Sunday, November 27, 2022

How Do They Diagnose A Stomach Ulcer

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Presence Of Blood In Stool

How a peptic ulcer develops

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.

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Reduce Stress In Daily Life

Stress reduction techniques can help control signs and symptoms. To relieve stress, try:

Identify stressors in your current life. Learn how to manage stress. Exercise, if your doctor confirms its safe, and listening to soothing music can help.

Learn and practice relaxation techniques. May include relaxing breathing, meditation, yoga, and muscle relaxation.

Pursue relaxing activities. Spend time doing things you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports.

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You Bleed When You Use The Bathroom

Blood coming from the gastrointestinal tract can signal a variety of underlying health issues, but Dr. Sengupta says when this bleeding is combined with upper abdominal pain, hes highly suspicious that its one of the signs of an ulcer. Many patients notice this blood either when vomiting, or when using the bathroom, as their stools may appear black. If you notice youre suffering from a bleeding GI tract, along with nausea and pain in the stomach or chest, Dr. Sengupta says doctors will often perform a blood test or an upper endoscopywhere they use a camera to look into the stomach itselfto check if an ulcer is the culprit. Blood in your stool can also be due to hemorrhoids or a symptom of colon cancer, so its a good idea to get checked out by your doctor.

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Treatment And Management Of Stomach Ulcers In Pets

Treatment of stomach ulcers depends on the severity of the disease and the underlying cause. In most cases, dietary modification is needed in treating and managing the condition. H2-blockers like famotidine and proton-pump inhibitors like omeprazole reduce the production of gastric acid which helps reduce further injury to the stomachs lining.

One thing pet owners need to be wary of when starting treatment for dogs or cats with stomach ulcers is rebound hyperacidity. Often, when long-term treatment with either an H2-blocker or a proton-pump inhibitor medicine is discontinued, gastric cells produce acids and enzymes at an increased rate which can worsen the condition. Gradual tapering of these medications is often needed once symptoms have been controlled.

Gastroprotectant medications like sucralfate coat the stomachs lining and protect it from further injuries and damage. Cats and dogs diagnosed with stomach ulcers may need gastroprotectant treatment for an extended period to successfully manage the condition.

Antibiotics can be given at a prophylactic dose to prevent any secondary infection on the ulcers. However, care must be taken in using antibiotics, as some antibacterial medications can further stimulate gastric acid production.

What Are The Possible Complications

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An untreated ulcer that swells or scars can block your digestive tract. It can also perforate your stomach or small intestine, infecting your abdominal cavity. That causes a condition known as peritonitis.

A bleeding ulcer can lead to anemia, bloody vomit, or bloody stools. A bleeding ulcer usually results in a hospital stay. Severe internal bleeding is life-threatening. Perforation or serious bleeding may require surgical intervention.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers

Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.

The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

Less common ulcer symptoms may include:

  • Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
  • Burping
  • Bloody or black stool
  • Vomiting blood

Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

Who Is More Likely To Get Ulcers

One in 10 people develops an ulcer. Risk factors that make ulcers more likely include:

  • Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , a group of common pain relievers that includes ibuprofen .
  • A family history of ulcers.
  • Illness such as liver, kidney or lung disease.
  • Regularly drinking alcohol.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers

Stomach pain is the most common sign of an ulcer. It usually feels like sharp aches between the breastbone and the belly button. This pain often comes a few hours after eating. It can also happen during the night or early in the morning, when the stomach is empty. Eating something or taking acid suppressor medicine sometimes eases the pain.

Other symptoms of ulcers can include:

  • loss of appetite
  • burping or hiccupping a lot
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • bloody or blackish bowel movements

Anyone who thinks they might have an ulcer needs to see a doctor. An ulcer thats not treated can grow larger and deeper. This can lead to other problems, such as bleeding in the digestive system or a hole in the wall of the stomach or duodenum, which can make someone very sick.

How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer

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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 can’t 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.

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When To Seek Medical Advice

You should visit your GP if you think you may have a stomach ulcer.

Seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds
  • passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
  • a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse

These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.

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How Are Stomach Ulcers Treated

Ulcers can heal if they are given a rest from the factors that created them. Healthcare providers treat uncomplicated ulcers with a combination of medicines to reduce stomach acid, coat and protect the ulcer during healing and kill any bacterial infection that may be involved. Medicines may include:

  • Antibiotics. If H. pylori was found in your digestive tract, your healthcare provider will prescribe some combination of antibiotics to kill the bacteria, based on your medical history and condition. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include tetracycline, metronidazole, clarithromycinand amoxicillin.
  • Proton pump inhibitors . These drugs help reduce stomach acid and protect your stomach lining. PPIs include esomeprazole,dexlansoprazole,lansoprazole, omeprazole,pantoprazole and rabeprazole.
  • Histamine receptor blockers . These reduce stomach acid by blocking the chemical that tells your body to produce it . H2 blockers include famotidine, cimetidine and nizatidine.
  • Antacids. These common over-the-counter medicines help to neutralize stomach acid. They may bring some symptom relief, but they arent enough to heal your ulcer. They also might interfere with some antibiotics.
  • Cytoprotective agents. These medicines help to coat and protect your stomach lining. They include sucralfate and misoprostol.
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate. This over-the-counter medicine, commonly found as Pepto-Bismol, can help coat and protect your ulcer from stomach acid.

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What Is A Mouth Ulcer

Many people get mouth ulcers sometimes called canker sores or aphthous ulcers. These are a sore or blister that appears in the lining of the mouth and sometimes on the tongue. Mouth ulcers are not serious and usually clear up on their own.

A mouth ulcer is a hole in the lining of the mouth that develops when the top layer of cells breaks down. Some may be red, but some can also turn white as dead cells and food get in the center. A blister can also appear as a raised sore filled with clear fluid.

How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning

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  • 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.

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How Are Ulcers Diagnosed

To diagnose a peptic ulcer, doctors do an exam, ask about symptoms, and take a medical history. If you have stomach pain or other symptoms of an ulcer, the doctor will do some tests.

One test is called an upper gastrointestinal series. These are X-rays of the stomach, duodenum, and esophagus, the muscular tube that links the mouth to the stomach. A person drinks a liquid called barium while getting an X-ray. If theres an ulcer, it should show up on the X-ray.

Another common test to look for an ulcer is an endoscopy . A person is sedated for this procedure. Then, the doctor puts an endoscope a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end down the throat and into the stomach and duodenum. The doctors can see the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to check for possible ulcers.

A doctor also can do a blood test that looks for H. pylori bacteria. This may be important if the upper GI series showed an ulcer. The blood test can be done right in the doctor’s office. Sometimes doctors test a poop sample or a person’s breath to check for the H. pylori bacteria.

What Is A Peptic Ulcer

A peptic ulcer is a break in the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum. A peptic ulcer of the stomach is called a gastric ulcer of the duodenum, a duodenal ulcer and of the esophagus, an esophageal ulcer. Peptic ulcers occur when the lining these organs is eroded by the acidic digestive juices that the cells of the lining secrete of the stomach secrete. A peptic ulcer differs from an erosion because it extends deeper into the lining and incites more of an inflammatory reaction from the tissues that are involved, occasionally with scaring. Peptic ulcer also is referred to as peptic ulcer disease.

Peptic ulcer disease is common, affecting millions of Americans yearly. Moreover, peptic ulcers are a recurrent problem even healed ulcers can recur unless treatment is directed at preventing their recurrence. The medical cost of treating peptic ulcer and its complications runs into billions of dollars annually. Recent medical advances have increased our understanding of ulcer formation. Improved and expanded treatment options now are available.

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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.

How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed

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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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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.

How Will My Doctor Treat My Stomach Ulcer

Most stomach ulcers take 1-2 months to heal and your doctor/gastroenterologist will prescribe you the treatment based on the cause of your ulcer.

  • Your doctor will assess your family history, dietary history, diseases, and medication history and examine your tummy to address the cause of your stomach ulcer.
  • Your doctor will discuss with you the side effects of the painkillers and analgesics, which you may be taking, and whether you should keep using them or stop them.
  • Your doctor may advise you to stop smoking, stop alcohol consumption, lose some weight, and avoid some trigger foods, such as spicy and fatty food.
  • Your doctor may prescribe an alternative painkiller, analgesic, or anti-inflammatory medications, such as Paracetamol.
  • Your doctor will prescribe you proton pump inhibitors and antacids to reduce the amount of acid production and some antibiotics for up to 2 weeks to treat H pylori infection.
  • Your doctor will prescribe probiotics, which will help to grow good bacteria in your gut and may be useful in killing H pylori bacteria.
  • Your doctor may prescribe you bismuth supplements.
  • Your doctor may have another endoscopy to check stomach ulcers several weeks after treatment to make sure that the ulcer is gone because a very small number of stomach ulcers might contain cancer.

If the underlying cause is not addressed properly, the stomach ulcer may recur even after the treatment.

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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.

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