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 To Test For Stomach Ulcers
If your doctor thinks you may have a stomach ulcer, the initial tests will include some blood tests. These tests will help to check whether you have become anaemic because of any bleeding from the ulcer. The blood test will also check to see that your liver and pancreas are working properly.
The main tests that are then used to diagnose a stomach ulcer are as follows:
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.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
You may feel relief with an antacid, but you should not ignore symptoms of a peptic ulcer. If you have persistent symptoms for longer than a week, it is best to see your healthcare provider. They will determine whether you need prescription medications and whether you have complications, such as bleeding or anemia.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have:
- Pain that radiates to the back
- Pain that doesnt go away when you take medication
- Unintended weight loss
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdominal area
- Loss of consciousness
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When Should You Call Or See A Doctor
If you think you have a stomach ulcer, call your doctor. Together you can discuss your symptoms and treatment options. If you dont already have a physician, you can use the Healthline FindCare tool to find a provider near you.
Its important to get a stomach ulcer taken care of because without treatment, ulcers and H. pylori can cause:
- bleeding from the ulcer site that can become life-threatening
- penetration, which occurs when the ulcer goes through the wall of the digestive tract and into another organ, such as the pancreas
- perforation, which occurs when the ulcer creates a hole in the wall of the digestive tract
- obstruction in the digestive tract, which is due to swelling of inflamed tissues
- stomach cancer, specifically
Symptoms of these complications can include those listed below. If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to call you doctor right away:
Reasons For Your Sluggish Digestion
Overeating: You know, even one meal where you overeat can leave you feeling miserable, but constantly overeating can have long-term negative effects on your digestion. For example, when you overeat, your stomach is unable to produce enough acid to break down food, meaning it is not properly digested. Furthermore, large portions of food put added pressure on the stomach, which contributes to heartburn and indigestion.
The key here is to practice portion control and avoid eating too much at once.
Improperly chewing: Chewing is the first part of the digestion process. When we chew, we break down food into smaller bits so that it can be better digested. Additionally, saliva contains essential enzymes to assist the digestive process. If we do not take the time to properly chew our food, enabling the important enzymes in saliva to go to work, the digestive system has to work harder. This leads to cramps, gas, and constipation.
Its important that you are mindful when eating. Some experts suggest counting your chews as a means to chewing more and eating slower. Other tips include resting your fork down while eating, or eating with your less dominant hand so you put less food in your mouth.
Inadequate fiber consumption: It is known that Americans are not consuming enough fiber, and many face digestive problems because of it. Consuming adequate amounts of soluble fiber can help ease digestion and rid yourself of those discomforting symptoms.
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Your Appetite Went Mia
For many patients with ulcers, the condition can actually result in a loss of appetite. This drop in food intake, combined with occasional vomiting, may lead to unexpected weight loss. Some ulcer patients report eating their normal amount of food, yet still lose weight, so the ulcer itself may cause a drop on the scale, too.
What Are The Complications Of Peptic Ulcers
With modern treatment, people with ulcer disease can lead normal lives without lifestyle changes or dietary restrictions. Cigarettesmokers have been found to have more complications from ulcers and treatment failure.
Eradication of the bacteria H. pylori not only heals ulcers but also prevents the recurrence of ulcer disease.
Patients with ulcers generally function quite comfortably.
Some ulcers probably heal even without medications . Therefore, the major problems resulting from ulcers are related to ulcer complications. Complications include
- obstruction of emptying of the passage of food.
Patients with bleeding ulcers may report
- a sense of light-headedness or ay even pass out upon standing ,
- and vomiting blood . Initial treatment involves rapid replacement of fluids intravenously.
Patients with persistent or severe bleeding may require blood transfusions. An endoscopy is performed to establish the site of bleeding and to stop active ulcer bleeding with the aid of specialized endoscopic instruments.
Duodenum A peptic ulcer that forms in the narrow outlet from the stomach, it can obstruct the flow of stomach contents into the duodenum. Duodenal ulcers sometimes also may obstruct the flow of intestinal contents.
Patients with obstruction often report
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How Common Is Stomach Bloating
Between 10% and 25% of otherwise healthy people complain of occasional abdominal bloating. As many as 75% describe their symptoms as moderate to severe. About 10% say they experience it regularly. Among those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome , it may be as much as 90%. Up to 75% of women experience bloating before and during their period. Only 50% of people who experience bloating also report a distended abdomen.
Bleeding Ulcers Symptoms And Causes
Bleeding ulcers are a big deal. Often having endoscopy is diagnostic and therapeutic. A gastroenterologist can use a fiberoptic camera to view the inside of the stomach and duodenum, searching for a source of bleeding.
Symptoms of a bleeding ulcer include:
- Abdominal discomfort after eating
- Upper abdominal burning or hunger pain 1 to 3 hours after eating or in the middle of the night
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Can A Stomach Ulcer Cause Acid Reflux
Heartburn- Another symptom of peptic ulcers is heartburn. Heartburn is a condition thats caused when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus. This leads to a burning discomfort below your breastbone or in your upper belly. Your doctor will prescribe medications to relieve your symptoms and help your ulcer heal.
Can a stomach ulcer cause bloating and gas?
Does the disease cause gas ? Yes it does! As mentioned before, bloating is one of common stomach ulcer symptoms. The inflammation of an ulcer may drive more gas throughout the day, causing bloating. For this reason, avoid carbonate beverages and other foods that can trigger the excess gas in the stomach!
What happens when you have a lot of gas in your stomach?
Excessive gas can cause discomfort to the point of bloating and abdominal pain, and it can actually be a symptom of a more serious condition.
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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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:
- 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.
Symptoms Of A Duodenal Ulcer
If you have a duodenal ulcer, you might:
- have pain in the stomach or abdomen
- have indigestion
Very occasionally, an ulcer can cause serious complications. Go to the emergency department if:
- you have a sharp pain in your stomach that doesnt go away
- your vomit or stools look bloody or a black colour
If you are concerned about symptoms, you can use healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on the next appropriate healthcare steps and when to seek medical attention.
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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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Antacids And H2 Blockers
Antacids neutralize existing acid in the stomach. Antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, and Amphojel are safe and effective treatments. However, the neutralizing action of these agents is short-lived, and frequent dosing is required. Magnesium containing antacids, such as Maalox and Mylanta, can cause diarrhea, while aluminum containing agents like Amphojel can cause constipation. Ulcers frequently return when antacids are discontinued.
Studies have shown that a protein released in the stomach called histamine stimulates gastric acid secretion. Histamine antagonists are drugs designed to block the action of histamine on gastric cells and reduce the production of acid. Examples of H2 blockers are cimetidine , nizatidine , and famotidine . While H2 blockers are effective in ulcer healing, they have a limited role in eradicating H. pylori without antibiotics. Therefore, ulcers frequently return when H2 blockers are stopped.
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Youre More Bloated Than Usual
If you notice your stomach feeling particularly bloated, it may be more serious than a little bit of gasit could be one of the signs of an ulcer. According to RM Healthy, bloating is often one of the earliest ulcer symptoms, with patients especially complaining of pain in their midsection. Of course, bloating can also be caused simply by eating something your body doesnt agree with or not drinking enough water, but when combined with these other symptoms, its worth checking out.
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Can Ulcers Cause Back Pain
Back pain is one among the less common symptoms of peptic ulcers. Here is a brief overview of ulcer symptoms that may include pain in the back.
Back pain is one among the less common symptoms of peptic ulcers. Here is a brief overview of ulcer symptoms that may include pain in the back.
Ulcers are very common in humans, especially middle-aged people. Peptic ulcers develop on the mucous membrane that lines the inner surfaces of the stomach and the duodenum. Esophageal ulcers form in the esophagus. Ulcers in the stomach are called gastric ulcers, and those in the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers. While duodenal ulcers are far more common than gastric ulcers, esophageal ulcers are rare. It has been observed that alcohol abuse is a major cause for ulcers in the esophagus. Peptic ulcers are usually associated with Helicobacter pylori infection or long-term use of NSAIDs. Ulcers can cause various symptoms, and abdominal pain is the most common one. Ulcers can also cause back pain, which is a symptom that is usually associated with other medical conditions.
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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 .
If your stomach ulcers caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, youll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if its thought your stomach ulcers caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
What Are The Symptoms Of H Pylori Infection
Symptoms of Helicobacter pylori infections are, not surprisingly, centered around the normal functions of your digestive tract. Stomach pain is common, as well as a gnawing or burning sensation in the stomach. Bloating in the abdomen, belching and an increase in gas is also common. If you have an H. pylori infection, you may also experience fatigue and the feeling of being full even when you have only eaten a small about of food. You might also find that the abdominal pain is worse when there is no food in your system, as there is nothing in your digestive tract to soak up the extra acid your stomach is producing.
Some of the more dramatic and identifiable symptoms of H. pylori infections are shown in what comes out of you. Nausea is often associated with these infections. Vomiting is common, and you may find blood or a coffee ground-like material in your vomit. At the other end, a common sign of H. pylori gastritis is black, tarry stool.
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