B Complications Of Peptic Ulcer
When you linger long with peptic ulcer without treatment, you may develop the following health complications.
Duodenal ulcer sometimes leads to bleeding. The high loss of blood may lead to anemia. In instances where it reaches this stage, an emergency precautions should be taken. You need to seek medical attention before settling for the use of remedies.
The ulcer hinders effective movement of food within the belly making you feel full faster.
In severe cases, the ulcers form holes on the lining of the stomach wall. Ulcer wounds on the gut walls can lead to bacterial infection to the delicate internal organs.
Risk of gastric Cancer
According to medical research, H pylori infections increase the risk of gastric cancers.
Stomach Ulcer Diagnosis And Conventional Treatment
If you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, see your doctor to first rule out other causes of your pain. In order to diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor may perform an endoscopy, which allows the doctor to view the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Once a diagnosis is verified, treatment options can begin.
Your doctor will likely take your medical history and perform a physical exam along with a blood test, plus ask you about your past use of medications and possibly do an X-ray to locate a stomach ulcer. Testing the blood for H. pylori, plus doing a urea breath test and/or stool test to look for the presence of H. pylori antigens, are common ways to diagnose an ulcer.
The goal of stomach ulcer treatments is to help reduce pain and inflammation in the digestive tract, boost the immune system to fight H. pylori bacteria, prevent complications, and lower the chance for future ulcers from forming or returning.
Today, conventional treatment options for stomach ulcers include:
When Should I Go To The Doctor For An Ulcer
Ulcers are the open sores that develop in the stomach lining. It starts with symptoms that are mild initially but may get serious or fatal if left untreated.
The most common symptoms are dull and burning pain in the stomach followed by bloating and burping, nausea and vomiting, weight loss with or without loss of appetite, feeling of weakness or anemia and sudden acute pain that persists for a longer duration.
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How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer
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.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Peptic Ulcers
For a long time, it was believed that spicy foods or stress led to peptic ulcers but doctors now know that this isn’t the case.
In fact, the most common causes of ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, Advil or Motrin , and Aleve , which can wear away at the mucus layer of the digestive tract
Certain factors can put a person at a greater risk of developing a peptic ulcer, including:
- Taking high doses of NSAIDs
- Using NSAIDs continuously over a long period of time
- Having a history of ulcer disease
- Taking corticosteroids, medications that may be prescribed to treat asthma, arthritis, or lupus
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What Natural Home Remedies Help Peptic Ulcer Pain
Home care for peptic ulcers often centers on neutralizing the stomach acid.
- Donât 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.
- Donât take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acetaminophen is a good substitute for some conditions. If acetaminophen doesnât 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.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers occur when the layer that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid breaks down, which allows the stomach lining to become damaged.
This is usually a result of:
- an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or aspirin particularly if theyre taken for a long time or at high doses
It used to be thought that stress or certain foods might cause stomach ulcers, but theres little evidence to suggest this is the case.
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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.
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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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.
Stomach Ulcer Therapeutic Endoscopy
When a stomach ulcer goes untreated, it can start to bleed, and this can quickly become a medical emergency. When this happens, you may require surgery to repair the stomach damage. Fortunately, surgery for ulcers is not common because the other treatments are so effective.
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
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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How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you might have a peptic ulcer, he will take a full medical history and perform a physical exam. Diagnostic tests you might take include:
- Lab test for H. pylori A blood, stool, or breath test may be used to determine whether H. pylori bacteria are present in your body.
- Endoscopy During this procedure, a hollow tube with a lens will be passed down your throat to your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This will allow your doctor to look for a peptic ulcer and take a biopsy if one is present.
- Barium swallow For this test, you will swallow a white liquid containing barium, which coats your digestive tract. A series of X-rays of your upper digestive system will be taken and the liquid makes the ulcer more visible.
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How To Treat Ulcers
Dr. Lalezari says, “Years ago surgery was common for ulcer disease. This was before the advent of a special class of medications called proton pump inhibitors , the purple pill as the popular advertising campaign called it. Treatment with these acid suppressing medications tend to resolve the ulcer in most patients. Often Times it is a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori which is responsible for ulcer formation. If this is the cause, usually an antibiotic regimen is added to the PPI to help clear the bacteria and resolve the ulcer.”
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How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may be able to make the diagnosis just by talking with you about your symptoms. If you develop an ulcer and youre not taking NSAIDs, the cause is likely an H. pylori infection. To confirm the diagnosis, youll need one of these tests:
If you have severe symptoms, your provider may recommend an upper endoscopy to determine if you have an ulcer. In this procedure, the doctor inserts an endoscope through your throat and into your stomach to look for abnormalities.
H. Pylori tests
Tests for H. pylori are now widely used and your provider will tailor treatment to reduce your symptoms and kill the bacteria. A breath test is the easiest way to discover H. pylori. Your provider can also look for it with a blood or stool test, or by taking a sample during an upper endoscopy.
Less frequently, imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans are used to detect ulcers. You have to drink a specific liquid that coats the digestive tract and makes ulcers more visible to the imaging machines.
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
- 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.
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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.
When To Seek Medical Help
You need to contact your healthcare provider and get medical help if you:
- Experience sharp pain in the stomach
- Notice blood in stools, or notice black stools
- Vomit blood that looks like coffee grounds
- Experience weakness, difficulty breathing, or fainting6
You must not rely on home remedies alone for dealing with stomach ulcers and should consult a qualified doctor for advice if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies.
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Is Banana Good For Ulcer
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.
What Causes An Ulcer And Who’s At Risk
Dr. Terry Simpson, Weight Loss Surgeon and Culinary Medicine Specialist with Dignity Health St. John’s Hospital says, “The vast majority of stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria called Helicobactor pylori which was discovered in the 1980’s. Prior to this time we thought ulcers were caused by stress, or acid, or many things. For the discovery of this bacteria the Nobel Prize was awarded. Because it is caused by a bacteria, it can be spread by kissing. So even if you get your H pylori treated, if your sweetie doesn’t you can get re-infected. So the risks are those who have the infection, which is present in many people.
Other things that can cause ulcers include a lot of over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Tylenol does not cause ulcers. Smoking and vaping are high risk behaviors for ulcers. We know from many studies that heavy smokers are more likely to get duodenal ulcers than non smokers. The duodenum is the first bit of bowel past the stomach. Cancers can also cause ulcers. We used to think that dieting caused ulcers, but it doesn’t. Certain foods can be worse for ulcer pain, especially alcohol, spicy foods, and fatty foods.”
MD FACS General Surgeon and Gastrointestinal specialist at Dignity Health St. Mary Hospital, CEO of Lalezari Surgical adds, “Anyone can be affected by ulcers but it is more common in patients taking chronic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid medications and smokers.”
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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.
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