How Are Peptic Ulcers Treated
Treatment will depend on the type of ulcer you have. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on what is causing your ulcer.
Treatment can include making lifestyle changes, taking medicines, or in some cases having surgery.
Lifestyle changes may include:
- Not eating certain foods. Avoid any foods that make your symptoms worse.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking can keep your ulcer from healing. It is also linked to ulcers coming back after treatment.
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine. They can make your symptoms worse.
- Not using NSAIDs . These include aspirin and ibuprofen.
Medicines to treat ulcers may include:
- Antibiotics. These bacteria-fighting medicines are used to kill the H. pylori bacteria. Often a mix of antibiotics and other medicines is used to cure the ulcer and get rid of the infection.
- H2-blockers . These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These lower stomach acid levels and protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum.
- Mucosal protective agents. These medicines protect the stomach’s mucus lining from acid damage so that it can heal.
- Antacids. These quickly weaken or neutralize stomach acid to ease your symptoms.
In most cases, medicines can heal ulcers quickly. Once the H. pylori bacteria is removed, most ulcers do not come back.
Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers In Women
Symptoms of heartburn that will usually be experienced by people, among others:
- Bloating of the upper abdomen
- Heat in the upper abdomen
- Pain in the liver and in the middle of the chest that appears when or after eating
- Instantly feel complete when ingesting and protracted satiety after eating.
Frequent stomach ulcers are usually characterized by symptoms of heat in the chest due to the rise of stomach acid to the esophagus. Stress also brings the impact to be more negative for people with stomach ulcers.
How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will look at your past health and give you a physical exam. You may also have some tests.
Imaging tests used to diagnose ulcers include:
- Upper GI series or barium swallow. This test looks at the organs of the top part of your digestive system. It checks your food pipe , stomach, and the first part of the small intestine . You will swallow a metallic fluid called barium. Barium coats the organs so that they can be seen on an X-ray.
- Upper endoscopy or EGD . This test looks at the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It uses a thin lighted tube called an endoscope. The tube has a camera at one end. The tube is put into your mouth and throat. Then it goes into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Your health care provider can see the inside of these organs. A small tissue sample can be taken. This can be checked for H. pylori.
You may also have the following lab tests to see if you have an H. pylori infection:
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Foods To Avoid With An Ulcer
When you have an ulcer, it is important to avoid foods that can worsen it or cause increased pain. Common examples include:
- Herbs and spices
- Probiotic-rich foods
Coffee has long been believed to make ulcers worse. Because coffee is acidic, it may exacerbate the pain caused by an ulcer. Talk with your healthcare provider about coffee and ask if there is a safe amount to enjoy while the ulcer heals.
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What Is The Treatment For Stomach Ulcers
The choice of treatment depends on whether or not the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori. Correct diagnosis is key to whether a treatment works or not. If the bacteria are the cause, treatment focuses on killing the infection. Regardless of whether the bacteria are the cause, reducing acid in the stomach is another important focus of treatment.
The following treatments are recommended for ulcers:
- Lifestyle changes: Quit smoking, avoid alcohol, aspirin, and NSAIDs
- Acid-blocking medications
- Medications that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum
- “Triple-therapy” or “dual-therapy” regimens for ulcers caused by H pylori
No single medication works to get rid of H pylori infection. Two combinations have been found that work well in most people.
These treatments are generally given for two weeks.
Once H pylori bacteria are eradicated from a person’s digestive tract, usually it will not come back. The ulcers usually heal completely and do not return.
Treatment for bleeding ulcers depends on the severity of blood loss and includes:
It is important to remember that treatment may not work if the diagnosis is not correct. If the doctor diagnoses an ulcer, it is important to determine whether the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori.
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What Are Stomach And Intestinal Ulcers In Dogs
Gastrointestinal ulcers are an erosion of one or more layers of the stomach or small intestines. Gastric, or stomach ulcers are the most common, followed by ulcers in the first part of the small intestines, called the duodenum.
During digestion, the stomach secretes harsh gastric acids and enzymes, which start breaking down food in the stomach to extract nutrients. To protect against these corrosive stomach juices, the stomach is lined with a mucosal barrier. If this barrier breaks down, the stomach lining will gradually erode, causing ulcers.
Ulcers vary in severity. Erosions may wear through a few layers or may create a hole through the stomach wall . Perforating ulcers are the most dangerous because holes in the gastrointestinal tract allow the stomachs contents to spill into the abdominal cavity. Ulcers can affect the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems which leads to sepsis.
Ulcers Can Lead To Internal Bleeding And Death
Stomach ulcers must be treated because they can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening conditions. Ulcers can bleed, and often the bleeding isnt immediately noticeable. If the bleeding becomes severe, it can be potentially fatal.
Further, its possible for an ulcer to perforate the stomach wall completely, leaking the contents of your stomach into your abdominal cavity. This is a critical condition that can result in widespread infection in the abdomen, called peritonitis. The infection can spread to your bloodstream , which can lead to organ failure or death. You have to address these issues. Again, the first step is to go to your doctor.
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Think About The Food You Eat
There are certain types of foods that will require more stomach acid than others. This is especially the case with fats and proteins.
While your body needs them, it doesnt need as much as you would think. To start with, protein is an excellent way to keep you feeling fuller. It breaks down slowly and is used up by the body over the course of a few hours. If you eat too much, your stomach must work harder to break it down, and that means creating more stomach acid.
When eating any type of protein, take a break half way through your meal. Determine if you really need to eat the rest, by listening to your stomach and not what your brain is telling you based on sight. If youre still hungry, eat a little more and take another break.
The breaks dont just give your stomach a chance to tell your brain that youre full. These breaks will give your stomach a chance to break down the food that youve eaten. As it breaks down some of it, the stomach creates room for the next amount that you will eat. This allows the stomach acid levels to remain the same.
Fatty food tends to add to the acid in the stomach. When youve had heartburn, youve likely found that it is made worse by anything fatty, and that includes healthy fats!
Lifestyle Changes To Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Certain lifestyle factors can affect your risk of stomach ulcers. To prevent ulcers in the future, start making these lifestyle changes today:
- Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol increases the risk of H. pylori infection.
- Quit smoking: Smoking raises your risk of stomach ulcers.
- Exercise daily: Regular physical activity has been linked to a lower risk of stomach ulcers.
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How Long To Take It For
If you buy pantoprazole from a pharmacy, you can usually take it for up to 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks:
- if your symptoms have improved, you can take it for another 2 weeks
- if your symptoms have not improved or they are worse, speak to a doctor before taking any more pantoprazole
Do not take pantoprazole for more than 4 weeks without speaking to your doctor first. If your symptoms have not improved, you may need some tests to find out what’s causing them.
If you take pantoprazole on prescription, you may only need to take it for a few weeks or months, depending on your condition. Sometimes your doctor may advise you to take it for longer, even for many years.
Some people do not need to take pantoprazole every day and take it only when they have symptoms. Once you feel better , you can stop taking it.
Taking pantoprazole just on days when you have symptoms is not suitable for everyone. Speak to your doctor about what’s best for you.
Causes Of Stomach Ulcers
- Regular consumption of spicy food
- Taking too many painkillers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
- Family history of stomach ulcers
- Liver, kidney, or lung disease
- Traces of blood in your vomit or vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
- Anemia and its associated symptoms such as weakness or fatigue
- Burning or gnawing pain in the stomach, especially between meals or at night
- Dark or black stool
- Unexplained weight loss
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Home Remedies For Peptic Ulcer Raw Beetroots
Raw beetroots will help to flush out toxins and bacteria due to their powerful source of stomach cleansing anti-oxidants. For best results, you use fresh beetroot to make a juice or a salad.
12. Vitamin E Rich Foods
Foods rich in vitamin E are good for healing ulcers quickly. They include squash, pumpkin, fish, spinach, olive oil and tofu.
What Causes Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers form when digestive juices damage the walls of the stomach or small intestine. If the mucus layer gets too thin or your stomach makes too much acid, your gut will feel it. The two major causes are:
- Bacteria. Itâs called Helicobacter pylori , and as many as half of us carry it. Most people infected with H. pylori do not get ulcers. But in others, it can raise the amount of acid, break down the protective mucus layer, and irritate the digestive tract. Experts arenât sure how H. pylori infection spreads. They think it may pass from person to person through close contact, like kissing. You may also get it from unclean food and water.
- Certain pain relievers. If youâve been taking aspirin often and for a long time, youâre more likely to get a peptic ulcer. The same is true for other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . They include ibuprofen and naproxen. NSAIDs block your body from making a chemical that helps protect the inner walls of your stomach and small intestine from stomach acid. Other types of pain meds, such as acetaminophen, wonât lead to peptic ulcers.
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol also can make you more likely to get ulcers. Stress and eating a lot of spicy food donât cause ulcers, as experts once thought. But they can make ulcers worse and harder to treat.
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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Peptic Ulcers
- If you suspect you may have a peptic ulcer, you may first be diagnosed by your family practitioner or internist.
- Children or teenagers may see a pediatrician.
- For further treatment you will likely be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the digestive tract.
- If you have an emergency such as vomiting or severe abdominal pain you will be seen by an emergency medicine specialist in an emergency room.
- In the rare case where surgery is needed, you may see a general surgeon.
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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Causes And Risk Factors Of Peptic Ulcers
For a long time, it was believed that spicy foods or stress led to peptic ulcers but doctors now know that this isnt the case.
In fact, the most common causes of ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, Advil or Motrin , and Aleve , which can wear away at the mucus layer of the digestive tract
Certain factors can put a person at a greater risk of developing a peptic ulcer, including:
- Taking high doses of NSAIDs
- Using NSAIDs continuously over a long period of time
- Having a history of ulcer disease
- Taking corticosteroids, medications that may be prescribed to treat asthma, arthritis, or lupus
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.
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Who Can And Cannot Take Pantoprazole
Adults and children aged 12 years and over can take pantoprazole.
Pantoprazole is not suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to pantoprazole or any other medicine
- have liver problems
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
- are due to have an endoscopy
If you’re going to have an endoscopy, ask your doctor if you should stop taking pantoprazole a few weeks before your procedure. This is because pantoprazole may hide some of the problems that would usually be spotted during an endoscopy.
What Natural Home Remedies Help Peptic Ulcer Pain
Home care for peptic ulcers often centers on neutralizing the stomach acid.
- Donât smoke, and avoid coffee and alcohol. These habits increase gastric acid production and weaken the mucosal barrier of the GI tract promoting ulcer formation and slowing ulcer healing.
- Donât take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acetaminophen is a good substitute for some conditions. If acetaminophen doesnât help, talk to your health-care professional about alternatives.
- If your symptoms are mild, try an over-the-counter antacid or nonprescription histamine blocker to neutralize stomach acid. Usually stronger prescription medications are needed.
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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
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 .
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When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult a doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.
Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness and breathlessness, may signal a slow-bleeding ulcer. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem, as people may vomit up blood, or stools are black and sticky.
Perforation 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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