What Are Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are open, painful sores that affect the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine, called the duodenum . Ulcers in the stomach are also called stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers. Those in the duodenum are also called duodenal ulcers. Peptic ulcers are rare in kids.
In the past, peptic ulcers could last for several years or even a lifetime. But a better understanding of what causes them and how to treat them means that most can be cured.
Risks And Possible Complications Of Treatment
A hole in your upper digestive tract
Risks of sedative or anesthesia used
The ulcer coming back
Hole in a blood vessel
Risks of sedative or anesthesia used
The ulcer coming back
Damage to nearby organs and blood vessels
Long-term digestive problems such as irregular bowel movements
Risks of anesthesia
When To Call The Doctor
Get medical help right away if you:
- Develop sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have a rigid, hard abdomen that is tender to the touch
- Have symptoms of shock, such as fainting, excessive sweating, or confusion
- Vomit blood
- See blood in your stool
- You feel dizzy or light-headed
- You have ulcer symptoms
- You feel full after eating a small meal portion
- You experience unintentional weight loss
- You are vomiting
- You lose your appetite
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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
- Blood in your stools
- 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.
Lifestyle Measures To Help Treat A Peptic Ulcer
Treating a peptic ulcer should include an assessment of risk factors for the ulcer. If someone is on regular aspirin or NSAIDs the need for continued treatment with these drugs should be reviewed. Your doctor may recommend reducing the dose or stopping these drugs.Stopping smoking and reducing alcohol will be relevant for some. As is a change in diet, eating plenty of vitamin-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods. Eating foods containing whole grains with lean meats also helps. It is recommended to cut back on caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and highly fatty meats such as sausage, salami and bacon.Stress can make the symptoms of an ulcer worse. Measures to reduce stress should be undertaken.
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What Natural Home Remedies Help Peptic Ulcer Pain
Home care for peptic ulcers often centers on neutralizing the stomach acid.
- Don’t 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.
- Don’t take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acetaminophen is a good substitute for some conditions. If acetaminophen doesn’t 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.
How Do You Treat A Perforated Peptic Ulcer
Also know, how do you know if you have a perforated ulcer?
When an ulcer makes a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine, the symptoms may come on very fast. Symptoms may include: Sudden sharp belly pain that doesn’t go away. Vomit that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds.
Furthermore, how long does it take for a perforated ulcer to heal? Typically, you will take antibiotics along with acid-suppressing medicine for two weeks. Then you may take acid-suppressing medication for another four to eight weeks. Gastric ulcers tend to heal more slowly than duodenal ulcers. Uncomplicated gastric ulcers take up to two or three months to heal completely.
Subsequently, one may also ask, can a perforated ulcer heal on its own?
Some peptic ulcers heal on their own. But if you don’t treat them, the ulcers tend to come back. They can erode the blood vessel wall in your stomach or small intestine. The ulcers also can eat a hole through the lining and get infected.
How do I know if I’m bleeding internally?
Intra-abdominal bleeding may be hidden and present only with pain, but if there is enough blood loss, the patient may complain of weakness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of shock and decreased blood pressure. Once again, the symptoms depend upon where in the abdomen the bleeding occurs.
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When To See A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult their doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.
A slow-bleeding ulcer can be signaled by symptoms of anemia, such as being tired and breathless. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem and can be signaled if blood is vomited up, or stools are black and sticky.
Perforation, or a hole in the stomach, 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.
What To Expect At Home
You have peptic ulcer disease . You may have had tests to help diagnose your ulcer. One of these tests may have been to look for bacteria in your stomach called Helicobacter pylori . This type of infection is a common cause of ulcers.
Most peptic ulcers will heal within about 4 to 6 weeks after treatment begins. Do not stop taking the medicines you have been prescribed, even if symptoms go away quickly.
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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.
What Is A Duodenal Ulcer
A duodenal ulcer is a sore that forms in the lining of the duodenum. Your duodenum is the first part of your small intestine, the part of your digestive system that food travels through straight after it leaves your stomach.
You can get an ulcer in your stomach as well as in your duodenum. Stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers are both types of peptic ulcers. If you have either of these, you have what’s called ‘peptic ulcer disease’.
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Diagnosis Of A Duodenal Ulcer
To diagnose a duodenal ulcer, your doctor will talk to you and examine you. They will probably also run some tests, which could include:
- a gastroscopy , where a specialist uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end to look inside your stomach and duodenum
- a blood test, stool sample, or breath test to find out if you have a H. pylori in your system
If you have a gastroscopy, the surgeon might take a sample of tissue to test for H. pylori.
How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated
Some peptic ulcers heal on their own. But if you donât treat them, the ulcers tend to come back.
They can erode the blood vessel wall in your stomach or small intestine. The ulcers also can eat a hole through the lining and get infected. Or they can cause swelling, which may block food from moving from your stomach into your small intestine.
If H. pylori is the culprit, your doctor may prescribe a mix of antibiotics to kill it. If aspirin and other NSAIDs are behind the ulcer, you may need to cut down on them, stop taking them altogether, or switch to another pain reliever.
Your doctor may also give you antacids to fight stomach acid, or prescribe medicine to lessen the acid your body makes. Prescription drugs called cytoprotective agents can help protect the lining of the stomach or small intestine so the ulcer can heal.
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Turn Your Horse Out To Pasture More Frequently
In addition to this important step in treatment, there are several more actionable steps we can take to hasten your horses healing. If at all possible, turn your horse out more frequently. Remember, the horses stomach is small and produces acid continually. Consuming small meals more frequently helps to regulate this. 4. Stop or Drastically Reduce the Use of NSAIDs
If you extensively use NSAIDS on your horse, your vet will direct you to reduce their use or eliminate them drastically. That is because NSAIDs are well known to irritate the stomach lining.
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Mouth Ulcers That Wont Heal
See your dentist or doctor if your mouth ulcers dont clear up within 2 weeks, or if you get them frequently.
Its important not to ignore an ulcer that you have had for more than 2 weeks, especially if you use tobacco products and drink alcohol regularly. This is because tobacco use and drinking alcohol increase your risk of mouth cancer.
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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
- Loss of weight
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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Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers
Although the most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain in the centre of the abdomen . Not all stomach ulcers are painful.
Some people experience:
Speak to your GP immediately if:
- your symptoms persist
- you’re vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance like coffee grounds
- you’re passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
- you feel a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse
These could be a sign of a serious complication.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
Education for patients treated for ulcers should include the primary causes associated with ulcers, practices to avoid such as NSAID use, and the risk of interventions offered. Individuals should also be advised regarding long-term use of proton pump inhibitors if this is the therapy of choice for symptomatic management.
Bleeding Peptic Ulcer: Treatment
A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum . Your ulcer is bleeding or at high risk of bleeding. This means that you need treatment right away. Treatment can include medicines. It may also include a procedure such as endoscopy, angiography, or surgery. Your provider will work with you to decide which treatments are best for you. Read on to learn more about each type of treatment.
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When Should I See A Doctor If I Think I Have A Peptic Ulcer
- 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. Don’t 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.
How Will Your Doctor Diagnose Ulcers
Your doctor will start by asking about your medical history and symptoms. Let your doctor know when and where you most often have symptoms.
Gastric and duodenal ulcers can cause pain in different parts of your abdomen. A variety of tests will usually be recommended since abdominal pain has many causes.
If your doctor thinks H. pylori may be the source of your symptoms, the following tests can confirm or rule out this possibility:
- A blood test. The presence of certain infection-fighting cells could mean you have an H. pylori infection.
- A stool antigen test. In this test, a stool sample is sent to a lab for testing. The test looks for certain proteins in the stool related to H. pylori.
- A urea breath test. A urea breath test involves swallowing a pill that contains a special formulation of urea. You breathe into a collection bag before and after swallowing the pill, and then your carbon dioxide levels are measured. When H. pylori is present, the urea in the pill is broken down into a certain type of carbon dioxide that can be detected.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Many people with peptic ulcers don’t have any signs, but upper abdominal pain is the most common symptom.
- Extend from your navel up to your breastbone
- Feel worse when your stomach is empty
- Feel better temporarily when you eat certain foods or take an antacid
- Get worse at night
- Come and go for days or weeks
Other symptoms of peptic ulcers may include:
- Vomiting of red or dark blood
- Feeling bloated or full
- Bloody, black, or tar-like stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Changes in your appetite
What Is A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are painful sores that develop in the lining of your digestive system. They usually form in the stomach but can also sometimes develop in the small intestine or the esophagus.
Heres the basics of how ulcers work:
Ulcers form when any combination of excess gastric acids, bacteria, drugs or other toxins cause damage and small openings to the mucosa, the tissue that lines the stomach, parts of the small intestine, and other organs. Mucosa normally protect particles from leaking out.
When someone has an ulcer, hydrochloric acid and pepsin build up and destroy parts of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The stomach usually manages acid/pepsin by creating a thick mucus coating that is supposed to act as a buffer between the stomach lining and the acids inside the stomach. The mucus coating itself usually produces certain chemicals that help repair the stomach lining, keep blood circulating and carry out cellular renewal processes. But some part of this process can become disturbed, and the lining of the GI tract can become exposed, forming small sores .
When you eat a meal, food washes the acid in your stomach away temporarily, as its used to break down the nutrients in the recently consumed food. But then once your food is digested, the acid once again accumulates in the stomach and can wash against the raw base of the ulcer, exposing and opening it up. This causes a burning, painful sensation, sometimes one thats very strong.
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Prescribe Omeprazole To Treat Ulcers
The main treatment for gastric ulcers is Omeprazole. Omeprazole is an acid reducer. Because the equine stomach produces acid around the clock, Omeprazole has significant benefits. In a serious case of gastric ulcers, Omeprazole is usually administered for at least thirty days.
Now here is where things get tricky. It is important to consult a veterinarian. If your horse is on a thirty-day regimen of Omeprazole, you do not want to stop administering the drug cold turkey.
Why is this a problem?
When the treatment with Omeprazole is stopped suddenly without tapering the dose off, it can result in the horses stomach going into overdrive, producing acid. This results in a much worse reoccurring case of gastric ulcers, not the desired outcome!
Secondly, extended use of Omeprazole can result in your horse suffering dramatic weight loss and loss of body condition. This occurs due to a lack of digestive acids to begin the digestive process so the horse can absorb the needed nutrients from his feed.
As you can see, there is a delicate balance here that needs to be achieved, and if you lack the necessary experience to strike that balance, you need to consult a vet.
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