What Are The Treatments For An Ulcer
You shouldnât treat an ulcer on your own without first seeing your doctor. Over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers may ease some or all of the pain, but the relief is always short-lived. With a doctor’s help, you can find an end to ulcer pain as well as a lifelong cure for it.
The chief goals of ulcer treatment are reducing the amount of acid in the stomach and strengthening the protective lining that comes in direct contact with stomach acids. If your ulcer is caused by bacterial infection, your doctor will also treat that.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
Certain lifestyle changes can help you recover from an ulcer.
- Watch your diet. If you know that there are specific foods that make your ulcer feel worse, avoid them until your treatment is over. For many people, these include alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, spicy foods, and chocolate.
- Stop smoking. If you smoke, you are already at increased risk of getting an ulcer. The data also shows that ulcers take longer to heal in smokers and that the ulcer medication you are taking may be less effective. Scientists don’t know exactly why smoking has these negative effects.
- Take pain medication carefully. NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and many other commonly taken drugs, are taken for pain and fever, but can cause an ulcer if used too often. NSAIDs can also prevent an ulcer from healing as quickly as you would like, so talk to your doctor about what you can take for your other aches and pains while you are waiting for your ulcer to heal. Acetaminophen does not cause ulcers, so it may be an effective substitute. Also, be sure to read all drug labels some cough and cold liquids have NSAID ingredients in them, and you should avoid them, too.
- Cut back on alcohol. Stop drinking alcohol if you want to completely reduce your risk of additional ulcers and help your body heal.
What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
Endoscopy. An upper endoscopy exam is expedient because allows healthcare providers to see inside your digestive tract and also take a tissue sample to analyze in the lab. The test is done by passing a thin tube with a tiny camera attached down your throat and into your stomach and duodenum. Youll have medication to numb your throat and help you relax during the test. Your healthcare provider may use the endoscope to take a tissue sample to test for signs of mucous damage, anemia, H. pylori infection or malignancy. If they take a sample, you wont feel it.
Imaging tests. Imaging tests to look inside the stomach and small intestine include:
- Upper GI series. An upper GI X-ray exam examines the stomach and duodenum through X-rays. Its less invasive than an endoscopy. For the X-ray, youll swallow a chalky fluid called barium, which will coat your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The barium helps your digestive organs show up better in black and white images.
- CT scan. Your healthcare provider might recommend a CT scan if they need to see your organs in more detail. A CT scan can show complications such as a perforation in the stomach or intestinal wall. For the test, youll lie on a table inside a scanner machine while X-rays are taken. You may drink or have an injection with contrast fluid to make your organs show up better in images.
Tests for H. pylori. Your healthcare provider might want to test you separately for H. pylori infection. Tests may include:
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What Is The Cause Of Peptic Ulcers
When you eat, your stomach produces hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin to digest the food.
- The food is partially digested in the stomach and then moves on to the duodenum to continue the process.
- Peptic ulcers occur when the acid and enzyme overcome the defense mechanisms of the gastrointestinal tract and erode the mucosal wall.
- Now it is understood that people with ulcers have an imbalance between acid and pepsin coupled with the digestive tract’s inability to protect itself from these harsh substances.
- Research done in the 1980s showed that some ulcers are caused by infection with a bacterium named Helicobacter pylori, usually called H pylori.
- Not everyone who gets an ulcer is infected with H pylori. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ulcers if taken regularly.
Some types of medical therapy can contribute to ulcer formation. The following factors can weaken the protective mucosal barrier of the stomach increasing the chances of getting an ulcer and slow the healing of existing ulcers.
- Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and newer anti-inflammatory medications
- Radiation therapy:-used for diseases such as cancer
People who take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications are at an increased risk even if they do not have H pylori infection.
When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult a doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.
Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness and breathlessness, may signal a slow-bleeding ulcer. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem, as people may vomit up blood, or stools are black and sticky.
Perforation 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.
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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.
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!
8110 Airport Boulevard, 2nd FloorLos Angeles,CA90045
25495 Medical Center Drive, Suite 302Murrieta,CA92562
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Avoid Trigger Foods Before Bed
Its important to avoid foods that may aggravate your stomach ulcer and cause pain especially before bed in order to limit the disruption of your sleep.
Your doctor or nutritionist is likely to provide you with a list of food items that can relieve or exacerbate the symptoms of your ulcerous disease.
For example, it is often suggested that patients with gastric ulcers must try to avoid the consumption of certain foods that are known to aggravate acid reflux or indigestion such as spicy food dishes containing spices like cayenne and tabasco.
It has been noted that spicy foods are likely to boost your metabolism due to their active ingredient, capsaicin, and this metabolism-boosting property can trigger heartburn in some people.
Spices are also thermogenic because they have the capacity to increase the basal temperature of the body which in turn can make you feel more awake.
Since each individual responds differently to different food items, it can sometimes be challenging to identify which foods may trigger your symptoms so its recommended that you maintain a food diary and take regular notes of your meals, drinks, and snacks.
You can share the notes of your food diary on a weekly basis with a qualified nutritionist and it will surely assist you in managing your symptoms.
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Home Remedies For Ulcer Pain
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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.
Other Causes And Factors
Other causes are rare. For example, some viral infections can cause a stomach ulcer. Crohn’s disease may cause a stomach ulcer in addition to other problems of the gut.
Stomach cancer may at first look similar to an ulcer. Stomach cancer is uncommon but may need to be ‘ruled out’ if you are found to have a stomach ulcer.
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Other Options For Pain Relief
Painkillers arent the only answer for many of lifes aches and pains. Many effective and safe alternatives dont have any side effects at all.
- Ice packs, for acute injuries such as a sprained ankle, can keep down swelling and ease pain.
- Heat with a hot towel or heating pad can be helpful for treating chronic overuse injuries.
- Physical activity can help reduce some kinds of discomfort, such as arthritis pain.
- Relaxation with techniques such as yoga or meditation may reduce pain. Biofeedback may help as well. These approaches are best for pain thats amplified by stress, such as tension headaches.
- Nontraditional techniques with low risks such as acupuncture benefit some people.
So remember: Pain relief doesnt only come from a pill bottle.
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How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning
- 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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Stomach Ulcers Can Be Handled At Home But Be Careful
As you can see, there are many home remedies that can be used to care for the pain and damage that a stomach ulcer can cause. Although there are more remedies out there, we believe that the ones weve mentioned here are the best ones to help treat your ulcer.
But with that in mind, stomach ulcers can become a serious medical issue. If your ulcer isnt getting any better or if it gets worse while youre taking one of these home remedies, consult your doctor to make sure that everything is okay. He or she may recommend a more effective treatment depending on your condition.
What Tests Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
To confirm a person has an ulcer a diagnostic imaging test will usually be ordered. The two most widely used tests are:
- Upper GI series : This is a type of X-ray. The patient is given a chalky liquid to drink that increases the contrast on the X-ray, making certain features easier to see. Because this liquid contains barium, this test is sometimes called a barium swallow.
- Endoscopy : An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end. The patient is given a mild sedative, and then the tube is passed through the mouth into the stomach. The doctor can see the lining of the stomach to diagnose a peptic ulcer. Tiny samples of the tissue will be taken , which are examined under a microscope.
If a diagnostic imaging test reveals an ulcer, the patient will most likely have a test to see if H pylori bacteria are present.
- It is important to be certain about this, because treatment of the H pylori is likely to heal the ulcer.
- Ulcers caused by H pylori are treated differently than ulcers caused by medications.
Three types of tests are available to detect H pylori.
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Effective Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcer During Pregnancy
Stomach or peptic ulcers during pregnancy can be quite painful. Ulcers are small open sores in the stomach lining. They cause further irritation reacting with the acidity in the stomach. Instead of medications, natural remedies are the best to treat stomach ulcers during pregnancy. These are safe and easily available at home.
There are several effective home remedies for peptic ulcer. Vegetables like cabbage, carrot and coconut are excellent remedies. Also banana is known to work like magic in peptic ulcers. Honey, garlic and almonds are also extremely effective. Even cayenne pepper is a wonderful home remedy that can cure stomach ulcer. Keep reading to know more about effective home remedies for stomach ulcer during pregnancy.
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How Do You Treat Ulcers
There are a few things that you can do to relieve the symptoms of stomach ulcers. Avoiding spicy and fatty foods, managing stress, using over-the-counter antacids, and stopping the use of NSAIDs may provide relief. Your doctor may treat your peptic ulcer by prescribing antibiotics, or medications to block or reduce acid production.
Its important to know when you should seek care for stomach pain. Persistent abdominal pain that does not go away can indicate an underlying health problem.
Talk to your doctor if you experience frequent abdominal pain, or abdominal pain that does not go away, if you feel faint or have trouble breathing with abdominal pain, or if you have blood in your vomit or stool.
Your primary care doctor can help determine the best action to take, which may include a referral to a gastroenterologist: a physician that specializes in diagnosing and treating digestive diseases.
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Tips For Living With Ulcers
- If you have an ulcer, be careful when choosing over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can irritate an ulcer and prevent a bleeding ulcer from healing. Avoid powdered headache medication, too. It usually contains powdered aspirin. Your best choice may be acetaminophen, which doesnât cause or worsen stomach ulcers.
- Don’t overdose on iron supplements. You may need them if you have bleeding ulcers, but taking too much can irritate your stomach lining and the ulcer. Ask the doctor how much iron you need.
- Learn how to manage stress. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, guided imagery, and moderate exercise can help ease stress and promote healing.
- Avoid foods that irritate your stomach. Use common sense: If it upsets your stomach when you eat it, avoid it. Everyone is different, but spicy foods, citrus fruits, and fatty foods are common irritants.
- Stop smoking. Heavy smokers are more likely to get duodenal ulcers than nonsmokers.
- Practice moderation. Drinking lots of alcohol has been shown to contribute to ulcers, so keep your intake to a minimum.