What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcer
- The most concerning sign is coughing or vomiting blood as it indicates that the erosion of the stomach wall is quite far along.
- Another sign could include dark stools as a result of blood that has been processed through the digestive tract and is now being excreted in the stool, more formally known as melena.
- Weight loss in extreme cases as the pain affects appetite.
Stress And Stomach Ulcers
There is no doubt that stress can have a significant and lasting impact on your health. Chronic, high levels of stress can lead to a weakening of your immune system and open the door to health issues, such as heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
Many people associate stress with stomach ulcers, but stress is not a cause of stomach ulcers alone. If the body is under stress, its ability to heal itself is impaired. As a result, you might be more prone to developing a stomach or peptic ulcer.
Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain Every Day
The answer is unfortunately yes.
Its hard to believe that intense fear can cause such physical pain, sometimes constant pain, but until you relieve your extreme stress levels it may keep causing pain in your chest.
In this case, you must get checked by your doctor to rule out any heart problem or other conditions that cause daily chest pain.
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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?
What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feels Like
Stomach ulcer pain usually begins in the upper middle part of the abdomen, above the belly button and below the breastbone. The pain may feel like burning or gnawing that may go through to the back. The onset of the pain may occur several hours after a meal when the stomach is empty. Patients have reported paint to be worse at night as opposed to the morning. Pain duration may vary from a few minutes to several hours. Pain may be relieved by foods, antacids or vomiting.
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Duration Of Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori heal when the bacteria is killed. The typical course of treatment includes two weeks of antibiotics along with acid-suppressing medicine. This is followed by an additional four to eight weeks of the acid-suppressing medicine alone.
Its possible for an ulcer to heal temporarily without antibiotics, but it will likely recur or another one will form nearby if the bacteria is not killed.
Peptic ulcers caused by medication usually heal shortly after you stop taking the medication. Doctors typically recommend taking antacids for two to six weeks to assist with healing and relieve pain.
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Abdominal Pain That Requires Emergency Care
Get immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms :
- Sudden or severe abdominal pain
- Abdominal pain with chest pain
- Youve had a recent abdomen surgery or injury
Other abdominal pain symptoms that may require medical attention include :
- Blood in stool, urine, or vomit
- Difficulty swallowing
- Eat more whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes
- Drink enough water every day for proper digestion
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Dont drink more than a few sips of anything with your meals. Water dilutes your stomach acid making it harder to digest.
- Stand or sit up straight after you eat if you have GERD. Lying down allows the stomach acid to move upward and causes heartburn.
- Relax and avoid stressful activities before, during, and after meals
- Exercise every day and take a quick walk after big meals
- Try reducing or cutting out common problem foods such as dairy or gluten to see whats causing your stomach problems
- Avoid difficult-to-digest foods such as fried foods or heavily preserved foods
How To Get Rid of A Stomach Ache
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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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 Other Changes Can Stress Cause
In certain individuals, changes in the secretion of stomach acid and mucous protecting the stomach tissue from the acid may lead to erosions in the tissue over time, a condition known as a gastric ulcer. While some research shows stress to be a direct cause of ulcers, current research has also shown that the experience of psychological stress influences health risk behaviours. These behaviours in themselves place the individual at a higher risk of developing an ulcer and include smoking, lack of sleep, and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
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Will Surgery Cure A Peptic Ulcer
Medical therapy works in most people with peptic ulcers. Sometimes, medical therapy does not work, or a person can’t take the therapy for some reason. Surgery is an alternative to medical therapy for these people.
Surgical operations often used in peptic ulcers include the following:
- Vagotomy: Cutting the vagus nerve, which transmits messages from the brain to the stomach, can reduce acid secretion. However, this can also interfere with other functions of the stomach. A newer operation cuts only the part of the nerve that affects acid secretion.
- Antrectomy: This is often done in conjunction with a vagotomy. It involves removing the lower part of the stomach . This part of the stomach produces a hormone that increases production of stomach acid. Adjacent parts of the stomach may also be removed.
- Pyloroplasty: This procedure also is sometimes done with vagotomy. It enlarges the opening between the stomach and duodenum to encourage passage of partially digested food. Once the food has passed, acid production normally stops.
- Tying off an artery: If bleeding is a problem, cutting off the blood supply to the ulcer can stop the bleeding.
Can Stress Trigger Stomach Ulcers
It sounds like common wisdom: Too much stress will give you a . But the truth is a bit more complicated.
Stomach ulcersalso called peptic ulcers or gastric ulcersare small that can develop in the lining of your stomach. They have two commonly recognized causes. Infection with , a bacterium that can damage the lining of your stomach and intestines, is responsible for many ulcers. Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like ibuprofen or aspirin, is another common cause.
The role stress plays in developing stomach ulcers has been debated for years. But a recent study in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology may offer some new answers.
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Treatment Of Helicobacter Pylori Infection
- Triple Therapy: When Helicobacter pylori infection is present with the ulcer, the most effective treatments are combinations of 2 antibiotics and 1 proton pump inhibitor , sometimes together with a bismuth compound. . Other combinations may also be effective. This treatment may be used with medicine that reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes .
- Advanced Therapy: In complicated, treatment-resistant cases, 3 antibiotics may be used together with a PPI and sometimes with the bismuth compound. An effective first-line therapy for uncomplicated cases would be Amoxicillin + Metronidazole + Rabeprazole . In the absence of H. pylori, long-term higher dose PPIs are often used.
- H2 Antagonists: Younger patients with ulcer-like symptoms are often treated with antacids or H2 antagonists before EGD is undertaken. Bismuth compounds may actually reduce or even clear organisms. Patients who are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories may also be prescribed a prostaglandin analogue in order to help prevent peptic ulcers, which may be a side effect of the NSAIDs.
Treatment of H. pylori usually leads to the clearing of infection, relief of symptoms and eventual healing of ulcers. Recurrence of infection can occur and retreatment may be required, if necessary with other antibiotics.
How Do You Treat Stress Ulcers
Mindfulness could be part of a protocol to help heal the ulcerated tissue and improve symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain. Women participating in an 8-week course where they practiced mindfulness-based stress reduction experienced a 26.4% reduction in their symptoms and when researchers followed-up after 3 months, these same women had now experienced a 38.2% reduction in symptoms. MBSR has also been shown to stabilize cortisol rhythms which fluctuate throughout a 24-hour period, otherwise known as the stress hormone.
Diet can play a large role as well with certain foods demonstrating ulcer-fighting properties, mostly in animal studies. S-methylmethionine is a compound that can be found in abundance in cabbage and has been shown to have anti-ulcerogenic properties. Some research has demonstrated an ability to accelerate the healing of ulcers, and in another study where conventional treatment failed, -86% of recruited patients found relief from pain within two weeks of starting to take cabbage juice.
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Foods That Reduce Stomach Pain
An upset stomach from anxiety is not usually the result of your diet , there arent necessarily any dietary changes that can help reduce stomach pain.
However, those with panic attacks are more prone to experiencing more severe stomach pains, even when no anxiety is present. In other words, when you have panic attacks, its possible to have stomach pain even without a panic attack.
Also, those with anxiety attacks and acute anxiety are prone to whats known as over-sensitization. That means that they are more likely to notice and feel smaller, normal body changes, which can trigger an anxiety attack. So if your diet contains foods that cause you gas, stomach discomfort, or mild indigestion, it may be best to avoid them because the slight discomfort could feel worse than it should and may trigger a panic attack.
Thats why healthy eating is important for those that get stomach pain from anxiety. Make sure youre getting:
In addition, if possible, try to avoid eating until youre too full. Those with severe anxiety sometimes interpret the full feeling as pain, which could trigger a panic attack and further pain.
Furthermore, diets containing more alcohol and caffeine can worsen or even cause stomach symptoms. Stay away from these if you want to improve your gut health and digestive problems.
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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What Are Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers, or gastric ulcers, are open sores on the lining of your stomach. They are fairly common. Most people with stomach ulcers feel a burning sensation in their stomach or abdomen.
Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer. They develop when the acids that normally help you to digest and break down food damage the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. This causes a break in the lining, resulting in an ulcer.
What Is An Ulcer
Many people talk about ulcers as if they were experts, but very few seem to understand what an ulcer actually is.
Youve had countless ulcers throughout your life, but most develop externally. If you graze yourself, for example, you may lose layers of skin, your dermis and even the subcutaneous fat beneath this. The body reacts to this breach by creating an ulcer, or open sore. Eventually as long as the sore is not too big and does not get infected the sore or ulcer will heal itself.
Stomach ulcers are simply internal sores upon the lining of your stomach. This begs the question as you cannot scrape your stomach lining, how do stomach ulcers occur?
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According To Wikipedia Stress Ulcer Is Defined As A Single Or Multiple Mucosal Defects Which Can Become Complicated By Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding Physiologic Stress
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Be that as it may, it is important to note that an ulcer occurs when tissue in an area of the mouth, stomach, esophagus, or other parts of the digestive system becomes damaged.
And as a result, the area gets irritated and inflamed and creates a hole or sore. Ulcers are at risk of bleeding, so those occurring in the stomach and intestinal tract need to be monitored.
However, some studies suggest that stress ulcer is triggered by physical stress. And this physical stress can come in some of the following forms:
- Serious long-term illness
- Trauma that occurs in the brain or body
- Injury to the central nervous system
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.