms of GERD and heartburn.
Pressure On The Spinal Nerves
Herniated discs can be caused by lifting heavy objects or by injuries, such as whiplash. This condition is also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc. When a disc in your back ruptures, pressure may be placed on the spinal nerves.
A herniated disc occurs if the soft inside of a spinal disc pushes out, bulging through a tear in its outer coating. Herniated discs are most common in the lower back, but can also occur in the neck, causing pain in the upper back. They may be more likely to occur in people who are overweight, or in older people.
Other symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- arm or shoulder pain that may be made worse by coughing or sneezing
- tingling sensation
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