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.
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.
How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
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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.
How Is Gastritis Treated
Treatment for gastritis varies depending on the cause. Certain medications kill bacteria, while others alleviate indigestion-type symptoms. Your healthcare provider might recommend:
- Antibiotics:Antibiotics can treat the bacterial infection. You may need to take more than one type of antibiotic for couple of weeks.
- Antacids:Calcium carbonate medications reduce stomach acid exposure. They can help relieve inflammation. Antacids, such as Tums® and Rolaids®, also treat heartburn.
- Histamine blockers: Cimetidine , ranitidine and similar medications decrease the production of stomach acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors: These medications, such as omeprazole and esomeprazole , reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. Proton pump inhibitors also treat stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease .
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Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection
If your stomach ulcer’s caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, you’ll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer’s caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
When To See A Doctor
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You have ulcer symptoms and back pain Your ulcer can perforate the stomach wall.
You have ulcer symptoms and vomit blood or dark red bloody stools you may have bleeding internally.
You have an ulcer, and you become cold and clammy and feel faint.
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How To Test For H Pylori At Home
Finally, if you are finding it difficult to get hold of your doctor or your doctor is not willing to send you for various tests to determine the cause of your symptoms such as bloating, you have an option to do an H. pylori test at home.
First, you need to decide whether you should buy the stool test or blood testing kit. These are the two main options of testing for H. pylori at home that you can find online. I recommend you go for Medichecks who are trusted and reliable provider offering various blood tests and home health checks. Ive used them several times before and they never disappoint.
If youd rather not deal with blood, then go for the stool test. Its easy and simple to do, just a little bit messy. You will get results in about 3 days. Once the results are in, you will also get a recommendation from a doctor and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions.
Getting yourself tested for H. pylori is important especially if you have some of the symptoms such as bloating and indigestion. If the test comes out positive you are now at least aware of the treatments available to get rid of these bacteria. If its negative, not a problem, you luckily dont have this issue and can move on to explore what else could be causing your digestive discomforts.
What Is Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is a condition with an open sore or ulcer in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. The main symptom is burning pain in the upper part of the belly after meals. Other symptoms are heartburn, burping, bloating and nausea. The symptoms of a peptic ulcer usually worsen over time. Peptic ulcers can lead to bleeding, a hole in the bowel and other medical emergencies. These complications may cause symptoms which start suddenly.The treatment of peptic ulcer disease depends on the cause. Once the cause is recognized and treated, the outlook is usually good.
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What Are The Types Of Gastritis
There are two main types of gastritis:
- Erosive : Erosive gastritis causes both inflammation and erosion of the stomach lining. This condition is also known as reactive gastritis. Causes include alcohol, smoking, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, viral or bacterial infections and stress from illnesses or injuries.
- Non-erosive: Inflammation of the stomach lining without erosion or compromising the stomach lining.
Persistent H Pylori Infection
H. pylori is a bacteria that infects your stomach wall. It is one of the major causes of stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Therefore, H. pylori diagnosis and treatment is essential for the healing of h. pylori-associated ulcers.
Mostly, your doctor has tested you for H. pylori. H. Pylori persistence or recurrence after treatment can be the reason why your stomach ulcer is not healing.
Causes of Persistent H. pylori :
- Undiagnosed infection: if you didnt get tested for h. pylori infection before..
- Failure of treatment of h. pylori .
- Poor compliance to its 7-14 days treatment regimen.
- Recurrence of h. pylori infection: you can get re-infection after its eradication).
- Also, False-negative test results are common due to the use of PPIs as omeprazole and esomeprazole, which mask the presence of h. pylori. Your doctor should stop such medications before re-testing for h. pylori.
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How Are Stomach Ulcers Diagnosed
Diagnosis and treatment will depend on your symptoms and the severity of your ulcer. To diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will review your medical history along with your symptoms and any prescription or over-the-counter medications youre taking.
To rule out H. pylori infection, a blood, stool, or breath test may be ordered. With a breath test, youll be instructed to drink a clear liquid and breathe into a bag, which is then sealed. If H. pylori is present, the breath sample will contain higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide.
Other tests and procedures used to diagnose stomach ulcers include:
- Barium swallow: You drink a thick white liquid that coats your upper gastrointestinal tract and helps your doctor see your stomach and small intestine on X-rays.
- Endoscopy : A thin, lighted tube is inserted through your mouth and into the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. This test is used to look for ulcers, bleeding, and any tissue that looks abnormal.
- Endoscopic biopsy: A piece of stomach tissue is removed so it can be analyzed in a lab.
How Do You Know If You Have H Pylori Infection
There are some common symptoms which could indicate that you may have H. pylori infection, for example, ongoing indigestion and bloating. The following can also occur:
- Stomach pains
- Unintentional weight loss
However, these symptoms could be a sign of other illnesses as well so to really confirm that you have H. pylori infection, you need to have some tests.
There are a few types of tests available to diagnose H. pylori:
- A blood test This will confirm you have H. pylori but its not going to be accurate if youve just been treated for these bacteria and you got rid of it. Thats because the test will still show positive although the bacteria have recently been cleared.
- A breath test To perform this test you first need to drink a liquid containing a substance called urea. After drinking this, a sample of your breath is collected and then analysed. This test is useful to determine whether you still have an infection about a month after youve finished a course of treatment.
- An endoscopy This is a more invasive procedure which can be done at the same time when doctors are checking your stomach with a small camera. While they are doing that, they will take a small sample of tissue from your stomach for analysis. This is the most accurate test available for H. pylori but the patient will experience some physical discomfort during this procedure.
- The stool test A straight forward test which will analyse your stools for infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of Any Complications
Stomach ulcers can cause various complications but these are much less common now because of more effective treatments. However, complications can be very serious and include:
Bleeding from the ulcer
- This can range from a ‘trickle’ to a life-threatening bleed.
- If there is sudden heavy bleeding then this will cause you to vomit blood and make you feel very faint.
- Less sudden bleeding may cause you to vomit and the vomit looks coffee-coloured because the stomach acid has partly broken down the blood.
- A more gradual trickle of blood will pass through your gut and cause your stools to look very dark in colour or even black .
PerforationThis is the term used to describe the ulcer having gone all the way through the wall of the stomach. Food and acid in the stomach then leak out of the stomach. This usually causes severe pain and makes you very unwell. Stomach perforation is a medical emergency and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible.
Stomach blockageThis is now rare. An ulcer at the end of the stomach can cause the outlet of the stomach to narrow and cause an obstruction. This can cause frequent severe vomiting.
Does Pantoprazole Cause Bloating Gastroenterologist Explains
Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.
Pantoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that reduces stomach acid. We use pantoprazole and other PPIs for the treatment of:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease or chronic acid reflux.
- Peptic ulcer diseases.
- As a part of the H. pylori treatment regimen .
- Functional dyspepsia.
Bloating is not a separate medical condition it is a symptom of other gastrointestinal diseases or conditions.
The medical definition of bloating is the sense of fullness or tightness in your belly .
Bloating can be a part of dyspepsia which is often caused by diseases that are treated by pantoprazole.
The above list of diseases can cause bloating (GERD, gastritis, peptic ulcers, and functional dyspepsia.
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Are These Signs Or Symptoms Accompanying Your Bloat
Fortunately, if you feel bloated its usually harmless and caused by something as simple as gas, indigestion, or premenstrual symptoms.
But when there are other symptoms occurring with your persistent bloating symptoms you may want to dive deeper into the actual cause.
Other signs and symptoms to look out for with your constant bloating include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting, or both
Dont shrug your constant bloating off if youre experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Because when detected early, certain diseases such as colon cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, or diverticulitis are easier to treat and can reduce more complications.
And if gastrointestinal issues like leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases arent properly treated it could lead to other complications such as autoimmune diseases or cancer.
Living With Peptic Ulcer Disease
Most ulcers heal within about 8 weeks. Peptic ulcers come and go. You have to do what you can to reduce your risk. If you smoke or chew tobacco, ask your doctor about how to quit. Eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid foods that cause discomfort. These include alcohol, coffee, caffeinated soda, fatty foods, chocolate, and spicy foods. Avoid eating late at night. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to NSAIDs. Take all medicines with plenty of water.
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You Have Heartburn At Most Meals
If you find yourself experiencing frequent heartburn, regardless of what you eat, an ulcer may be responsible. Many patients with ulcers describe feeling very intense chest pain, which often causes them to burp or hiccup more than usual after eating. In many cases, a simple over-the-counter antacid can be taken to temporarily alleviate some of the pain and gassiness, but if it persists day after day, its likely something more than a regular case of heartburn.
You Bleed When You Use The Bathroom
Blood coming from the gastrointestinal tract can signal a variety of underlying health issues, but Dr. Sengupta says when this bleeding is combined with upper abdominal pain, hes highly suspicious that its one of the signs of an ulcer. Many patients notice this blood either when vomiting, or when using the bathroom, as their stools may appear black. If you notice youre suffering from a bleeding GI tract, along with nausea and pain in the stomach or chest, Dr. Sengupta says doctors will often perform a blood test or an upper endoscopywhere they use a camera to look into the stomach itselfto check if an ulcer is the culprit. Blood in your stool can also be due to hemorrhoids or a symptom of colon cancer, so its a good idea to get checked out by your doctor.
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Specialist Answers On Digestive Health Issues
Q1. Every time I eat, I have horrible gas and excessive bloating. Are these the signs of an ulcer?
The most common sign of an ulcer is a burning pain that is either made better by eating or aggravated between one and three hours after a meal, when food can no longer neutralize the acid produced by the stomach. Other ulcer symptoms include vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, and severe abdominal pain or bloating, brought on by a penetrating ulcer that has perforated and needs emergency surgical repair. Horrible gas and excessive bloating are more likely to be associated with gallstone-related disease, dyspepsia, or irritable bowel syndrome. I advise you to see your doctor and discuss your symptoms so you can be properly diagnosed.
Upper gastrointestinal Crohns disease is rare and only seen in less than 5 percent of Crohns disease patients. While ulcers in the stomach may be due to Crohns disease, more commonly they are due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use or to infection with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. The biopsies taken of the normal tissue next to the ulcers were done to rule out H. pylori.
If H. pylori has been ruled out and you are not taking NSAIDs, then it is reasonable to assume that Crohns disease is the cause of the ulcers. Upper gastrointestinal Crohns disease is best treated with proton-pump inhibitors, like the Prevacid that you are taking, and anti-inflammatory medications, like the Humira and Imuran you are taking.
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Other Causes Of Peptic Ulcers
- Genetics: A significant number of individuals with peptic ulcers have close relatives with the same problem, suggesting that genetic factors may be involved.
- Smoking: People who regularly smoke tobacco are more likely to develop peptic ulcers when compared with non-smokers.
- Alcohol consumption: Regular heavy drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of developing peptic ulcers.
- Corticosteroid use: People on large or chronic doses of corticosteroids are also at greater risk.
- Mental stress: This stress has not been linked to the development of new peptic ulcers, but symptoms appear to be more severe in people with ulcers who are experiencing ongoing mental stress.
A patientâs description of symptoms will normally cause a doctor to suspect a peptic ulcer.
Tests that can confirm a diagnosis include:
- a blood test to check for H. pylori, though a positive test does not always mean there is an active infection
- a breath test, using a radioactive carbon atom to detect H. pylori
- a stool antigen test to detect H. pylori in the feces
- an upper gastrointestinal X-ray to identify ulcers
An endoscopy may also be used. This involves a long, narrow tube with a camera attached to the end is threaded down the patientâs throat and into the stomach and duodenum. This is the best diagnostic test.
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