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How Do You Tell If You Have A Stomach Ulcer

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How Do I Treat Ulcers

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

Ulcers are typically treated by medications. Exactly what medications you need will depend on whatâs causing your ulcer. Options include:

  • Antibiotics to kill H. pylori in your system
  • Proton pump inhibitors to block acid production and promote healing of your ulcer
  • H2 blockers to reduce acid production and encourage healing

In some cases, doctors might also recommend antacids. These will provide some relief for your symptoms, but they wonât actually heal your ulcer.

Occasionally, fundoplication surgery is used for GERD sufferers who are also dealing with ulcers. This procedure creates a valve mechanism at the bottom of the esophagus to prevent stomach acid from flowing backwards and continuing to create ulcers.

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How Do You Get Stomach Ulcers And How Can You Treat Them

If youve ever experienced a stomach ulcer then you know that they are no fun to deal with. A stomach ulcer is a sore that is in the lining of your stomach. Yes, it can be pretty painful as well. The mucus that typically protects your digestive tract is usually reduced, thus leaving your stomach more exposed to the acid that you is created in it. When theres nothing to protect your stomach from the acid, the acid is going to start tearing away at the lining of your stomach. This is how a stomach ulcer can occur. The good news is that ulcers are relatively easy to cure.

Stomach Ulcers: Symptoms and Treatments Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer

  • Burning sensation from chest to belly button
  • Not wanting to eat due to stomach pain

Stomach Ulcer Treatment Stomach Ulcers and Your Diet Fix the Ulcers Before They Progress

What Should I Expect Before An Upper Endoscopy

To help your doctor clearly view the digestive tract, you should go into the procedure with an empty stomach. Your doctor will review preparation with you. You may need to prepare with:

  • Food and drink: Consume only clear liquids for six to eight hours before the procedure.
  • Medications: Stop taking medicines that thin blood or affect blood clotting, including aspirin. You may need to switch medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. Follow your doctors recommendation.

Also Check: How Do I Know If I Have A Peptic Ulcer

How To Have A Healthy Stomach

Whether youre prone to ulcers, or youve never had one before and want to avoid it at all costs, preventing them starts with making sure digestion is optimized. Even if you get H. pylori, a healthy bacterial balance in the stomach and elsewhere in the digestive tract can help to keep it in balance and even eradicate it.

H. pylori affects as much as half of the worlds population, so the chances of having it or getting it at some point are pretty high. Having reduced inflammation in the body as well as eating plenty of certain types of foods, can reduce the chance of H. pylori creating negative health problems, including ulcers.

What To Do If You Have Stomach Cancer Or Ulcer Symptoms

Peptic Ulcer Symptoms List
  • If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Dont assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
  • If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
  • Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.

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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 Happens After Stomach Ulcer 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.

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How Do Nsaids Cause A Peptic Ulcer

To understand how NSAIDs cause peptic ulcer disease, it is important to understand how NSAIDs work. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce pain, fever, and inflammation, or swelling.

Everyone has two enzymes that produce chemicals in your bodys cells that promote pain, inflammation, and fever. NSAIDs work by blocking or reducing the amount of these enzymes that your body makes. However, one of the enzymes also produces another type of chemical that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid and helps control bleeding. When NSAIDs block or reduce the amount of this enzyme in your body, they also increase your chance of developing a peptic ulcer.

What A Stomach Ulcer Is

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

A stomach ulcer is a sore that appears in the lining of your stomach or in the duodenum, which is part of your small intestine.

This type of ulcer, also called a peptic ulcer, occurs when stomach acids that digest the food you eat damage the walls of the stomach or the duodenum. These stomach acids normally exist in your body without a problem during the digestive process, but in some cases, they begin to eat away at the stomach itself.

There are several causes for this, but the most common is an infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori . The long-term use or misuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications , such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can also lead to a stomach ulcer. And in rare cases, cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the stomach, duodenum or pancreas may cause an ulcer.

Can you be so stressed you develop an ulcer? While stress can be a factor in the growth of stomach ulcers, its not considered a standalone cause in their development.

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How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers

This article was medically reviewed by Roy Nattiv, MD. Dr. Roy Nattiv is a board-certified Pediatric Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, California. who specializes in a broad range of pediatric gastrointestinal and nutritional illnesses such as constipation, diarrhea, reflux, food allergies, poor weight gain, SIBO, IBD, and IBS. Dr. Nattiv received his undergrad degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel. He completed his pediatric residency at the Childrens Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and his fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco . While at UCSF, he was a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine fellowship trainee and was awarded the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Fellow to Faculty Award in Pediatric IBD Research. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Nattiv is active in the research community and has been published in several high-impact medical journals.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 23 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,730,374 times.

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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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Signs You May Have A Peptic Ulcer

posted: Jan. 15, 2019.

Peptic ulcers, or stomach ulcers, are breaks or holes in the lining of the stomach. An ulcer in the first part of the intestines is known as a duodenal ulcer. An ulcer in the stomach is known as a gastric ulcer. If you think you may have an ulcer, you should see a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of peptic ulcers. Here are 5 signs you may have a peptic ulcer. 1. Burning pain- The most common peptic ulcer symptom is a burning sensation or gnawing pain in the middle of your abdomen. The pain may come and go for several days or weeks. Even though discomfort may be mild, peptic ulcers can worsen if they arent treated. Taking antacids can relieve the discomfort, but it will keep coming back until the peptic ulcer is treated by a doctor.

2. Nausea- The symptoms of peptic ulcers may include nausea. Nausea is a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit. Nausea has many possible causes. Some common causes of nausea include appendicitis, infection, reactions to some medicines, migraines, food poisoning or intestinal blockage.

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy And Biopsy

Foods That Heal Ulcers

Doctors may order an upper GI endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis of a peptic ulcer and try to find its cause.

For an upper GI endoscopy, a doctor uses an endoscopea flexible tube with a camerato see the lining of your upper GI tract, including your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. During upper GI endoscopy, a doctor obtains biopsies by passing an instrument through the endoscope to take small pieces of tissue from your stomach lining. A pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope.

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History Of Ulcer Causes

Ulcers have a unique and interesting history when it comes to their suspected causes. For decades, stomach ulcers were considered to be psychosomatic, meaning a high-stress lifestyle was to blame. At the time doctors started identifying high rates of ulcers in hard-working businessmen who smoked a lot of cigarettes and were likely sleep-deprived, and then animal studies further confirmed stress-triggered ulcers. Rats producing high amounts of stomach acid experienced a decrease in stomach ulcer symptoms when researchers fed them antacids, so a connection was then drawn between ulcers, chronic stress and an increase in stomach acid, which changed ulcer treatment approaches forever.

A bacterium called Helicobacter pylori was then discovered that seemed to be present in nearly everyone suffering from ulcers. It was also found to runin families and was connected to other digestive disorders, including stomach cancer. In patients given medications/antibiotics to kill H. pylori, ulcers were often resolved at least for a period of time.

However, today its more common to treat ulcers using less risky acid-reducing drugs in combination with lifestyle and dietary changes, rather than prescribing antibiotics to kill H. pylori, which can come with complications and lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics used to combat H. pylori can work short term to lower the bacteria, but dont seem to keep it from returning without other interventions.

Treatment For A Stomach Ulcer

Special diets are now known to have very little impact on the prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers. Treatment options can include:

  • medication including antibiotics, to destroy the H. pylori colony, and drugs to help speed the healing process. Different drugs need to be used in combination some of the side effects can include diarrhoea and rashes. Resistance to some of these antibiotics is becoming more common
  • subsequent breath tests used to make sure the H. pylori infection has been treated successfully
  • changes to existing medication the doses of arthritis medication, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication can be altered slightly to reduce their contributing effects on the stomach ulcer.
  • reducing acid tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
  • lifestyle modifications including quitting cigarettes, since smoking reduces the natural defences in the stomach and impairs the healing process.

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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 doctorâs office. Sometimes doctors test a poop sample or a personâs breath to check for the H. pylori bacteria.

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How Can I Prevent Ulcers

Do I have a stomach ulcer?

You may be able to prevent ulcers from forming if you:

  • Talk to your doctor about alternatives to NSAID medications to relieve pain.
  • Discuss protective measures with your doctor, if you cant stop taking an NSAID.
  • Opt for the lowest effective dose of NSAID and take it with a meal.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.

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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!

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer

Youâll most likely feel a burning pain or discomfort between your belly button and breastbone. You might especially notice it on an empty stomach â such as between meals or at night. The pain may stop for a little while if you eat or take an antacid, but then return. The pain can last for a few minutes or a few hours, and may come and go for many days or weeks.

Other symptoms may include:

Small ulcers may not cause any symptoms. But if you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor.

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The Dangers Of Stomach Ulcers

While ulcers dont necessarily cause more than discomfort initially, if left untreated, they can lead to some serious medical complications. These can include:

  • Internal bleeding and serious blood loss which can require hospitalization and blood transfusions
  • Peritonitis, or infection of the abdominal cavity
  • Obstructed digestion
  • Trouble breathing

At the first sign or symptom of ulcers, its important to get a medical evaluation and to treat them appropriately to prevent a worsening or severe condition.

Ulcers can be easy to treat and manage, even naturally, once they are diagnosed.

Traditional treatment for stomach ulcers involves removing sources of aggravation, like:

  • Switching away from NSAID or steroid drugs which could be worsening the condition
  • Quitting cigarettes
  • Eliminating alcohol consumption
  • Taking acid blocking drugs to reduce and manage stomach acid

When an ulcer is caused by H. pylori, its important to live a lifestyle that reduces aggravation and the causes, because ulcers can easily return if the bacteria continues to live in the digestive tract.

Sometimes conventional medical treatment will require surgery to address ulcer complications, especially if theyve begun to bleed internally. Surgical intervention typically involves the removal of the ulcer, tying off bleeding vessels, grafting tissue from another site to repair the ulcer, or reducing the stomachs ability to produce acid.

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