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:
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Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer Complications
Peptic ulcers can cause some discomfort but are rarely life-threatening. With that said, severe ulcers can sometimes lead to perforation and internal bleeding and require emergency surgery to prevent serious illness or death.
This article discusses the complications of peptic ulcers, warning signs, and when to get medical help.
What Causes An Ulcer And Whos At Risk
Dr. Terry Simpson, Weight Loss Surgeon and Culinary Medicine Specialist with Dignity Health St. Johns Hospital says, The vast majority of stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria called Helicobactor pylori which was discovered in the 1980s. 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 doesnt 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 doesnt. 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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Could I Have An Ulcer And Not Know It
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Around 25 million people will have a stomach ulcer in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite their prevalence, the symptoms of an ulcer can frequently be mistaken for other conditions, like heartburnand some people may not show any signs at all. Its also unlikely that stress or your diet is the culprit. If youre concerned that your stomach pain could be something more serious, read on to find out the causes, proper treatment and prevention methods for peptic ulcers.
Caring For Venous Ulcers
Venous ulcers need proper care and treatment to prevent infection and to heal. ItÃ¢s important to have any venous ulcers checked right away by your healthcare provider.
Treatment may require focusing on the circulatory or vein problems that are causing the ulcers. Or it may mean removing some tissue around the wound. You may be asked to:
Clean the wound regularly
Apply a dressing to the ulcer
Avoid products that cause skin sensitivity
Wear compression stockings to prevent blood from pooling in the legs and to speed healing
Apply an antibacterial ointment or another topical medicine to prevent or treat an infection
Take oral antibiotic medicines to prevent or treat an infection
Have allergy testing done
Wearing a compression wrap to keep blood flowing back up to your heart can also help ulcers heal more quickly. In some cases, surgery or a skin graft is needed to close up the opening in the skin.
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How Do I Treat Ulcers
Ulcers are typically treated by medications. Exactly what medications you need will depend on whatâs causing your ulcer. Options include:
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori in your system
- Proton pump inhibitors to block acid production and promote healing of your ulcer
- H2 blockers to reduce acid production and encourage healing
In some cases, doctors might also recommend antacids. These will provide some relief for your symptoms, but they wonât actually heal your ulcer.
Occasionally, fundoplication surgery is used for GERD sufferers who are also dealing with ulcers. This procedure creates a valve mechanism at the bottom of the esophagus to prevent stomach acid from flowing backwards and continuing to create ulcers.
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What Exactly Is A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach, or peptic, ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach or the upper portion of your small intestine. This occurs when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is diminished, which then enables digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line your stomach, causing an ulcer.
According to Medscape, peptic ulcers are almost equally as common in men and women.
There are two types of peptic ulcers:
What Is A Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a sore or hole that forms in the lining of the stomach or intestine.
The word peptic refers to the digestive tract. An ulcer in the lining of the stomach is a gastric ulcer. An ulcer in the first part of the small intestine is a duodenal ulcer.
The lining of the stomach is a layer of special cells and mucous. Mucous prevents the stomach and duodenum from being damaged by acid and digestive enzymes.
If there is a break in the lining , the tissue under the lining can be damaged by the enzymes and corrosive acid. If the ulcer is small, there may be few symptoms. The wound can heal on its own.
If the ulcer is deep, it can cause serious pain or bleeding. Rarely, acids in the digestive juices may eat completely through the stomach or duodenum wall.
Peptic ulcers are very common. They become more common as people age.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is believed to cause most peptic ulcers. This bacteria causes inflammation in the stomach lining. This probably makes the lining vulnerable. But only a minority of people infected with H. pylori develop ulcers.
NSAIDs block the formation of some prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that normally help protect against ulcers. With less prostaglandins, ulcers are more likely to form.
- Excessive alcohol use
Signs You Have A Stomach Ulcer And Natural Remedies
As many as 1 out of every 10 people in the US and other western countries will experience a stomach ulcer at some point in their lives.
These irritating and often painful sores in the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine can be easy to treat, but if not addressed, can cause serious health problems.
The stomach and small intestine have protective mucus that lines them and keeps them safe from erosion from the very acid we need for healthy digestion. Ulcers happen when something weakens or alters this mucus coating, and the tissues become damaged from exposure to acid.
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Fainting Or Passing Out
After sitting or lying down for a long amount of time, the person who tries to stand up may experience lightheadedness which may lead to fainting. This happens because the body doesnât pump enough blood to the brain as much as necessary.
A display of faintness during situations like standing or sitting after prolonged lying down in a patient with stomach ulcer can be an indication of bleeding. With increased blood loss, the person may become anemic. The individual will usually feel weak and sleepy most of the day. It makes them feel exhausted as well.
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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How Do You Know If An Ulcer Is Bleeding
How do you know if an ulcer is bleeding? Blood is discharged from the ulcer which flows into the digestive tract. Some of the signs of bleedingulcer are vomiting blood , bloody stool , nose bleed, extreme tiredness, loss of weight, nausea and dizziness.
What are the warning signs of an ulcer? Here are 8 warning signs indicating an ulcer, including the following: 1. Discoloration of Stool. The ulcer can cause discolored stools that appear darker, stained or bloody. 2. Loss of appetite. Many people experience loss of appetite due to sudden and intense stomach pains.
How to recognize the signs of an ulcer? Signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer. The main symptom of a peptic ulcer is a burning sensation in the abdomen, which can be felt from the belly button up to the chest. This burning sensation can vary in intensity and may change from the moment you wake up to when you go back to sleep. In its early stage, a small peptic ulcer may be symptomless.
Do you know all the symptoms of a bleeding ulcer? A bleeding ulcer may require surgery. Severe stomach discomfort, nausea, dizziness, and low blood pressure may be signs of a bleeding ulcer. Intestinal upset can be a sign of a bleeding ulcer.
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How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
To diagnose a peptic ulcer, doctors do an exam, ask about symptoms, and take a medical history. If you have stomach pain or other symptoms of an ulcer, the doctor will do some tests.
One test is called an upper gastrointestinal series. These are X-rays of the stomach, duodenum, and esophagus, the muscular tube that links the mouth to the stomach. A person drinks a liquid called barium while getting an X-ray. If theres an ulcer, it should show up on the X-ray.
Another common test to look for an ulcer is an endoscopy . A person is sedated for this procedure. Then, the doctor puts an endoscope a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end down the throat and into the stomach and duodenum. The doctors can see the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to check for possible ulcers.
A doctor also can do a blood test that looks for H. pylori bacteria. This may be important if the upper GI series showed an ulcer. The blood test can be done right in the doctor’s office. Sometimes doctors test a poop sample or a person’s breath to check for the H. pylori bacteria.
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How Do H Pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer And Peptic Ulcer Disease
H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause peptic ulcer disease by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Once H. pylori have damaged the mucous coating, powerful stomach acid can get through to the sensitive lining. Together, the stomach acid and H. pylori irritate the lining of the stomach or duodenum and cause a peptic ulcer.
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The Seven Signs Of Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are very common. While many people experience painful symptoms, some do not. This is a problem, because if left untreated, a stomach ulcer can cause significant problems. Therefore, its important to learn to detect the signs of a potential stomach ulcer in your body.
Fortunately, stomach ulcers can be easily treated by your doctor once you find out you have one. This blog will help you understand the types of stomach ulcers, what causes them, and what treatments are available today.
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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, whether you take NSAIDs and other drugs, and medical history. Theyâll also check you for bloating in the belly and pain. That may be enough to make a diagnosis.
The only way your doctor can tell for sure if you have an ulcer is to look. They may use a series of X-rays or a test called an endoscopy. This test allows them to pass a thin, bendy tube down your throat and into your stomach and small intestine. The tube has a camera at the end so they can check the lining for ulcers. They may also take a small piece of the lining to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample tests also can screen for the bacteria.
What Are Stomach Ulcers
There are two kinds of stomach ulcers: gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are sores on the upper section of your small intestine.
Your body creates a protective layer of mucus to shield the linings of your stomach and small intestine from the harsh stomach acid required to break down food. When the mucus layer is worn away or doesnt function properly, the acid begins to damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine, creating an ulcer. Many people believe spicy foods or stress cause ulcers, but while these can exacerbate existing ulcers, they dont actually cause them.
Ulcers are usually caused by an infection from a common bacteria called helicobacter pylori or from the habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin. Other factors, such as being older than age 50, smoking, genetics, steroid use, and frequent alcohol use, can increase your risk of developing an ulcer.
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Top 27 Natural & Effective Home Remedies For Peptic Ulcer Pain Attack
1. Increase Fiber Consumption
Increasing fiber consumption is the next treatment in this list of home remedies for peptic ulcer.
A diet rich in whole grains and high in fiber, along with dairy products at modest levels, can help control stomach acid production. Healthy and balanced diets should be high in fiber. Not eating enough vitamin-rich foods can make it difficult for the body to heal peptic ulcers.
- Fiber-rich foods include breads, pasta from whole wheat and brown rice.
- You can consume lean meat and low-fat milk products at a moderate level.
- Enhance consumption of foods rich in antioxidants , flavonoids , B vitamins and Calcium because they help to reduce the symptoms of peptic ulcer.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day as part of a healthy diet.
There are no recommended diets for all patients with peptic ulcer, so you need to identify foods that cause irritation and talk with your doctor.
2. Eat Three Bananas A Day
This sounds strange when it comes to home remedies for peptic ulcer attack, but it works.
A healthy diet with three bananas helps prevent ulcers and relieve pain from ulcers. All you need to do is eat bananas, drink banana smoothies or add bananas to breakfast cereal. Combine bananas with other healthy foods. Eating bananas with a healthy lifestyle improves your ability to prevent or treat peptic ulcers. Beside bananas, you can add some non-acidic fruit such as kiwi, mango and papaya to your diet. Also, try to eat boiled vegetables like broccoli or carrots.
History Of Ulcer Causes
Ulcers have a unique and interesting history when it comes to their suspected causes. For decades, stomach ulcers were considered to be psychosomatic, meaning a high-stress lifestyle was to blame. At the time doctors started identifying high rates of ulcers in hard-working businessmen who smoked a lot of cigarettes and were likely sleep-deprived, and then animal studies further confirmed stress-triggered ulcers. Rats producing high amounts of stomach acid experienced a decrease in stomach ulcer symptoms when researchers fed them antacids, so a connection was then drawn between ulcers, chronic stress and an increase in stomach acid, which changed ulcer treatment approaches forever.
A bacterium called Helicobacter pylori was then discovered that seemed to be present in nearly everyone suffering from ulcers. It was also found to runin families and was connected to other digestive disorders, including stomach cancer. In patients given medications/antibiotics to kill H. pylori, ulcers were often resolved at least for a period of time.
However, today its more common to treat ulcers using less risky acid-reducing drugs in combination with lifestyle and dietary changes, rather than prescribing antibiotics to kill H. pylori, which can come with complications and lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics used to combat H. pylori can work short term to lower the bacteria, but dont seem to keep it from returning without other interventions.
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