Sunday, July 14, 2024

How Do I Know If I Have A Stomach Ulcer

Must read

Are There Foods I Should Avoid If I Have A Stomach Ulcer

Understanding Ulcers: How Do You Know If You Have One? Dr. Berg

Interestingly, there is no specific diet that a person with ulcers needs to follow. The current recommendations are less about the foods you should avoid and more about foods that will help you lessen the risk of developing an ulcer in the first place.

If youve developed a stomach ulcer or are at risk of developing one, you should include more of these foods in your diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables that are full of antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory
  • Nuts, halibut, and yellowfin tuna, which all have selenium to enhance your ability to heal
  • Probiotics that have active bacterial properties, such as yogurt, to improve digestion
  • Spinach, oysters, and beef, which contain zinc to help you maintain a healthy immune system

Plenty of water, leafy greens, and fermented probiotic foods have all clinically been shown to help lessen your risk of developing ulcers. During the holiday season, you will want to take additional care of yourself and pay attention to your stress levels. Talk with your doctor about whether adding a probiotic supplement could also help you.

On the other hand, if you have acid reflux in addition to a stomach ulcer, there are foods that may trigger your acid reflux. In these instances, its a good idea to avoid alcohol and coffee, as well as spicy and acidic foods, which could cause your discomfort to increase.

Diagnosis And Tests For A Stomach Ulcer

If you regularly have stomach ulcer symptoms, make an appointment with your GP, who may refer you to a consultant. If your GP or consultant suspects you have a stomach ulcer, theyll arrange a range of tests, which may include:

  • A blood test to check for anaemia and that your liver and pancreas are healthy
  • A stool sample, biopsy, blood or breath test to check for H. Pylori an infection which can cause stomach ulcers
  • A gastroscopy when a tiny camera films the inside of your digestive system, identifying problems such as stomach ulcers. This is usually done as an outpatient case and you may be given a sedative beforehand
  • A biopsy to check for stomach cancer, which can have a similar appearance to a stomach ulcer

Youll need to have a gastroscopy if you have:

  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Difficulties in swallowing, known as progressive dysphagia
  • Swelling or changes to the shape of your abdomen due to an epigastric mass

If youre over the age of 55, your doctor may recommend a gastroscopy if you have:

  • Had a stomach ulcer or gastric surgery previously
  • A condition called pernicious anaemia
  • A family history of gastric carcinoma

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.

You May Like:

Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Beer With Ulcerative Colitis

How Do You Know If You Have A Stomach Ulcer

If you have a stomach ulcer, you may have:

  • Burning/dull pain or gnawing pain in the center of your tummy
  • Pain that worsens between meals
  • Vomiting in the middle of the night

Visit the doctor/gastroenterologist if you

  • Vomit blood that is bright red or dark brown
  • Are passing dark, sticky, tar-like poo
  • Have sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets worse steadily
  • These could be the signs of internal bleeding, and this can be fatal.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Peptic Ulcer Disease

What is the Difference Between Gastritis and an Ulcer?

An ulcer left untreated may cause serious complications, including:

  • Internal bleeding: While most people with ulcers wont have bleeding, this is the most common complication that can occur. A slow bleeding ulcer can cause anemia or even severe blood loss.
  • Perforation: An ulcer that is continuously eroded by acid can eventually become a hole in the stomach or intestinal wall. This is intensely painful and also dangerous. It allows bacteria from the digestive tract to enter the abdominal cavity, which can lead to an infection of the abdominal cavity called peritonitis. From there, the infection is at risk of spreading to the rest of the body . This can lead to a life-threatening condition called .
  • Obstruction: An ulcer in the pyloric channel, the narrow passageway that leads from the stomach into the duodenum, can become an obstruction that blocks the flow of food into the small intestine. This can happen after the ulcer has healed. Ulcers that have gone through a healing process may build up scar tissue that enlarges them. An ulcer that is big enough to obstruct the small intestine can stall the digestive process, with numerous side effects.
  • Stomach cancer: Some gastric ulcers can become malignant over time. This is more likely when your ulcer is caused by H. pylori infection. H. pylori is a contributing cause of gastric cancer, though fortunately, this is uncommon.

Read Also: Do Ulcers Hurt All The Time

Mayo Clinic Q And A: How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Last year,I was diagnosed with heartburn due to a peptic ulcer. My doctor suggested that I see a specialist. Who should I see, and what type of treatment is available?

ANSWER: Many people will note that they have âheartburn,â and it is important to know that such a symptom could be related to one of several issues in the digestive tract, including peptic ulcer disease. This is where visiting with a health care professional who specializes in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract a gastroenterologist can help.

Once diagnosed and treated, ulcers usually heal within several months. But a gastroenterologist can help you find the underlying cause of your ulcer and decide on the best treatment going forward.

A peptic ulcer is an open sore on the inside lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers are not rare, and their frequency can depend on age, gender, other medical issues, medications and geography.

Itâs possible to have a peptic ulcer and not have any symptoms, although they may cause stomach pain. In some people, a peptic ulcer isnât identified until they experience symptoms related to a complication from an ulcer, such as bleeding or a hole in the lining of the stomach or bowel.

H. pylori is a bacterium that can live in the mucous layer covering the lining of the stomach. It doesnât always lead to health problems, but it can sometimes trigger inflammation of the stomachâs inner layer, producing an ulcer.

What Are Some Ulcer Symptoms

Some people with ulcers dont experience any symptoms. But signs of an ulcer can include:

  • Gnawing or burning pain in your middle or upper stomach between meals or at night.
  • Pain that temporarily disappears if you eat something or take an antacid.

In severe cases, symptoms can include:

  • Dark or black stool .
  • Severe pain in your mid- to upper abdomen.

Recommended Reading: What To Put On Leg Ulcers

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.

Can Stomach Ulcers Just Go Away

How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer In My Stomach?

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.

Read Also: Foods To Stay Away From With Ulcerative Colitis

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.

Donât Miss: What Does An Ulcerative Colitis Flare Up Feel Like

What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like

Stomach ulcer pain usually begins in the upper-middle parts of the abdomen, above the belly button, and below the breastbone. Heartburn covers a broader area and tends to be higher in the chest. The pain is often very similar to heartburn and may feel like burning or gnawing that may go through to the back. The onset of the pain may occur several hours after a meal when the stomach is empty.

You could have heartburn and ulcer pain at the same time. Pain may vary from a few minutes to several hours. Usually, people complain that their heartburn is worse at night. It can be relieved with foods, antacids, or even vomiting. If you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent any complications. These symptoms could only worsen with time if your ulcer goes untreated. Getting these symptoms diagnosed by a trained gastroenterologist for timely treatment is crucial for your overall health.

Recommended Reading: How To Know If You Have An Ulcer

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.

Is Banana Good For Ulcer

11 Signs You Have a Stomach Ulcer and Natural Remedies

Both raw and ripe bananas are found to be very beneficial in curing stomach ulcer. There are certain antibacterial compounds in bananas that inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori. Bananas are best to clear out the acidity of gastric juices that lowers the inflammation and strengthens the stomach lining.

Recommended Reading: Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment Ointment

Don’t Miss: Honey Dressings For Leg Ulcers

Good News About Stomach Ulcers From The Cdc Website

Twenty-five million Americans suffer from ulcers. An ulcer is a sore or hole in the lining of the stomach or duodenum . People of any age can get an ulcer and women are affected just as often as men.

  • Your doctor can test you for H. pylori infection.
  • Antibiotics are the new cure for ulcers.
  • Eliminating H. pylori infections with antibiotics means that your ulcer can be cured for good.

Burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach area lasting between 30 minutes and 3 hours commonly accompanies ulcers. This pain can be misinterpreted as hunger, indigestion or heartburn. Pain is usually caused by the ulcer but it may be aggravated by the stomach acid when it comes into contact with the ulcerated area.

Presence Of Blood In Stool

When the person uses the toilet, he may experience and be surprised with the presence of a blood in the stool discharge. It is one of the most well-known symptoms of a bleeding ulcer.

If the person goes for a long call of nature and notices dark red traces of blood in the feces, he should seek medical assistance. Blood traces in the stool of a given individual is reasonable enough to believe that he may be experiencing a problem of bleeding ulcers within the digestive track.

It is important to note that blood in the stool is an indicative sign and symptom of internal bleeding ulcers that needs to be confirmed through examinations by a medical professional.

Recommended Reading: Homeopathic Medicine For Ulcerative Colitis In Hindi

You May Like: Gluten Free Diet For Ulcerative Colitis

Treatment Of Peptic Ulcers

Its really important to get the right treatment if youre diagnosed with a peptic ulcer. If treated properly, duodenal ulcers will heal in around four weeks and stomach ulcers in eight.

Treating the underlying cause lowers the chance of your ulcer coming back. This usually means getting rid of the H. pylori or stopping taking NSAIDs.

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy And Biopsy

Do I have a stomach ulcer?

In an upper GI endoscopy, a gastroenterologist, surgeon, or other trained health care professional uses an endoscope to see inside your upper GI tract. This procedure takes place at a hospital or an outpatient center.

An intravenous needle will be placed in your arm to provide a sedative. Sedatives help you stay relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure can be performed without sedation. You will be given a liquid anesthetic to gargle or spray anesthetic on the back of your throat. The doctor will carefully feed the endoscope down your esophagus and into your stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope sends a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the lining of your upper GI tract. The endoscope pumps air into your stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see.

The doctor may perform a biopsy with the endoscope by taking a small piece of tissue from the lining of your esophagus. You wont feel the biopsy. A pathologist examines the tissue in a lab.

You May Like: Is Celery Good For Ulcerative Colitis

Is Your Persistent Stomach Pain An Ulcer

Its normal to have a stomachache every now and then. Maybe you ate something that isnt agreeing with you or youre having a stressful day. These run-of-the-mill pains usually resolve on their own or with basic treatment.

But if you experience daily abdominal pain, or pain that comes and goes frequently, you could have a more serious problem, such as a peptic ulcer.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Test For An Ulcer In The Stomach

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
  • 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.

Also Check: Signs Of A Bleeding Stomach Ulcer

How Peptic Ulcer Disease Is Diagnosed

Elizabeth Barnes, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders, type 2 diabetes, and heart health. She works primarily with clients with eating disorders and disordered eating to help them mend their relationship with food and their bodies and is based in North Carolina.

Peptic ulcer disease are sores that develop on the lining of your stomach or small intestine. There are several ways to diagnose peptic ulcer disease, ranging from blood tests, stool testing, an endoscopy, and an upper gastrointestinal series.

Verywell / Ellen Lindner

Nsaid Drugs And Stomach Ulcers

Foods That Heal Ulcers

A group of painkillers known as NSAIDs carries a risk of stomach ulcers. The two best-known NSAIDs are aspirin and ibuprofen.

The risk of ulcers increases if the drugs are taken in high doses, or regularly for a long time.

Stronger NSAIDs, such as those that need a prescription, are riskier for stomach ulcers than those that can be bought over-the-counter .

People should always check labels and talk to a pharmacist or a doctor about any concerns with using painkillers. They may recommend an alternative such as acetaminophen.

Read Also: Foods To Eat If Have Ulcer

How Do You Know If You Have An Ulcer

You may not if the sore is just opening and youâre symptom-free, said Dr. Rajapaksa. But when an ulcer forms and deepens into the stomach lining, youâll feel it, she says. Common symptoms include burning pain and nausea, even vomiting in some cases. âYou may also feel a gnawing feeling of hunger,â said Dr. Rajapaksa. âPeople with ulcers tend to feel a little bit better after they eat because food almost helps coat the stomach.â

If you notice these signs, Dr. Rajapaksa recommends seeing your healthcare provider a.s.a.p. âCertainly if youâre vomiting blood, I would hope that everyone knows to immediately go to the hospital,â said Dr. Rajapaksa. âBut even if youâre having other symptoms at home and you suspect you have an ulcer, I would suggest you get it diagnosed instead of trying to wait it out, or seeing if the pain goes away.â

According to the National Library of Medicine, your health care provider can check if you have an H. pylori infection by testing your blood, breath, or stool. Your provider also may look inside your stomach and duodenum by doing an endoscopy or x-ray. Though ulcers cannot be diagnosed with an x-ray test, the test may detect perforation due to an ulcer.

More articles

Popular Articles