What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
Peptic Ulcers: What Are The Symptoms
The symptoms of peptic ulcers, which comprise gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers, can vary from person to person and with the location of the ulcer. You may have an ulcer without experiencing any symptoms, have obvious symptoms, or experience a complication, such as bleeding or perforation.
Headaches And Dizziness Can Be Caused By Complicated Stomach Ulcers
Peptic ulcer disease can result in internal bleeding
Anemia will develop if the blood loss is severe enough. Anemia frequently causes headaches and dizziness.
Symptoms of peptic ulcer bleeding include:
- Stomach ache that is new or intensifying.
- Blood vomiting .
- Rapid heartbeats
- Low blood pressure symptoms include fainting, acute dizziness, and perhaps a coma.
Stomach ulcers can result in continuous little blood loss. This type of prolonged blood loss does not result in obvious hematemesis or melena. Anemia is the sole symptom of persistent blood loss.
Anemia can cause stomach ulcers, headaches, and dizziness.
Stomach bleeding is a medical emergency. If you suffer any of the aforementioned symptoms, contact your doctor right once.
Read Also: Does Lung Cancer Cause Stomach Pain
You May Like: How To Heal An Ulcer In Your Stomach
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: Foods To Eat When You Have An Ulcer
What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
Endoscopy. An upper endoscopy exam is expedient because allows healthcare providers to see inside your digestive tract and also take a tissue sample to analyze in the lab. The test is done by passing a thin tube with a tiny camera attached down your throat and into your stomach and duodenum. Youll have medication to numb your throat and help you relax during the test. Your healthcare provider may use the endoscope to take a tissue sample to test for signs of mucous damage, anemia, H. pylori infection or malignancy. If they take a sample, you wont feel it.
Imaging tests. Imaging tests to look inside the stomach and small intestine include:
- Upper GI series. An upper GI X-ray exam examines the stomach and duodenum through X-rays. Its less invasive than an endoscopy. For the X-ray, youll swallow a chalky fluid called barium, which will coat your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The barium helps your digestive organs show up better in black and white images.
- CT scan. Your healthcare provider might recommend a CT scan if they need to see your organs in more detail. A CT scan can show complications such as a perforation in the stomach or intestinal wall. For the test, youll lie on a table inside a scanner machine while X-rays are taken. You may drink or have an injection with contrast fluid to make your organs show up better in images.
Tests for H. pylori. Your healthcare provider might want to test you separately for H. pylori infection. Tests may include:
Other Causes Of Peptic Ulcers
- Genetics: A significant number of individuals with peptic ulcers have close relatives with the same problem, suggesting that genetic factors may be involved.
- Smoking: People who regularly smoke tobacco are more likely to develop peptic ulcers when compared with non-smokers.
- Alcohol consumption: Regular heavy drinkers of alcohol have a higher risk of developing peptic ulcers.
- Corticosteroid use: People on large or chronic doses of corticosteroids are also at greater risk.
- Mental stress: This stress has not been linked to the development of new peptic ulcers, but symptoms appear to be more severe in people with ulcers who are experiencing ongoing mental stress.
A patientâs description of symptoms will normally cause a doctor to suspect a peptic ulcer.
Tests that can confirm a diagnosis include:
- a blood test to check for H. pylori, though a positive test does not always mean there is an active infection
- a breath test, using a radioactive carbon atom to detect H. pylori
- a stool antigen test to detect H. pylori in the feces
- an upper gastrointestinal X-ray to identify ulcers
An endoscopy may also be used. This involves a long, narrow tube with a camera attached to the end is threaded down the patientâs throat and into the stomach and duodenum. This is the best diagnostic test.
Read Also: Foam Dressings For Leg Ulcers
Complications Associated With Untreated Ulcers
Oral medications help to accelerate ulcer healing. However, without treatment, there is a risk of ulcer complication and non-healing. While most ulcers will remain uncomplicated, 2%4% have serious complications such as perforation and bleeding.
Perforation is suggested by sudden, severe abdominal pain that may spontaneously improve. The patient may also experience low blood pressure. Examination of the abdomen will generally yield a rigid and tight abdomen that is tender diffusely.
Youve Had Unexplained Vomiting
From time to time, the nausea brought on by ulcers may become so intense that it could actually cause you to vomit. Frequent vomiting is never a fun experience, but whatever you do, stay away from medications like ibuprofen and aspirin when treating the condition and other ulcer symptoms. According to Dr. Sengupta, these over-the-counter pain medications actually put you at a higher risk of developing ulcers, and can make your current ulcers worse.
Read Also: What Are The Signs Of Having A Stomach Ulcer
You Have Pain Specifically In Your Upper Abdomen
One of the most common ulcer symptoms is a severe pain in the upper abdomen, according to Neil Sengupta, MD, a gastroenterology specialist at the University of Chicago. Ulcers can develop anywhere in the upper digestive track, but Dr. Sengupta says we often think about those occurring in the stomach or small intestine, where we feel pain. This pain usually occurs between the breastbone and belly button, and can bring on a burning, aching, or dull feeling. The sensation may begin as a light, mild pain but often progresses into something more serious as the ulcers develop.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Vomiting blood or dark material that looks like coffee grounds
- Extreme weakness or dizziness
- Blood in your stools
- Nausea or vomiting that doesnt get better, or gets worse
- A sudden, severe pain that may spread to your back
- Losing weight without even trying
Untreated peptic ulcers may cause other health problems. Sometimes they bleed. If they become too deep, they can break through your stomach.
Ulcers can also keep food from going through your stomach.
Recommended Reading: Ulcerative Colitis Back Pain Treatment
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.
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
Read Also: What Foods To Avoid With Ulcerative Colitis
You Have Heartburn At Most Meals
If you find yourself experiencing frequent heartburn, regardless of what you eat, an ulcer may be responsible. Many patients with ulcers describe feeling very intense chest pain, which often causes them to burp or hiccup more than usual after eating. In many cases, a simple over-the-counter antacid can be taken to temporarily alleviate some of the pain and gassiness, but if it persists day after day, its likely something more than a regular case of heartburn.
What Is The Cause Of Peptic Ulcers
When you eat, your stomach produces hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin to digest the food.
- The food is partially digested in the stomach and then moves on to the duodenum to continue the process.
- Peptic ulcers occur when the acid and enzyme overcome the defense mechanisms of the gastrointestinal tract and erode the mucosal wall.
- Now it is understood that people with ulcers have an imbalance between acid and pepsin coupled with the digestive tract’s inability to protect itself from these harsh substances.
- Research done in the 1980s showed that some ulcers are caused by infection with a bacterium named Helicobacter pylori, usually called H pylori.
- Not everyone who gets an ulcer is infected with H pylori. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ulcers if taken regularly.
Some types of medical therapy can contribute to ulcer formation. The following factors can weaken the protective mucosal barrier of the stomach increasing the chances of getting an ulcer and slow the healing of existing ulcers.
- Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and newer anti-inflammatory medications
- Radiation therapy:-used for diseases such as cancer
People who take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications are at an increased risk even if they do not have H pylori infection.
Read Also: Is Green Tea Good For Ulcers
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 To Do About Chest Pain And Dizziness
Clearly, all of the medical conditions that include chest pain and dizziness as a symptom are difficult to self-diagnose. To a lay person, it may be hard to tell the difference between GERD, anxiety, and angina.
Dr. Lee runs specialized tests to quickly and accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms and get you started on a treatment plan.
Often, you only need lifestyle changes like losing weight, cleaning up your diet, and quitting some unhealthy habits. But if you need more advanced care, Dr. Lee is the expert you can trust.
Dont Miss: What Can I Use To Tighten My Stomach Skin
You May Like: Can You Donate Blood If You Have Ulcerative Colitis
Do You Have A Stomach Ulcer
If you suspect that you have a stomach ulcer, it is beyond important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As you can tell from the symptoms listed above, things can only get worse if your ulcer goes untreated. Call the experts at West Gastroenterology in Los Angeles today and make an appointment!
8110 Airport Boulevard, 2nd FloorLos Angeles,CA90045
25495 Medical Center Drive, Suite 302Murrieta,CA92562
311 Haigh Road, Suite 200Newbury Park,CA91320
482 South Main Street Corona,CA92882
When Should I Go To Er
Seek emergency care if you have:
- Severe pain that doesnt go away.
- Signs of blood in your poop or bloody vomit.
- Signs of severe blood loss, such as paleness and faintness.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Stomach ulcers are common and treatable, but they should be taken seriously. Even when they dont cause symptoms, they arent a good sign. A stomach ulcer means that your natural stomach acid is overwhelming your protective stomach lining. Thats a situation that can only get worse if it isnt managed. Lifestyle changes may help, but youll still need to treat the underlying cause. Its probably either NSAID use or a common bacterial infection. Your healthcare provider can help prescribe the right medicines for your condition.
Don’t Miss: How To Heal Mouth Ulcers
How Does H Pylori Cause Ulcers
Although many people naturally carry H. pylori, it is not clear why the bacteria only cause ulcers in some people. H. pylori spread through food and water. They live in the mucus that coats the lining of the stomach and duodenum, and they produce urease, an enzyme that neutralizes stomach acid by making it less acidic.
To compensate for this, the stomach produces more acid, and this irritates the stomach lining. The bacteria also weaken the defense system of the stomach and causes inflammation. Patients with peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori need treatment to get rid of the bacterium from the stomach, and to prevent them coming back.
What Causes Peptic Ulcer Disease
The main cause is the bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori . Another common cause is long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. In rare cases, the disease can be caused by cancerous and noncancerous tumors. A less common cause is a rare disorder called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Peptic Ulcer
Can Peptic Ulcer Disease Be Prevented Or Avoided
Stress and spicy foods dont cause ulcers. However, they can make them worse. Smoking and alcohol can cause a peptic ulcer. Men should limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per day. Women should have no more than 1 drink per day. Talk to your doctor if you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen regularly.
How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning
- Reduce NSAID use, if possible. Consider whether acetaminophen might substitute. If you take NSAIDs for medical reasons, talk to your doctor about reducing your dosage or switching your medication. Your doctor may also prescribe another medicine to take with NSAIDs to protect your stomach lining.
- Reduce other irritants that may contribute to too much stomach acid or erode your stomach lining, including smoking and alcohol use.
- Take an H. pylori breath test to find out if you have an overgrowth of the bacteria.
You May Like: Alternatives To Humira For Ulcerative Colitis
Can Stomach Ulcer Cause Dizziness And Headache
Theopen sore of stomach ulcer has a number of signs and symptoms, though sometimesit could also be asymptomatic . As theopen sore progresses, it would become severe so would the symptoms. The symptomsusually improve for a while with antacid or when you eat foods that can bufferyour stomach acid. Can the disease also cause dizziness and headache?
H Pylori Infection And Migraines
Its not clear exactly what causes migraines, but more and more, research is showing that the gastrointestinal system may play a big role. Many GI disorders are found to co-occur with migraine, one of the most common of which is Helicobacter pylori infection.
A migraine attack is a debilitating, neurological condition that impacts your functioning, in addition to inflicting pain. While your GI tract may seem completely unrelated, the possible migraine/H. pylori connection is just one more example of the many ways in which experts are linking overall health to gut health.
Read Also: What Helps Your Stomach Stop Hurting
Recommended Reading: Removing Colon Due To Ulcerative Colitis