Medical History Physical Exam And Tests To Look For Bleeding
When taking your medical history, the doctor will ask about your symptoms and possible risk factors to see if they might suggest stomach cancer or another cause. The physical examcan give your doctor information about possible signs of stomach cancer or other health problems. In particular, the doctor will feel your belly for anything abnormal.
The doctor might order a blood test to look for anemia , which could be caused by the cancer bleeding into the stomach. A test might also be done to look for blood in your stool that cant be seen by the naked eye, which could also be a sign of bleeding in the stomach.
If your doctor thinks you might have stomach cancer or another type of stomach problem, he or she will likely refer you to a gastroenterologist , who will examine you and might do further testing.
What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
How Is An Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. They may do an endoscopy. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube attached to a camera down your throat and into your stomach. Your doctor will test your blood, breath or stool for H. pylori. They also can test a sample of your stomach lining. Your doctor also will ask you if you regularly take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines.
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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.
Video Answer: Stomach Ulcer
Ulcerative Keratitis in Dogs.
A corneal ulcer occurs when deeper layers of the cornea are lost these ulcers are classified as superficial or deep.
If your dog’s eyes are tearing excessively, or it is squinting, there is a possibility of A corneal ulcer .
Ulcerative Keratitis in Dogs.
A corneal ulcer occurs when deeper layers of the cornea are lost these ulcers are classified as superficial or deep.
If your dog’s eyes are tearing excessively, or it is squinting, there is a possibility of a corneal ulcer .
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Peptic Ulcer Disease Symptoms
Symptoms of peptic ulcer disease may be similar to other upper gastrointestinal conditions. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Pain radiating to the back
- Burning or gnawing feeling similar to hunger pains
- Pain aggravated by meals
- Pain relieved by meals
Because the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease are often nonspecific, it is important that you see a gastroenterologist for diagnosis.
What Is A Bleeding Ulcer
The stomach is a mixing bowl, allowing food and digestive juices to combine and allow digestion to begin. But the stomach has a protective lining that prevents digestive enzymes from eating away at it. If this lining is damaged, inflammation and pain may occur. If the inflammation becomes worse, it can cause the lining of the stomach or the duodenum to bleed. The bleeding may not be noticeable, and the patient may not seek medical care.
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Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers In Dogs And Cats
Stomach ulceration in dogs and cats causes several different clinical signs, most of which remain undetected until the condition becomes severe. Common symptoms associated with stomach ulcers are non-specific and can easily be confused with other conditions.
Initial signs include vomiting, abdominal pain, generalized weakness, and a decrease in appetite. As the condition becomes chronic, affected dogs and cats lose weight. When ulcers start bleeding, bloody vomit may be observed. Oftentimes, blood from bleeding ulcers is ingested and digested and causes a dark, tarry stool.
Severe cases of stomach ulcers and subsequent perforation lead to peritonitis and sepsis. Pets with perforated stomach ulcers often present with severe weakness, anemia, and pain. If left untreated, this can cause shock and eventual death of the pet.
What Ulcer Treatments Are Available
If your ulcer is bleeding, your doctor may treat it during an endoscopy procedure by injecting medications into it. Your doctor could also use a clamp or cauterization to seal it off and stop the bleeding.
For most people, doctors treat ulcers with medications, including:
- Proton pump inhibitors : These drugs reduce acid, which allows the ulcer to heal. PPIs include Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Aciphex®, Protonix® and Nexium®.
- Histamine receptor blockers : These drugs also reduce acid production and include Tagamet®, Pepcid®, Zantac® and Axid®.
- Antibiotics: These medications kill bacteria. Doctors use them to treat H. pylori.
- Protective medications: Like a liquid bandage, these medications cover the ulcer in a protective layer to prevent further damage from digestive acids and enzymes. Doctors commonly recommend Carafate® or Pepto-Bismol®.
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Do Stomach Ulcers Go Away
Left untreated, many ulcers eventually heal. But ulcers often recur if the cause of the ulcer is not eliminated or treated. If ulcers keep coming back, you have an increased risk of developing a serious complication, such as bleeding or a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine.
Treatment And Management Of Stomach Ulcers In Pets
Treatment of stomach ulcers depends on the severity of the disease and the underlying cause. In most cases, dietary modification is needed in treating and managing the condition. H2-blockers like famotidine and proton-pump inhibitors like omeprazole reduce the production of gastric acid which helps reduce further injury to the stomachs lining.
One thing pet owners need to be wary of when starting treatment for dogs or cats with stomach ulcers is rebound hyperacidity. Often, when long-term treatment with either an H2-blocker or a proton-pump inhibitor medicine is discontinued, gastric cells produce acids and enzymes at an increased rate which can worsen the condition. Gradual tapering of these medications is often needed once symptoms have been controlled.
Gastroprotectant medications like sucralfate coat the stomachs lining and protect it from further injuries and damage. Cats and dogs diagnosed with stomach ulcers may need gastroprotectant treatment for an extended period to successfully manage the condition.
Antibiotics can be given at a prophylactic dose to prevent any secondary infection on the ulcers. However, care must be taken in using antibiotics, as some antibacterial medications can further stimulate gastric acid production.
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Other Congenital And Inherited Disorders That Cause Ulcers In Dogs
Other disorders that may cause the development of ulcers in dogs include:
- Pyloric stenosismuscular thickening of the stomach exit can slow or block the flow of digested foods
- Malformations of the intestines this can cause maldigestion and malabsorption which is linked to inflammation of the intestines
- Gastric dilatation volvuluscharacterized by gastric torsion, bloat, and stomach dilation
- Inflammatory bowel disease chronic inflammation and irritation of the intestines that is not associated with any causative disease.
- Chronic gastritis inflamed stomach
- Hypothyroidism low adrenal gland function
- Other neurologic, metabolic, endocrine or systemic abnormalities
Nsaid Drugs And Stomach Ulcers
A group of painkillers known as NSAIDs carries a risk of stomach ulcers. The two best-known NSAIDs are aspirin and ibuprofen.
The risk of ulcers increases if the drugs are taken in high doses, or regularly for a long time.
Stronger NSAIDs, such as those that need a prescription, are riskier for stomach ulcers than those that can be bought over-the-counter .
People should always check labels and talk to a pharmacist or a doctor about any concerns with using painkillers. They may recommend an alternative such as acetaminophen.
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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?
H2 Blockers: Effectiveness Depends On Dose
The studies on H2 blockers mainly looked at the drugs famotidine and ranitidine. These studies lasted up to one year. Both drugs were shown to prevent peptic ulcers, but their effectiveness greatly depended on the dose taken. When taken at lower doses, the medications only reduced the risk of duodenal ulcers. When taken at higher doses, they effectively prevented both stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers:
- Without an H2 blocker, 36 out of 100 people developed an ulcer.
- With an H2 blocker, 15 out of 100 people developed an ulcer.
In other words, higher doses of H2 blockers prevented peptic ulcers in 21 out of 100 people.
The effective doses in the trials were 40 mg twice daily for famotidine and 300 mg twice daily for ranitidine. These medications were also well tolerated at higher doses. Side effects such as headaches, diarrhea or constipation may occur, though.
What can you do to prevent ulcers from developing in your horse? Equine ulcers are all too common, with studies showing that up to 90% of horses will be affected by ulcers in their lifetime.
Stomach ulcers, also known as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome , are most common in horses. But ulcers can occur along the entire digestive tract.
When ulcers develop in the hindgut, they are referred to as Right Dorsal Colitis or colonic ulcers.
In this article, we will discuss natural strategies you can implement to prevent the potential onset of ulcers in your horse.
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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.
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.
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How To Spot Bleeding Stomach Ulcers
It is important to understand a few facts about peptic ulcers and bleeding from the upper gut. Firstly peptic ulcers refers to stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers . Between the two, duodenal ulcers are more common. Secondly there are many possible causes of bleeding from the upper gut . A bleeding peptic ulcer is only one possible cause of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, albeit the most common.
Sometimes the signs and symptoms of an upper gastrointestinal bleed, like a bleeding ulcer, is overt and therefore obvious. It may be seen as fresh red blood in the vomit or similar to dark coffee grounds in the vomit. At other times the bleed is less obvious. A person may not vomit, may not seen any overt signs of bleeding and the bleed is discovered routinely with diagnostic investigations or when complications like anemia arise. Therefore there is no definitive way to spot a bleeding stomach ulcer in these cases without a medical assessment.
Read more on stomach ulcers.
How To Diagnose Ulcers
- Urea breath test:
The patient is diagnosed using a urea breath test where a specific drink is given to patient which gets broken down by H.pylori bacteria and the breath is then analyzed to see if he/she has H.pylori infection.
- Stool antigen test/Blood test
A blood test is done to analyze whether it contains antibodies to H.pylori which is nowadays replaced by stool antigen test.
This is done to look inside the stomach directly and detect whether or not it contains an ulcer. The process involves passing an endoscope with a camera at one end into the mouth and the duodenum. A mild sedative may be given before the procedure and an anesthetic may be sprayed onto the throat to make the procedure more comfortable.
The images captured by the camera usually confirm or rule out the ulcer. However, sometimes a small tissue sample may also be needed to be taken and tested for the same. This is usually an outpatient procedure and the patient is usually sent home the same day.
Endoscopy is another procedure to diagnose ulcers. PPIs and H2 receptor antagonists are used to reduce acid levels until the swelling goes down. If an obstruction is caused by scar tissue, it may either need endoscopic balloon inflation.
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Can You Prevent A Peptic Ulcer
While stress and spicy foods can make symptoms of a peptic ulcer worse, they donât seem to make you more likely to have one. But a few other things can raise your chances.
Be careful when you take pain relievers. Some people who have arthritis or other conditions that cause chronic pain take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for weeks or months at a time to ease pain and swelling. These medicines can affect the mucus that protects your stomach against acid and make you more likely to have peptic ulcers.
These pain relievers include:
You’re more likely to get an ulcer while taking one of these if you:
- Are over age 65
- Are infected with H. pylori bacteria
- Take more than one NSAID at a time
- Have had a peptic ulcer in the past
- Also take a steroid drug or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
To lower your chances for peptic ulcers while you take NSAIDs:
- Use the lowest possible dose to control your symptoms, and stop taking them as soon as you no longer need them.
- Take your medicine with food.
- Don’t drink alcohol while youâre taking these medicines.
While you’re on NSAIDs, you can take medicine to lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. Drugs that can do that include:
You can do some things to make an infection less likely:
How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will look at your past health and give you a physical exam. You may also have some tests.
Imaging tests used to diagnose ulcers include:
- Upper GI series or barium swallow. This test looks at the organs of the top part of your digestive system. It checks your food pipe , stomach, and the first part of the small intestine . You will swallow a metallic fluid called barium. Barium coats the organs so that they can be seen on an X-ray.
- Upper endoscopy or EGD . This test looks at the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It uses a thin lighted tube called an endoscope. The tube has a camera at one end. The tube is put into your mouth and throat. Then it goes into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Your health care provider can see the inside of these organs. A small tissue sample can be taken. This can be checked for H. pylori.
You may also have the following lab tests to see if you have an H. pylori infection:
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