Black Or Dark Colored Stool
If you think you may have an ulcer, a good way to tell is to look at your stool. If you notice that when you use the restroom your stool is extremely dark in color, or even black, chances are you are right about what is ailing you. If this is the case, you should absolutely go to the hospital immediately.
Case 2 Diagnosis: Peptic Ulcer Disease
The patient was placed on a cardiac monitor for bradycardia and was started on a standardized nutritional rehabilitation protocol used for patients with eating disorders. A psychiatric evaluation showed no body image dysmorphism or desire to lose weight. She stabilized medically and gained 4 kg over a three-week admission but continued to experience burning postprandial epigastric pain. Gastroenterology was consulted and upper endoscopy was performed, showing gastric antral ulceration and mild duodenal nodularity. Biopsies showed mild chronic inactive gastritis and were negative for Helicobacter pylori a diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease was made. The patient was started on acid suppression with a proton-pump inhibitor , discharged home and followed in a gastroenterology clinic.
PUD develops when acid and pepsin-laden stomach contents overcome the defenses of the esophageal, gastric or duodenal mucosa, causing injury or ulceration. Rates of PUD in childhood appear to be low, with a reported incidence of five to seven children with gastric or duodenal ulcers per 2500 hospital admissions each year .
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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Dietary Fibre & Vitamin A
Research shows that a high fibre diet decreases the risk of developing ulcer disease. Although both insoluble and soluble fibres demonstrate this association, there is a stronger association between diets high in soluble fibre and a decreased risk for developing ulcers.
Foods that are high in soluble fibre include oats, psyllium husk, legumes, flax seeds, barley, nuts, and certain vegetables and fruits, such as oranges, apples, and carrots.
Findings from a prospective cohort study that included 47,806 men, showed that a diet rich in vitamin A from all sources might reduce the development of duodenal ulcer, as might diets high in fruits and vegetables, possibly due to their fibre content.2 A prospective cohort study follows, over time, a group of similar individuals who differ with respect to certain factors under study, to determine how these factors affect rates of a certain outcome however, more research is necessary to verify results because there are so many other factors involved with this type of study that could confound the data.
Animal studies demonstrate that vitamin A increases the production of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract. Impaired mucosal defense can allow ulcers to develop. Therefore, vitamin A may have a protective effect against the development of ulcer disease.3
Good sources of vitamin A include liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and collard greens.
How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
To look for peptic ulcers, doctors may:
- Order an upper gastrointestinal series. These X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum let the doctor get a close look at the gastrointestinal tract. A person drinks a liquid called barium while getting the X-ray. If theres an ulcer, it should be outlined on the X-ray.
- Do an upper endoscopy . The patient is sedated for this procedure. Then, the doctor puts an a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end down the throat and into the stomach and duodenum. The doctors can see the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to check for possible ulcers, inflammation, or food allergies. The doctor also can do tissue tests to check for H. pyloriIf there’s any sign of inflammation, the doctor will test for H. pylori. This test is important because treatment for ulcers caused by H. pylori differs from treatment for those caused by NSAIDs.
To look for H. pylori, doctors can do:
- tissue tests during an endoscopy
- stool tests to look for H. pylori antigens. Testing stool is becoming more common, as some doctors think they’re more accurate than blood tests.
- breath tests, which can find carbon broken down by H. pylori after the patient drinks a solution. Breath tests are mostly done in adults.
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Causes Of Stomach Ulcers
A stomach ulcer can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria is thought to be responsible for around 60 per cent of stomach ulcers and at least 90 per cent of duodenal ulcers.
- Certain medications which include aspirin or clopidogrel, taken regularly to help prevent heart attack or stroke, and drugs for arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications are thought to cause around two fifths of stomach ulcers.
- Cancer stomach cancer can present as an ulcer, particularly in older people.
What Treatments Are There For Ulcers
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your ulcer. For example, if our tests indicate that an infection caused by helicobacter pylori is what created your ulcer, well give you antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.
Regardless of the cause, medications that help reduce the level of acid in your stomach can help the ulcer heal. And different lifestyle changes can accelerate healing as well, such as eliminating certain foods, abstaining from alcohol, and practicing stress management.
In severe cases, surgery may be required. Your provider at Prima Medicine will work with you to create a treatment plan for your situation.
If you have a stomach ulcer or want to see if you do, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.
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Faqs About Peptic Ulcer Disease
What is peptic ulcer disease?
Ulcers are breaks in the protective mucosal lining of the digestive tract that can vary in size and location.
What causes peptic ulcer disease?
Ulcers are the result of the breakdown of the mucosa, which may occur as a result of excessive gastric acid secretion. One common cause of peptic ulcer disease is infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also contribute to mucosal injury of the upper digestive tract and lead to peptic ulcer disease.
What are the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease?
Common symptoms of peptic ulcer disease include abdominal discomfort, pain and nausea. The discomfort or pain is sometimes described as gnawing or burning. Antacids may give temporary relief. Gastric ulcer pain is usually aggravated by eating, especially spicy foods. Because eating causes pain, many patients with gastric ulcers avoid meals and consequently lose weight. Duodenal pain may be relieved by food. Patients with duodenal ulcer may have a weight gain.
How is peptic ulcer disease diagnosed?
How is peptic ulcer disease treated?
What Ulcer Treatments Are Available
If your ulcer is bleeding, your doctor may treat it during an endoscopy procedure by injecting medications into it. Your doctor could also use a clamp or cauterization to seal it off and stop the bleeding.
For most people, doctors treat ulcers with medications, including:
- Proton pump inhibitors : These drugs reduce acid, which allows the ulcer to heal. PPIs include Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Aciphex®, Protonix® and Nexium®.
- Histamine receptor blockers : These drugs also reduce acid production and include Tagamet®, Pepcid®, Zantac® and Axid®.
- Antibiotics: These medications kill bacteria. Doctors use them to treat H. pylori.
- Protective medications: Like a liquid bandage, these medications cover the ulcer in a protective layer to prevent further damage from digestive acids and enzymes. Doctors commonly recommend Carafate® or Pepto-Bismol®.
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A Feeling Of Wooziness
On occasion, the person may experience a little more run down when engaging in exercises or exerting extra hard work. Perhaps the person feels an unusual feeling of wooziness especially when stands hurriedly after a long sit.
All these may be accompanied by a sense of fatigue which is often blamed on too much work performed by the person. The individual will be remarkably in distress, thinking it may be due to different sort of situations.
Only when the person visits a doctor for help will he be able to point clues about the problem. Stomach ulcer may be identified and can be drawn based on history of heartburns, diet, activities, and excessive intake of drugs which may be possibly taken by the person to help reduce aches of the body when feeling fatigue.
- Mohammad J. Kaviani, Mohsen Pirastehfar, Ali Azari, & Mehdi Saberifiroozi . Etiology and Outcome of Patients with Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: A Study from South of Iran.
How Can I Be Sure Its An Ulcer
The only way to be sure an ulcer is causing your discomfort is with a medical diagnosis. We will evaluate your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.
To determine the root cause of your ulcer, we may run blood, stool, or breath tests. These tests are designed to look for signs of helicobacter pylori, the bacteria linked to ulcers.
Depending on your unique symptoms, we may also order an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, we insert a tube with a tiny camera down your throat and into your stomach to take pictures of any potential damage and collect tissue samples for analysis.
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What Are Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are open, painful sores that affect the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine, called the duodenum . Ulcers in the stomach are also called stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers. Those in the duodenum are also called duodenal ulcers. Peptic ulcers are rare in kids.
In the past, peptic ulcers could last for several years or even a lifetime. But a better understanding of what causes them and how to treat them means that most can be cured.
When Should I Be Concerned About Unexplained Weight Loss
Your weight can fluctuate for various reasons. A life-changing or stressful event can cause you to lose weight unintentionally. Even having an especially busy schedule for a while can cause a temporary change in your food intake and activity level, causing you to lose a few pounds.
There arent any firm guidelines. But some experts follow the rule of thumb that an unintentional weight loss of more than five percent of your body weight in a period of six months to a year calls for a medical evaluation.
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Can You Prevent A Peptic Ulcer
While stress and spicy foods can make symptoms of a peptic ulcer worse, they donât seem to make you more likely to have one. But a few other things can raise your chances.
Be careful when you take pain relievers. Some people who have arthritis or other conditions that cause chronic pain take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for weeks or months at a time to ease pain and swelling. These medicines can affect the mucus that protects your stomach against acid and make you more likely to have peptic ulcers.
These pain relievers include:
You’re more likely to get an ulcer while taking one of these if you:
- Are over age 65
- Are infected with H. pylori bacteria
- Take more than one NSAID at a time
- Have had a peptic ulcer in the past
- Also take a steroid drug or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
To lower your chances for peptic ulcers while you take NSAIDs:
- Use the lowest possible dose to control your symptoms, and stop taking them as soon as you no longer need them.
- Take your medicine with food.
- Don’t drink alcohol while youâre taking these medicines.
While you’re on NSAIDs, you can take medicine to lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. Drugs that can do that include:
- H2 blockers such as cimetidine , famotidine , and nizatidine
You can also take the drug misoprostol to boost the amount of protective mucus your stomach makes. But that can cause side effects like diarrhea and stomach cramps.
You can do some things to make an infection less likely:
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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What Happens When You Start Taking Iron Pills
In addition to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, and constipation, iron supplements can also cause side effects. Constipation is a common problem for pregnant women. It is possible to relieve this symptom by adding more fiber to your diet. It is also possible to feel better after using a stool softener.
How Does It Work For Weight Loss
GLP-1 agonists like Ozempic help to control your blood sugar, but people taking them also tend to lose weight. GLP-1, the key hormone involved, slows down how fast your stomach empties food . And in addition to causing your pancreas to release insulin, it also blocks a hormone that causes your liver to release sugar.
Together, these functions can help you feel less hungry, causing you to eat less food and lose more weight.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
Youâll most likely feel a burning pain or discomfort between your belly button and breastbone. You might especially notice it on an empty stomach — such as between meals or at night. The pain may stop for a little while if you eat or take an antacid, but then return. The pain can last for a few minutes or a few hours, and may come and go for many days or weeks.
Other symptoms may include:
Small ulcers may not cause any symptoms. But if you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor.
What Is H Pylori And How Can It Cause Weight Loss
Heliobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that attacks parts of your digestion, causing inflammation. Initial symptoms include redness and soreness in the affected areas. That said, lasting infection can cause additional unwanted symptoms. H pylori can cause unexpected weight loss, but also peptic ulcers painful sores in your upper digestive tract.
This is not a rare infection. In fact, it is quite common. The majority of people who are infected with H pyolori wont experience weight loss or ulcers. In fact, most wont show any symptoms at all. That said, for some, it can become quite dangerous over time. It is the primary cause of digestive ulcers.
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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated
Some peptic ulcers heal on their own. But if you donât treat them, the ulcers tend to come back.
They can erode the blood vessel wall in your stomach or small intestine. The ulcers also can eat a hole through the lining and get infected. Or they can cause swelling, which may block food from moving from your stomach into your small intestine.
If H. pylori is the culprit, your doctor may prescribe a mix of antibiotics to kill it. If aspirin and other NSAIDs are behind the ulcer, you may need to cut down on them, stop taking them altogether, or switch to another pain reliever.
Your doctor may also give you antacids to fight stomach acid, or prescribe medicine to lessen the acid your body makes. Prescription drugs called cytoprotective agents can help protect the lining of the stomach or small intestine so the ulcer can heal.
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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Burning Pain In Your Abdomen
This may seem like a no-brainer but the most common sign that people experience when they have a stomach ulcer is a persistent burning pain in their abdomen. This sensation occurs when juices in the stomach used for digestion come into contact with the open sore. For the most part, the pain is felt from the breastbone to navel and is often worse at night than during the day. On the other hand, if you are someone who frequently skips meals, you may find that you experience this pain much throughout the daytime.