How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
It’s not known exactly how common stomach ulcers are. They have become much less common since the 1980s because of much more effective treatments. So people with stomach ulcers now usually get better much more quickly.
The term ‘peptic ulcer’ is used to describe ulcers that are caused by too much acid in the stomach. This includes stomach ulcers and also ulcers in the first part of the gut known as the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are less common than duodenal ulcers.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Stomach Ulcers
Blood and stool tests can help confirm the presence of H. pylori bacteria and can indicate the presence of a stomach ulcer. An endoscopy can help evaluate the ulcer and a Barium contrast X-ray can determine the severity and size of the ulcer present. Antibiotics help to get rid of the H. pylori infection, and medications that inhibit the production of gastric acids can promote healing of gastric ulcers.
Stomach ulcers have a tendency to recur even after they have been treated completely. Its best to abstain from spicy food, smoking and alcohol to avoid recurrence. Drugs such as NSAIDs and aspirin should only be taken after a discussion with the doctor.
How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
- Theyâll feel your belly and ask if youâve had things like tenderness, pain, or bloating. They might use a stethoscope to listen to any sounds your stomach is making.
- The next step will be tests to look for signs of the H. pylori bacteria. Your doctor may take samples of your blood, stool, or breath for these.
- In some cases, especially if youâre older and your symptoms include things like weight loss or loss of appetite, they might use a long, flexible tube to look down your throat and into your stomach for signs of an ulcer. An endoscope can also take a small sample of tissue from an ulcer that can be tested in a laboratory.
- They might ask you to drink a milky liquid called barium before they take X-rays of your stomach. This drink coats your digestive system and makes problems like ulcers show up more clearly.
Also Check: Why Do You Get Mouth Ulcers
Peptic Ulcer Disease Treatment
Your doctor may begin by prescribing medicine. Your doctor may suggest other treatments for other causes.
If you have H. pylori, your doctor will treat the infection with triple therapy. This is a combination of 2 antibiotics and bismuth subsalicylate . H. pylori can be stubborn. Take all your medicine as prescribed.
Your doctor may recommend medicines to neutralize your stomach acid. This will protect the lining in your stomach, too. These include:
- Protein pump inhibitors. This includes esomeprazole or lansoprazole .
- Histamine receptor blockers. This includes famotidine .
- Cytoprotective agents. This includes sucralfate .
If NSAIDs cause your ulcer, you may need to stop or reduce the amount you take. You may need to switch to another type of medicine for pain.
Dr Ed Whats The Bottom Line
- Spicy foods are healthy.
- Spicy foods dont cause ulcers, but be careful if you have irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, or inflammatory bowel disease . Basically, if spicy foods give you stomach pain, think before you eat.
- Spicy foods dont cause hemorrhoids, but you may feel the burn if you have anal fissures.
- Dont get spicy foods in your eyes.
- Use gloves if handling super hot peppers.
- Regarding ridiculously spicy foods with warning labels, eat them at your own risk. Fellas, that ghost pepper sauce almost burned off my chest hairs from the insiderespect it.
This article was originally published on The Docs Kitchen.
Also Check: Ulcerative Colitis How Much Blood Is Too Much
Treatment For Bad Breath Due To Ulcers
The best way to get rid of bad breath is by determining its root cause. No matter how hard you try to improve your poor oral hygiene, the foul odor will never go away if its mainly because of stomach cancer or other health issues.
To effectively diagnose the cause of your bad breath, be warier of the smell of your breath. This will help you describe the symptoms to the doctor and eventually guide them in finding the best solutions.
For example, if you notice that your stomach is being sensitive to particular foods, then your bad breath is most likely due to stomach acid. But if the smell of your breath is somehow close to the scent of ammonia, kidney infection might be the reason behind it. Take note of these things and explain them clearly to your doctor during your checkup. Your doctor will come up with the best solution if they understood your situation distinctly.
Common Digestive Disorders That Cause Weight Loss
Not all people want to lose weight. There are some who keep on shedding the pounds even though they are eating right or eating more than they are used to. More often than not, digestive problems bring about this unexplained weight loss which can be bothersome to people who experience it.
If you are suffering from such problems, then make sure to read more about the following digestive problems that cause weight loss and what you can do about it.
You May Like: Triderma Diabetic Ulcer Defense Healing Cream
How Are Abdominal Pain And Unintentional Weight Loss Treated
Abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss treatments can vary because their causes vary. Your doctor will try to determine the underlying cause. However, in the meantime, they may prescribe medication to help control your symptoms.
If a virus is causing your symptoms, antibiotics wont improve your symptoms because antibiotics are not effective against viruses.
If your abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss are due to a parasite, your doctor will determine the appropriate medication to kill the parasite.
Counseling can improve symptoms caused by stress and anxiety. Getting more rest and exercise may also help.
Tenderness Of The Stomach
Having developed a bleeding stomach ulcer, the person may feel a little tenderness over the area where the ulcer is located, say the belly. When the condition is taken to the doctor where examination on the point of tenderness is performed, the focal location of the bleeding ulcer will be identified.
The analysis may also support an indication that based on the waste matter discharged, it does originate in the stomach. Rectal bleeding can be ruled out based on the occult blood that is identified in the feces through laboratory tests performed.
The victim may test positive for anemia due to loss of blood resulting from possibly a heavily bleeding ulcer. The doctors usually gather the results paper together and finally tell the victim that the pain, fatigue, and tiresome feeling is a result of a bleeding ulcer.
You May Like: How To Lose Weight With Stomach Ulcers
Treatment Of Ulcers In Horses
Treatment of gastric ulcers in horses may vary depending on the severity of the ulcer. Treatment methods may include:
Specific acid inhibitors may be prescribed to your horse to treat his ulcer. Called Proton pump inhibitors, these prescription medications may be given by your veterinarian to decrease the amount of acid that the stomach is producing.
H2 Blockers are medications that may be chosen by your veterinarian to prescribe to your horse to block any histamine in your horse. Histamine encourages the stomach to produce more acid. Common histamine blockers are ranitidine and cimetidine.
Antacids are effective at blocking or buffering any stomach acid from affecting your horse. Antacids, though, are only effective for a limited amount of time. Your horses stomach is always producing acid, so large amounts are needed of this type of medication. If your horse is a performance horse, antacids may be beneficial to give sporadically, such as on the day of a performance.
Changes in Lifestyle
Effective treatments for ulcers also include making changes to your horses lifestyle. This may include increasing feeding times throughout the day, putting your horse to pasture, lessening his intake of grain, adding supplements, increasing roughage in his diet, and administering probiotics to help his digestion.
Vomiting Undigested Food With Traces Of Fresh Blood
A feeling of sickness with an urge or inclination to vomit may accompany the onset of bleeding stomach ulcers. This may happen in a repeated series of events from one time to another. If a person is affected to the point of displaying vomiting episodes, the vomitus is characterized as undigested food with traces of fresh blood.
The fresh blood content of the vomitus is usually bright red in color. This is a serious symptom that may indicate a person is experiencing a bleeding ulcer. A vomitus with bright red traces of fresh blood specifies that the ulcer is currently bleeding at the moment or has just started bleeding.
- Pavel Petrik, SaulÄ BraÅ¡iÅ¡kienÄ, & EglÄ Petrik . Characteristics and outcomes of gastroduodenal ulcer bleeding: a single-centre experience in Lithuania.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Rodent Ulcers In Cats At Home
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.
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.
Dont Miss: Why Does The Left Side Of My Stomach Hurt
Don’t Miss: Diet For People With Stomach Ulcers
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.
Identifying Peptic Ulcer Pain
It is possible for people to mistake normal stomach pain for ulcer pain, or vice versa. However, typically, the pain from a stomach ulcer feels sharp, burning, or gnawing and stays in one place .
It may also be described as a vague abdominal discomfort, nausea, aching, fullness, pressure, or a hunger sensation, and the symptoms tend to recur in episodes.
Also Check: Ulcerative Colitis And Stomach Pain
What Are Stomach Ulcers
There are two kinds of stomach ulcers: gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are sores on the upper section of your small intestine.
Your body creates a protective layer of mucus to shield the linings of your stomach and small intestine from the harsh stomach acid required to break down food. When the mucus layer is worn away or doesnt function properly, the acid begins to damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine, creating an ulcer. Many people believe spicy foods or stress cause ulcers, but while these can exacerbate existing ulcers, they dont actually cause them.
Ulcers are usually caused by an infection from a common bacteria called helicobacter pylori or from the habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin. Other factors, such as being older than age 50, smoking, genetics, steroid use, and frequent alcohol use, can increase your risk of developing an ulcer.
Can Peptic Ulcers Be Prevented
Doctors arent sure how H. pylori bacteria spread from person to person. The bacteria have been found in saliva , so kissing may be one way. They also may spread through food, water, or contact with vomit thats infected with the bacteria.
Regular use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems and bleeding in some people. Acetaminophen does not cause stomach ulcers and is a good alternative to NSAIDs.
As with many infections, washing your hands well and often is an important part of ulcer prevention. This is extra important after you use the bathroom and before you eat. And take good care of your body by exercising regularly and not smoking or drinking.
Don’t Miss: What Should You Not Eat With An Ulcer
What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer Does It Cause Pain
Ulcers do not always cause symptoms. Sometimes, a serious complication such as bleeding or a sudden, bad upper abdominal pain is the first sign of an ulcer.
The most common symptom of peptic ulcers is abdominal pain.
- The pain is usually in the upper middle part of the abdomen, above the belly button and below the breastbone.
- The ulcer pain can feel like burning, or gnawing, and it may go through to the back.
- Pain often comes several hours after a meal when the stomach is empty.
- The pain is often worse at night and early morning.
- It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
- The ulcer pain may be relieved by food, antacids, or vomiting.
Other symptoms of peptic ulcers include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
Severe ulcers may cause bleeding in the stomach or duodenum. Bleeding is sometimes the only symptom of an ulcer. This bleeding can be fast or slow. Fast bleeding reveals itself in one of the following ways:
- Vomiting of blood or dark material that looks something like coffee grounds: This is an emergency and warrants an immediate visit to an emergency department.
- Blood in the stool or black, tarry, sticky-looking stools
Slow bleeding is often more difficult to detect, because it has no dramatic symptoms.
- The usual result is low blood cell count .
- The symptoms of anemia are tiredness , lack of energy , weakness, rapid heartbeat , and pale skin .
Do Home Remedies Work
Various home remedies may help treat ulcers. However, they have not been established as efficacious treatments by any scientific studies.
While certain herbal supplements, such as Korean red ginseng, ginger, garlic, and aloe vera, have been suggested in the literature to have anti-inflammatory properties, they have not been tested in human subjects yet.
Therefore, you may try these remedies in moderation and with caution only if you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
Don’t Miss: Best Treatment For Stomach Ulcers
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.
How Are They Treated
To treat peptic ulcers, most people need to take medicines that reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. If you have an H. pylori infection, you will also need to take antibiotics.
You can help speed the healing of your ulcer and prevent it from coming back if you quit smoking and limit alcohol. Continued use of medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen may increase the chance of your ulcer coming back.
Ignoring symptoms of an ulcer is not a good idea. This condition needs to be treated. While symptoms can go away for a short time, you may still have an ulcer. Left untreated, an ulcer can cause life-threatening problems. Even with treatment, some ulcers may come back and may need more treatment.
You May Like: Ulcerative Colitis Weakness And Fatigue