What Are The Symptoms Of A Bleeding Ulcer
Bleeding ulcers dont always cause pain. Sometimes the first signs of a bleeding ulcer are signs of anemia. These include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
You might have a heavier bleed if you notice:
- Blood in your poop, or black poop that resembles tar.
- Bloody vomit.
These symptoms require urgent medical attention.
Bacteria And Stomach Ulcers
Not everyone who is infected with H. Pylori develops stomach ulcers, but those who do often experience burning pain anywhere from their navel to breastbone. Stomach ulcer symptoms are frequently worse between meals and at night, with pain lasting minutes or hours. The pain can come and go for several days or weeks.
Stomach ulcers, or sores, form when the acids that help digest food damage the walls of the stomach or small intestine. H. pylori bacteria enable this process by attacking the stomach lining, which is meant to protect the stomach from its own gastric juices. Once the bacteria have caused significant damage, acid can get through the lining and cause ulcers.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Any Complications
Stomach ulcers can cause various complications but these are much less common now because of more effective treatments. However, complications can be very serious and include:
Bleeding from the ulcer
- This can range from a ‘trickle’ to a life-threatening bleed.
- If there is sudden heavy bleeding then this will cause you to vomit blood and make you feel very faint.
- Less sudden bleeding may cause you to vomit and the vomit looks coffee-coloured because the stomach acid has partly broken down the blood.
- A more gradual trickle of blood will pass through your gut and cause your stools to look very dark in colour or even black .
PerforationThis is the term used to describe the ulcer having gone all the way through the wall of the stomach. Food and acid in the stomach then leak out of the stomach. This usually causes severe pain and makes you very unwell. Stomach perforation is a medical emergency and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible.
Stomach blockageThis is now rare. An ulcer at the end of the stomach can cause the outlet of the stomach to narrow and cause an obstruction. This can cause frequent severe vomiting.
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Smelly And Tarry Discharge
Another very important symptom that can give a hint that a person is suffering from a bleeding ulcer is the passing of a stinky smelling and tarry discharge from the rectum in the form of unusual dark stools. This can help identify signs of gastric ulcer currently in the course of bleeding which may have been actively bleeding for a significant period of time.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcer symptoms depend on the severity of the condition.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of the upper abdomen . The pain is more intense when the stomach is empty and lasts for a few to several hours. Other common signs and symptoms include:
- Pain that is relieved when eating or drinking
- Bloody or brown vomit
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Causes Of Stomach Ulcers
A stomach ulcer can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria is thought to be responsible for around 60 per cent of stomach ulcers and at least 90 per cent of duodenal ulcers.
- Certain medications which include aspirin or clopidogrel, taken regularly to help prevent heart attack or stroke, and drugs for arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications are thought to cause around two fifths of stomach ulcers.
- Cancer stomach cancer can present as an ulcer, particularly in older people.
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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.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
- sudden, sharp, lasting belly pain
- bloody or black bowel movements
- bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
These could be signs of a serious problem for a child whos had a peptic ulcer, such as:
If your child takes NSAIDs and shows signs of a peptic ulcer, get medical help right away. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can lead to more problems and, possibly, the need for surgery. But with quick treatment, almost all peptic ulcers can be cured.
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 Causes An Ulcer
Peptic ulcers are caused by acid eroding the lining of the stomach or the lining of the upper part of the small intestine , which may occur when there is excess acid in the system or when the protective layer of mucus on the lining is broken down.
- Bacterial infection with Helicobacter pylori that lives in the stomach
- H. pylori bacteria contributes to the formation of stomach ulcers because it can cause:
- Increased acid in the stomach and small intestine
- Inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract
- A breakdown of the protective mucus layer
Risk factors for developing peptic ulcers include:
- Other family members having ulcers due to H. pylori
- Alcohol abuse
- Psychological factors can contribute to the development of ulcers and can interfere with healing and increase the risk of recurrence.
There is no good evidence that certain foods and beverages can cause or worsen ulcers.
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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How Peptic Ulcer Disease Is Diagnosed
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
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Signs of a peptic ulcer include:
- most commonly, burning pain in the belly between the breastbone and the belly button
- feeding problems
- blood in vomit or bowel movements, which may look dark red or black
If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, call your doctor. Many can be caused by other childhood illnesses, but should be reported to your doctor. Based on your childâs medical history and symptoms, the doctor may want your child to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. This is a doctor who treats problems of the stomach, intestines, and associated organs.
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What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
The classic symptoms of peptic ulcers are stomach pain and indigestion. Ulcer pain feels like burning or gnawing inside your stomach, which is between your breastbone and your belly button. It may improve temporarily when you eat or drink or when you take an antacid, medication to reduce stomach acid. It may feel worse between meals and at night when stomach acid builds up without food to digest. It may also make you feel like you dont want to eat.
How do I know if I have an ulcer or gastritis?
Gastritis and gastric ulcers share many symptoms and often go hand in hand. Gastritis can be a precursor to stomach ulcers, caused by the same conditions that will eventually cause ulcers, including H. pylori infection and mucous erosion. You may also have both.
Both gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause stomach pain, as well as symptoms of indigestion. Usually, the pain from an ulcer will feel more localized like its coming from one particular spot. But since some ulcers are silent, you might not feel it if you do have one.
If you have symptoms of either gastritis or stomach ulcer, you should seek medical care. Gastritis can lead to ulcers if it hasnt already. It can also indicate an infection or other condition that needs to be treated. Medical testing can quickly determine the causes of your stomach pain.
How can I tell if I have ulcer pain or heartburn?
What If A Peptic Ulcer Doesnt Heal
Most often, medicines heal a peptic ulcer. If an H. pylori infection caused your peptic ulcer, you should finish all of your antibiotics and take any other medicines your doctor prescribes. The infection and peptic ulcer will heal only if you take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.
When you have finished your medicines, your doctor may do another breath or stool test in 4 weeks or more to be sure the H. pylori infection is gone. Sometimes, H. pylori bacteria are still present, even after you have taken all the medicines correctly. If the infection is still present, your peptic ulcer could return or, rarely, stomach cancer could develop. Your doctor will prescribe different antibiotics to get rid of the infection and cure your peptic ulcer.
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The Stomachs Protective Barrier And How Ulcers Form On It
The stomachs outermost lining primarily consists of mucosal cells producing a mucus barrier on top of it. This mucosal barrier protects the underlying layers where most functional gastric cells responsible for producing gastric acid are located. The mucosal barrier mostly contains alkaline molecules to help neutralize the acidity of the gastric fluid. This outermost mucosal layer is also highly vascularized and has a high blood flow to help clear out gastric acid that diffuses into the gastric surface. This efficient blood flow also helps stimulate the rapid renewal of injured cells on the surface.
This defense mechanism of the stomachs outer lining helps balance out any damaging properties of the stomach acid, and sometimes intestinal, contents. However, certain conditions, medications, and health conditions disrupt the gastric mucosal barrier and predispose the stomach to damage and injuries.
Any defects to the protective barrier allow hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes to come in contact with the mucosal and epithelial cells, causing damage and injury. As the stomach lining becomes damaged, inflammation and bleeding can result. This further stimulates stomach acid production, worsening the condition.
The inflammatory changes that occur also inhibit the repair of damaged cells and reduce the production of protective mucus from the mucosal cells. This eventually leads to damage to deeper layers of the stomachs lining and causes stomach ulceration.
Is There A Peptic Ulcer Diet Plan
No particular diet is helpful for people with peptic ulcers. At one time, a bland diet and avoidance of spicy or greasy foods was recommended. Milk and dairy food have been used in the past for ulcer symptoms, but have not been proven to be effective. We now know diet has little effect on ulcers. In some people, however, certain foods seem to aggravate stomach ulcer symptoms. Keep a food diary with your intake and the resulting symptoms and avoid eating any foods that aggravate symptoms.
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What Is Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is a condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine . Normally, a thick layer of mucus protects the stomach lining from the effect of its digestive juices. But many things can reduce this protective layer, allowing stomach acid to damage the tissue.
Stomach Ulcer Treatment Ideas
The surprising thing about ulcers isnt how common they areabout 4 million American adults have ulcers, and approximately 350,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Whats surprising is that we dont get them more often. Every time you eat, your stomach bathes foods in acids to continue digestion that was begun in the mouth. The same acids that break down protein and fat are actually strong enough to damage the stomach and the duodenum, the portion of the small intestine nearest the stomach. The only reason they dont is that the tissues are coated with a protective, spongelike mucous lining that resists the acidic onslaught. Sometimes, however, the tissues break down and painful ulcers about the size of a pencil eraser may form.
One common cause of ulcers is an infection of the stomach with Helicobacter pylori , a corkscrew-shaped bacterium that bores through the lining of the duodenum or stomach, allowing acids to damage the delicate tissue underneath. Another common cause is the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. They can strip away the stomachs protective lining and cause similar problems.
These stomach ulcer treatment ideas from doctors will help stop the painand keep the ulcer from coming back.
Give Up Orange Juice For A While
Dont Fall For The Milk Myth
Soothe With Yogurt
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What Treatments Are There For Ulcers
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your ulcer. For example, if our tests indicate that an infection caused by helicobacter pylori is what created your ulcer, well give you antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.
Regardless of the cause, medications that help reduce the level of acid in your stomach can help the ulcer heal. And different lifestyle changes can accelerate healing as well, such as eliminating certain foods, abstaining from alcohol, and practicing stress management.
In severe cases, surgery may be required. Your provider at Prima Medicine will work with you to create a treatment plan for your situation.
If you have a stomach ulcer or want to see if you do, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
If you have stomach ulcers, you may want to ask your doctor:
- What pain reliever can I use instead of an NSAID?
- How will I know if the H. pylori infection is gone?
- How do we find out if the ulcer has healed?
- What can I do relieve symptoms at home during treatment?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Contrary to commonly held beliefs, ulcers arent caused by stress or foods you eat. Most of time, bacteria causes them. Doctors can treat the bacteria with antibiotics and other medications.
If youve been popping a lot of antacids lately, youre constantly snacking to get rid of a gnawing pain in your stomach or you have any other signs of an ulcer, the best thing you can do for your health is talk to your provider. Treatment can heal an ulcer in a matter of weeks.
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Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers
A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.
Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:
- dull pain in the stomach
- weight loss
- heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest)
- pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids
- anemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
- dark, tarry stools
- vomit thats bloody or looks like coffee grounds
Talk to your doctor if you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they arent treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.