Are Peptic Ulcers Painful
The pain of ulcer disease correlates poorly with the presence or severity of active ulceration. Some individuals have persistent pain even after an ulcer is almost completely healed by medication. Others experience no pain at all. Ulcers often come and go spontaneously without the individual ever knowing that they are present unless a serious complication occurs.
Symptoms and signs of peptic ulcers disease vary. Some people with stomach ulcers do not have any symptoms or signs while others may have a few or several.
The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is a dull or burning pain in the stomach. The pain may be felt anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. Pain from a peptic or stomach ulcer
Peptic ulcer other symptoms and signs that are less common include
Cigarette smoking not only causes ulcers, but it also increases the risk of complications from ulcers such as bleeding, obstruction, and perforation. Cigarette smoking also is a leading cause of failure of treatment for ulcers.
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol, coffee, colas, spicy foods, and caffeine have no proven role in ulcer formation. Similarly, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that life stresses or personality types contribute to ulcer disease.
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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When To See A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult their doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.
A slow-bleeding ulcer can be signaled by symptoms of anemia, such as being tired and breathless. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem and can be signaled if blood is vomited up, or stools are black and sticky.
Perforation, or a hole in the stomach, is also an emergency. Without quick treatment, the wall of the stomach can become infected. Sudden stomach pain that gets worse can indicate perforation, and any signs of being very unwell with infection need treatment as soon as possible.
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How To Suspect Bleeding Varices:
- Vomiting of blood .
- Black stool, black diarrhea, or tarry stool.
- signs of the cause such as jaundice, distension of the abdomen , swelling of the lower limbs .
- lost consciousness in severe cases.
The condition is not confined to liver cirrhosis, other cause can cause variceal bleeding include:
- blood clot in the main vein of the liver .
- parasitic infection with schistosomiasis, which can cause similar conditions via damaging the liver.
- Rare vascular diseases of the liver such as Bud-Chiari syndrome.
How to deal if you suspect bleeding esophageal varices:
As with any bleeding inside your digestive tract, you have to seek emergency medical help. time is critical, especially if you experience both vomiting of blood and black stool.
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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Certain Types Of Cancer
Colon cancer, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and some other types may cause gastric symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. Some forms of cancer may go undiagnosed until gastric symptoms occur.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can also cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Let your doctor know if your symptoms are accompanied by:
Your doctor can diagnose lactose intolerance with a hydrogen breath test. Avoiding foods containing lactose is the best way to avoid symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms
- A burning, aching, or gnawing pain between the belly button and the breastbone. Some people also have back pain. The pain can last from a few minutes to a few hours and may come and go for weeks.
- Pain that usually goes away for a while after you take an antacid or acid reducer.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Bloating or nausea after eating.
- Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
- Passing black stools that look like tar, or stools that contain dark red blood.
Different people have different symptoms, and some people have no symptoms at all.
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When To Seek Urgent Medical Advice
Symptoms can develop if a stomach ulcer suddenly causes serious complications, such as internal bleeding. These include:
- vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance that is similar to coffee grounds
- passing black tar-like stools
- a sudden, sharp pain in your stomach that gets steadily worse and worse and does not improve
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. If this is not possible, contact your local out-of-hours service.
Blood supplies oxygen to the body and removes carbon dioxide. It is pumped around the body by the heart.
Blood vessels are the tubes in which blood travels to and from parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are veins, arteries and capillaries.
Heartburn, also known as indigestion, is a painful, burning discomfort felt in the chest, usually after eating.
Loss of appetite is when you do not feel hungry or want to eat.
Nausea is when you feel like you are going to be sick.
Pain is an unpleasant physical or emotional feeling that your body produces as a warning sign that it has been damaged.
The sac-like organ of the digestive system. It helps digest food by churning it and mixing it with acids to break it down into smaller pieces.
Stool is the solid waste matter that is passed from the body as a bowel movement.
An ulcer is a sore break in the skin, or on the inside lining of the body.
Treatment For A Stomach Ulcer
Special diets are now known to have very little impact on the prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers. Treatment options can include:
- medication including antibiotics, to destroy the H. pylori colony, and drugs to help speed the healing process. Different drugs need to be used in combination some of the side effects can include diarrhoea and rashes. Resistance to some of these antibiotics is becoming more common
- subsequent breath tests used to make sure the H. pylori infection has been treated successfully
- changes to existing medication the doses of arthritis medication, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication can be altered slightly to reduce their contributing effects on the stomach ulcer.
- reducing acid tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
- lifestyle modifications including quitting cigarettes, since smoking reduces the natural defences in the stomach and impairs the healing process.
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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, whether you take NSAIDs and other drugs, and medical history. Theyâll also check you for bloating in the belly and pain. That may be enough to make a diagnosis.
The only way your doctor can tell for sure if you have an ulcer is to look. They may use a series of X-rays or a test called an endoscopy. This test allows them to pass a thin, bendy tube down your throat and into your stomach and small intestine. The tube has a camera at the end so they can check the lining for ulcers. They may also take a small piece of the lining to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample tests also can screen for the bacteria.
Signs You May Have A Stomach Ulcer
We have absolutely warned our patients about the dangers of untreated ulcers in the past. However, we consider this to be an extremely important matter and therefore, we will continue to try to educate the people of Los Angeles, as well as those elsewhere on the most common symptoms of stomach ulcers. If you know the signs, you can see your doctor sooner rather than later when things have gotten especially bad. Continue reading below to get familiar with what these symptoms are.
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Diagnosis Of A Duodenal Ulcer
To diagnose a duodenal ulcer, your doctor will talk to you and examine you. They will probably also run some tests, which could include:
- a gastroscopy , where a specialist uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end to look inside your stomach and duodenum
- a blood test, stool sample, or breath test to find out if you have a H. pylori in your system
If you have a gastroscopy, the surgeon might take a sample of tissue to test for H. pylori.
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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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What Is The Difference Between Peptic Ulcer And Gastric Ulcer
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Keeping this in consideration, what is the difference between gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer?
Gastric and duodenal ulcers are peptic ulcers, which are open sores in the lining of the digestive tract. Gastric ulcers form in the lining of the stomach. Duodenal ulcers develop in the lining of the duodenum, which is the upper part of the small intestine.
Similarly, what causes gastric ulcer? Stomach ulcer causesStomach ulcers are usually caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These can break down the stomachs defence against the acid it produces to digest food. The stomach lining then becomes damaged causing an ulcer to form.
Keeping this in consideration, what is the difference between peptic ulcer and gastritis?
Gastritis is irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining. An ulcer is a deeper open sore in the lining of the stomach. It may also occur in the first part of the small intestine . The causes and symptoms of gastritis and ulcers are very similar.
Which type of ulcer is relieved by food?
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What Is The Treatment For Ulcerative Colitis
Treatment for ulcerative colitis depends on the seriousness of the disease. Most people are treated with medication. In severe cases, a patient may need surgery to remove the diseased colon. Surgery is the only cure for ulcerative colitis.
Some people whose symptoms are triggered by certain foods are able to control the symptoms by avoiding foods that upset their intestines, like highly seasoned foods, raw fruits and vegetables, or milk sugar . Each person may experience ulcerative colitis differently, so treatment is adjusted for each individual. Emotional and psychological support is important.
Some people have remissionsperiods when the symptoms go awaythat last for months or even years. However, most patients symptoms eventually return. This changing pattern of the disease means one cannot always tell when a treatment has helped. Some people with ulcerative colitis may need medical care for some time, with regular doctor visits to monitor the condition.
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How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated
With treatment, most stomach ulcers will heal within a month or two. The treatment recommended for you will depend on what caused the ulcer.
Most people will be prescribed a medication called a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid their stomach produces and allow the ulcer to heal naturally.
If an H. pylori infection is responsible for the ulcers, antibiotics will also be used to kill the bacteria, which should prevent the ulcer coming back.
If the ulcers are caused by the use of NSAIDs, PPIs are usually prescribed and your doctor will discuss whether you should keep using NSAIDs.
Alternative medication to NSAIDs, such as paracetamol, may be recommended.
Stomach ulcers can come back after treatment, although this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is addressed.
Read more about treating stomach ulcers.
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.
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What To Do If You Have Stomach Cancer Or Ulcer Symptoms
- If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Dont assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
- If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
- Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
- Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.
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What To Do If You Have Diarrhea Or Stomach Ulcer Disease
The interactions between Helicobacter, Campylobacter and the immune system
Campylobacters are a group of bacteria that are the most common cause of diarrhea worldwide. Under this group is the Helicobacter group of bacteria that causes peptic ulcer disease and gastritis. Among the campylobacters that are important are the campylobacter jejuni and campylobacter coli.
The infection process entails two factors, one for bacterial which accounts for the number of bacteria that can affect the person which is very low from 500-600 and another for the persons immune system status. People on steroids, with cancer or in chemotherapy and people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV have persistent and severe infections.
The bacteria are widely carried by animals such as birds, pigs, cattle and sheep but the most common are from the chicken. Raw meat is the most common contaminant which could bring the infection. Animals in contact with drinking water can also bring the infection if the water is not chlorinated. A number of infections were also seen in unpasteurized milk. Person to person transmission was also noted through contact with a sick person not observing hygienic processes or not washing hands.
The stomachs acidity fights off the bacteria so that drinking water which dilutes the stomach or consumption of milk which lowers the acidity can make one susceptible to infection by not being able to fight off the bacteria.
Period of Sickness
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How Do H Pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer And Peptic Ulcer Disease
H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause peptic ulcer disease by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Once H. pylori have damaged the mucous coating, powerful stomach acid can get through to the sensitive lining. Together, the stomach acid and H. pylori irritate the lining of the stomach or duodenum and cause a peptic ulcer.
What Triggers Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcers are irritated by stomach acid. Some people notice this irritation more after they eat, and some people notice it more on an empty stomach. There are also certain irritants that seem to make ulcer symptoms worse and make them more difficult to heal. Smoking and alcohol are the biggest ones.
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How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer
Describing your symptoms may lead your doctor to suspect that you have a peptic ulcer, but it wonât likely help determine the type, because the symptoms of stomach and duodenal ulcers are so similar. The doctor will do tests like these to figure out which specific type of ulcer you have:
- Endoscopy. This is the most accurate diagnostic test to diagnose a peptic ulcer. The doctor puts a flexible tube down your throat to see inside your esophagus , stomach, and duodenum. This allows the doctor to see the cause of bleeding and test for any bacterial infection. During this exam, your doctor may also do a biopsy to check for cancer.
- Barium swallow. If you cant have an endoscopy, this test, also called an upper GI series of X-rays, can help your doctor identify and locate the ulcer and determine its type and severity. The test requires you to drink a barium milkshake, which has a liquid that will show up on an X-ray. They may ask you to eat only bland, easy-to-digest foods for 2-3 days before the test. After drinking the chalky liquid, you lie down on a tilting exam table. This evenly spreads the barium around your upper digestive tract and lets the X-ray take pictures at different angles.