What Happens After Treatment
A repeat gastroscopy is usually advised a few weeks after treatment has finished. This is mainly to check that the ulcer has healed. It is also to be doubly certain that the ulcer was not due to stomach cancer. If your ulcer was caused by H. pylori then a test is advised to check that the H. pylori infection has gone. This is done at least four weeks after the course of combination therapy has finished.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers & Am I At Risk
Youve probably watched a TV show before where an overly stressed character says, I think I have an ulcer. Ulcers are a fairly common type of gastrointestinal health condition, affecting nearly 4 million people each year in the United States. But what causes stomach ulcers?
Eric JacksononDecember 27, 2021
The first important thing to note is that not all ulcers are stomach ulcers. Ulcers can occur anywhere on or in the body and are open sores or raw areas. Ulcers affecting the GI system are whats known as peptic ulcers.
You can have two different types of peptic ulcerduodenal ulcer, which affects part of the small intestine, and gastric ulcer, which affects the lining of your stomach. Gastric ulcers are commonly referenced as stomach ulcers.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Indigestion Or A Stomach Ulcer
The first step you should take if you think you may have chronic indigestion or a stomach ulcer is make an appointment with Prima Medicine. Our goal is to provide you with relief from the unpleasant symptoms that both conditions can cause as well as keep you healthy by working to prevent further complications.
To arrive at a diagnosis, your Prima Medicine team member will evaluate your medical history and symptoms and conduct a comprehensive physical exam. Your provider may also order a stool test, breath test, and blood work.
Your provider may also order an endoscopy, in which a flexible tube is inserted through your throat, down your esophagus, and into your stomach to take images and samples. Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your Prima Medicine provider will work with you to create a customized plan to treat your indigestion or ulcer issues.
If youre suffering from chronic indigestion or the symptoms of a stomach ulcer, we can help get you well. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today. We can also schedule telehealth appointments.
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What Are Acid Reflux Gerd And Heartburn
Acid reflux refers to the condition in which the stomach contents move up into the food pipe .
When the acidic stomach contents leak frequently, more than twice a week over several weeks, into the esophagus, the condition is called gastroesophageal reflux disease .
The site where the food pipe joins the stomach is guarded by a valve . The valve prevents the backflow of the stomach contents into the food pipe. When the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly when the food enters the stomach, acid reflux occurs. Because the stomach contents are acidic, the backwash then flows back up through the food pipe into the throat and mouth, which gives a strong sour taste.
GERD needs medical attention, not just to relieve the symptoms, but because it may lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
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What Foods To Eat For Acid Reflux
What to eat for acid reflux? If you have acid reflux, eat simply. That is, choose plain foods that are on the blander side and avoid problematic foods that are known to worsen acid reflux. Research what foods you respond well to and focus on them. As a general recommendation, avoid heavy foods, high in fat or oil, spices, heavily seasoned and fried foods, even roasted stuff, acidic, fermented, sour or matured foods. Opt for boiled, steamed or grilled food. For me, the following foods in particular are good for my acid reflux:
Stomach Ulcers Can Be Easily Cured But Without Proper Treatment It Can Become Severe
Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining. Also known as gastric ulcers, the condition is a type of peptic ulcer that affects both the stomach and small intestine.
One tends to develop a stomach ulcer when the thick layer of mucus that safeguards your stomach from digestive acids becomes thinner and following which the digestive juices eat away the tissues that line your stomach.
However, stomach ulcers can easily be cured, but without a proper dedicated treatment, they can become severe. The symptoms could be feelings of discomfort, bleeding in vomit, weight loss, bleeding in stool and back pain among others.
Here are some preventative measures to save you against stomach ulcers.
Probiotics are a type of bacteria that maintain the balance of bacteria present in our digestive system. Add curd to your daily diet, it helps maintain intestinal good bacteria in your digestive system. Also, it can help in healing of ulcers.
Many people think that ginger has a gastro protective effect. But what they dont know is that ginger keeps the stomach clean. Ginger also helps in getting rid of constipation, bloating and gastritis.
There are some fruits that contain compounds called flavonoids, which are polyphenols. Flavonoids protect the lining of the stomach from developing ulcer. Flavonoids are found in some fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, lemons and oranges.
Complications Of A Peptic Ulcer
Untreated ulcers can become worse over time. They can lead to other more serious health complications such as:
- Perforation: A hole develops in the lining of the stomach or small intestine and causes an infection. A sign of a perforated ulcer is sudden, severe abdominal pain.
- Internal bleeding:Bleeding ulcers can result in significant blood loss and thus require hospitalization. Signs of a bleeding ulcer include lightheadedness, dizziness, and black stools.
- Scar tissue: This is thick tissue that develops after an injury. This tissue makes it difficult for food to pass through your digestive tract. Signs of scar tissue include vomiting and weight loss.
All three complications are serious and may require surgery. Seek urgent medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:
- sudden, sharp abdominal pain
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Green Tea And Flavonoid
Emerging research from China shows the potential protective effects of green tea and other foods that are rich in flavonoids against chronic gastritis, H. pylori infection, and stomach cancer. Specifically, these foods seem to inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
In addition, one recent laboratory study of green, white, oolong, and black teas indicated that these teas inhibit the growth of H. pylori but cause no harm to beneficial types of bacteria normally found in the stomach, including L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and B. lungum. However, this was an in vitro study, which means testing occurred directly between teas and bacteria in the laboratory, and we cannot draw direct conclusions as to what would happen inside the human body between these two substances. Beneficial effects in the laboratory were best when tea steeped for a full five minutes.
Flavonoid-rich foods include garlic, onions, and colourful fruits and vegetables such as cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas.4,5
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Signs You May Have An Ulcer
Did you know that stomach ulcers also called peptic ulcers affect at least 1 in 10 Americans over the course of their lives? And while stomach ulcers can be treated easily when caught early, lack of medical care can lead to serious complications.
Understanding the signs of stomach ulcers is important in helping you get the treatment you need. At Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our care team has the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat stomach ulcers. Weve curated this guide to help you recognize the warning signs of an ulcer and understand what you can do about it.
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Relationship Between Stomach Ulcers And Bad Breath
So how exactly do stomach ulcers and bad breath relate to each other? A lot of experts have debated about putting the blame on H. pylori infection alone. Mainly because the bacteria do not have a foul odor. However, it has been detected that patients with stomach ulcers are typically carrying another type of bacteria, the Prevotella intermedia. This bacteria is the result of poor oral hygiene which leads to periodontal disease. Most likely, if H. pylori and Prevotella intermedia are combined, bad breath occurs.
A recent study shows that people with stomach cancer and ulcers generally manifest bad breath as well. Our mouth houses hundreds of different species, including multiple good and bad bacteria. Helicobacter pylori have been consistently present in individuals with bad breath and ulcers, making it the common denominator for both health problems. If you are suspecting that your bad breath is caused by ulcers or stomach cancer, its best to consult your doctor right away.
Peptic Ulcer Facts And Picture
- Peptic ulcer are sores in the lining of the esophagus, stomach or duodenum.
- The main symptom of a stomach or duodenal ulcer is upper abdominal pain, which can be dull, sharp, or burning .
- Other associated symptoms may include:
- acid reflux or heartburn and
- feeling satiated when eating.
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What Is Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is a condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine . Normally, a thick layer of mucus protects the stomach lining from the effect of its digestive juices. But many things can reduce this protective layer, allowing stomach acid to damage the tissue.
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Abdominal Pain And Unintentional Weight Loss
What are abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss? Your abdomen houses many organs, including your stomach, liver, and intestines. Just as there are many organs, there are a variety of descriptors for abdominal pain, including:
Everyones weight may fluctuate a few pounds on a daily basis, but unintentional weight loss means losing weight without trying. If you havent changed your eating or exercise habits, yet youre experiencing weight loss, it can be cause for concern. The Mayo Clinic defines unintentional weight loss as losing 10 or more pounds, or more than 5 percent of your body weight.
Older adults are also often subject to abdominal pain due to medications they may be taking. The pain can lead to loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. Cancer of any of the abdominal organs can also cause abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss.
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How Are Stomach Ulcers Treated
If you have a stomach ulcer, you may be given:
- a combination of antibiotic medicines to eradicate the Helicobacter pylori bacteria if it is present
- medicines that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces, such as proton pump inhibitors
Some people have one of these treatments, while some have both.
If you have a stomach ulcer that was caused by taking anti-inflammatory medications, do not stop these without talking to your doctor first.
To help manage symptoms, you can also:
- stop smoking
- eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and make sure there is enough iron in your diet
- avoid foods that make symptoms worse, such as fatty meals, alcohol, tomatoes, spicy foods, coffee, chocolate or hot drinks
- lose weight if you are overweight
- take an antacid
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How To Treat A Stomach Ulcer
Most cases of stomach ulcers can be treated with antibiotics and other types of medication and supplements. In some cases, a stomach ulcer might require a surgical intervention. Thats why you should see your doctor if youre experiencing recurring abdominal pain or other symptoms that might point to a stomach ulcer.
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Burning Pain In The Abdomen
Persistent burning pain in the abdomen is one of the first signs of a stomach ulcer. The sensation of pain occurs when juices in the stomach, which help in digestion, come into contact with an open sore in the stomach lining.
In most cases, the pain is felt from the breast bone to the navel, and it often worsens during the night. If you skip meals, particularly breakfast, you may also experience this burning sensation in the stomach during the daytime.
If the dull and burning ache of the ulcer often turns into a sharp, stabbing pain, it is a sign that your ulcer is acting up and you need medical help. It could mean that the ulcer has caused a more critical problem like a perforation in the wall of your stomach or intestine, or a blockage in your digestive tract, and it is triggering intense pain.
Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
Early symptoms of stomach ulcers are very similar to and may be confused with symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux, including burning stomach pain and/or nausea. If untreated, ulcers can cause severe symptoms such as bloating, vomiting blood, dark blood in stools, nausea or vomiting, unexplained weight loss and appetite changes.
Stomach ulcer symptoms are generally worse with an empty stomach and typically feel better after eating. Thats because when your stomach is empty, theres a better chance of stomach acids irritating the ulcer food can act as a buffer between stomach acids and the ulcer.
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How Does This Infection Spread
Medical experts may know why H pylori can bring on weight loss, but the cause of this infection remains unknown. Among the current leading hypotheses regarding the way these bacteria can spread is that they gravel from person to person by mouth through kissing, shared eating utensils, and other similar activities that can cause direct or indirect mouth-to-mouth transfer of germs. It may also spread through contact with vomit or feces, which can occur if food is not properly cooked or safely cleaned or if infected water is consumed.
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Alternative Treatments Without Proven Efficacy In Peptic Ulcer
The potential of plants as source of new drugs still offers a large field forscientific research. Even if is observed a large number of known plants, a smallpercentage has already been phytochemically investigated and only a fraction of themhas already been assessed to determine its pharmacological potential. Even amongtraditional medicinal plants there is still a large percentage that has not beenstudied to confirm their efficacy and safety in humans.
In peptic ulcer this is also observed. In a study conducted by Mentz andSchenkel, in which theyassessed plants with popularly known effects to scientifically prove them, theyobserved that plants like Symphytum Officinale L. , besideshaving no proven efficacy it may be harmful because of their pyrrolizidine alkaloids,of proven hepatotoxic action. Another studied plant was Zantoxylon rhoifoliunLan , popularly indicated for ulcers and healing, butits benefits have not been proved either. In addition, Maytenus ilicifoliaMart, commonly known in Brazil as âespinheira-santaâ, used for healingpeptic ulcer, has not proven this effect in trials either.
The use of natural products in treatment of ulcer has been widely studied. However,most of the studiesthat haveproven an anti-ulcer effect were conducted with animals, and therefore do not providereliability for alternative treatments in the prevention of relapses or for treatmentof peptic ulcer in humans.
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How Do I Diagnose If Its An Ulcer Or Gerd
There are differences in the symptoms between an ulcer and GERD, but they can certainly feel similar . That makes it extra tempting to turn to Dr. Google to slap a name on whatever discomfort youâre experiencing.
However, the only true way to know whether youâre dealing with an ulcer or GERD is to speak to your doctor and receive a professional diagnosis.
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