Worried That You Might Have An Ulcer Please Come See Us
If youre experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, or if your digestive tract is bothering you in any way or causing you pain, please call 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health gastroenterologists. Well examine you, evaluate your symptoms, maybe perform some tests, and together with you, decide on the best treatment going forward, given your individual health needs. Whenever, wherever you need us, were here for you.
By Elie M. Abemayor, MD, Sc.M., a gastroenterologist with Westchester Health, member of Westchester Health Physician Partners
How Do Nsaids Cause A Peptic Ulcer
To understand how NSAIDs cause peptic ulcer disease, it is important to understand how NSAIDs work. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce pain, fever, and inflammation, or swelling.
Everyone has two enzymes that produce chemicals in your bodys cells that promote pain, inflammation, and fever. NSAIDs work by blocking or reducing the amount of these enzymes that your body makes. However, one of the enzymes also produces another type of chemical that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid and helps control bleeding. When NSAIDs block or reduce the amount of this enzyme in your body, they also increase your chance of developing a peptic ulcer.
Get To Know The 9 Glaring Stomach Ulcer Symptoms You Can T
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A Feeling Of Wooziness
On occasion, the person may experience a little more run down when engaging in exercises or exerting extra hard work. Perhaps the person feels an unusual feeling of wooziness especially when stands hurriedly after a long sit.
All these may be accompanied by a sense of fatigue which is often blamed on too much work performed by the person. The individual will be remarkably in distress, thinking it may be due to different sort of situations.
Only when the person visits a doctor for help will he be able to point clues about the problem. Stomach ulcer may be identified and can be drawn based on history of heartburns, diet, activities, and excessive intake of drugs which may be possibly taken by the person to help reduce aches of the body when feeling fatigue.
- Mohammad J. Kaviani, Mohsen Pirastehfar, Ali Azari, & Mehdi Saberifiroozi . Etiology and Outcome of Patients with Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding: A Study from South of Iran.
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.
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What Are Some Ulcer Symptoms
Some people with ulcers dont experience any symptoms. But signs of an ulcer can include:
- Gnawing or burning pain in your middle or upper stomach between meals or at night.
- Pain that temporarily disappears if you eat something or take an antacid.
In severe cases, symptoms can include:
- Dark or black stool .
- Severe pain in your mid- to upper abdomen.
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.
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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:
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.
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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.
What Causes A Peptic Ulcer
Causes of peptic ulcers include
- long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen
- an infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori
- rare cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the stomach, duodenum, or pancreasknown as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Sometimes peptic ulcers are caused by both NSAIDs and H. pylori.
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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.
Early Warning Signs And Symptoms
Although a perforation may be the first indication of peptic ulcer disease, most people with this condition experience milder symptoms in the days or weeks leading up to the perforation. Pain between the breastbone and the navel may occur when the stomach is empty, and might be relieved with antacids. The pain may come and go, and is often worse at night. Dark, tarry bowel movements or vomiting material that resembles coffee grounds may signal bleeding from a peptic ulcer.
- Although a perforation may be the first indication of peptic ulcer disease, most people with this condition experience milder symptoms in the days or weeks leading up to the perforation.
- Pain between the breastbone and the navel may occur when the stomach is empty, and might be relieved with antacids.
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Stomach Ulcer Symptoms You Cant Ignore And How To Naturally Treat Them
May 20, 2019
Chances are that if you havent experienced one yourself, you at least know someone whos had a stomach ulcer at one point or another. Estimates show that about 500,000 new cases of peptic ulcers are reported each year in the U.S. alone, and at any given time about 5 million people are affected. In addition, one in 10 adults can expect to deal with painful ulcers at one point or another.
For many years, doctors thought that high amounts of stress alone could cause a stomach ulcer to form by increasing production of stomach acid. But then research emerged in the 1980s showing that frequent use of anti-inflammatory drugs , a poor lifestyle, and especially a type of bacterial infection caused by the strain Helicobacter pylori are the real culprits of the majority of ulcers.
Fortunately, according to an article published in The Lancet, prevalence of H. pylori infection and peptic ulcer diseases have become substantially less prevalent than they were two decades ago.
Wondering how to treat a stomach ulcer if youve already developed one? Below well cover much more about stomach ulcer treatments including medications, stress management and dietary changes.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer Does It Cause Pain
Ulcers do not always cause symptoms. Sometimes, a serious complication such as bleeding or a sudden, bad upper abdominal pain is the first sign of an ulcer.
The most common symptom of peptic ulcers is abdominal pain.
- The pain is usually in the upper middle part of the abdomen, above the belly button and below the breastbone.
- The ulcer pain can feel like burning, or gnawing, and it may go through to the back.
- Pain often comes several hours after a meal when the stomach is empty.
- The pain is often worse at night and early morning.
- It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
- The ulcer pain may be relieved by food, antacids, or vomiting.
Other symptoms of peptic ulcers include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
Severe ulcers may cause bleeding in the stomach or duodenum. Bleeding is sometimes the only symptom of an ulcer. This bleeding can be fast or slow. Fast bleeding reveals itself in one of the following ways:
- Vomiting of blood or dark material that looks something like coffee grounds: This is an emergency and warrants an immediate visit to an emergency department.
- Blood in the stool or black, tarry, sticky-looking stools
Slow bleeding is often more difficult to detect, because it has no dramatic symptoms.
- The usual result is low blood cell count .
- The symptoms of anemia are tiredness , lack of energy , weakness, rapid heartbeat , and pale skin .
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Can Peptic Ulcers Be Prevented
Regular use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems and bleeding in some children. Acetaminophen does not cause stomach ulcers and is a good alternative to NSAIDs for most childhood conditions.
Alcohol and smoking can make an ulcer more likely. Help your child avoid coffee, tea, sodas, and foods that contain caffeine, which can increase acid in the stomach and may make an ulcer worse.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Stomach Ulcer
Most people with a stomach ulcer do not experience any symptoms. The most common symptom is burning pain in the upper abdomen. The pain can travel to the chest and neck, bellybutton, or back.
Other less common symptoms include:
- feeling full and bloated, or belching
- not being able to tolerate fatty foods
Sometimes, stomach ulcers can lead to more serious symptoms, such as:
- a sudden sharp pain in the stomach that gets worse
- vomiting blood
- blood in your stool or black, tarry stools
- weight loss
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
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How To Relieve Stomach Ulcer Pain
A stomach ulcer is a peptic ulcer which is in the stomach, it is also known as a gastric ulcer. These are open ulcers that originate in this area when it is burst or is unprotected from the strong gastric acids found in this organ. These wounds are due to a bacterial infection mostly, though excess acids and stomach juices can also be the cause. Medical intervention is usually necessary to help ulcers heal completely, so in this article you an see what resources are available to relieve stomach ulcer pain at home, as these remedies are meant to accompany the medication prescribed by a doctor.
The most common cause of stomach ulcers is an infection caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Though we must highlight that not all patients that have this bacteria in their stomachs develop a gastric ulcer. Moreover, it can also be caused by excess formation of gastric acid and due to bad habits.
The main symptoms of stomach ulcers may include nausea, diarrhea and severe pain in the stomach. You tend to feel a burning sensation. When stomach ulcers gets serious, a sudden weight loss process will start and blood may be visible in stools.
When you notice the aforementioned symptoms, you must consult your doctor to get the convenient tests in order to be prescribed with the adequate treatment. Remember you should never take medicine on your own behalf as it could put your health at risk.
Black Or Dark Colored Stool
If you think you may have an ulcer, a good way to tell is to look at your stool. If you notice that when you use the restroom your stool is extremely dark in color, or even black, chances are you are right about what is ailing you. If this is the case, you should absolutely go to the hospital immediately.
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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.
When To Seek Medical Advice
You should visit your GP if you think you may have a stomach ulcer.
Seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds
- passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
- a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse
These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
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Increasing Pain From A Penetrating Point
If an individual is suffering from episodes of intense pain brought about by characteristically a penetrating discomfort, the person may be suffering from a bleeding ulcer.
A more localized pain that radiates pain to the back of the person who has a known stomach ulcer can be an indicator of present bleeding of the ulcers in areas around the site of pain.
Especially when intolerable, the person is usually advised to seek medical attention to be on the safer side and be able to make necessary corrections before things goes out of control.
Abdominal Tenderness Distention And Rigidity
Spillage of digestive contents into the abdominal cavity due to a perforated ulcer provokes intense inflammation of the area. This leads to not only pain but abdominal tenderness, meaning touching or pressing on the abdomen provokes increased pain. This is evident on physical examination, as people with abdominal cavity inflammation reflexively stiffen the abdominal muscles when the doctor presses on the area. This reflex is known as abdominal guarding.
A perforated ulcer frequently also causes swelling of the abdomen, known as abdominal distention. Air entering the abdomen through the perforation often contributes to distention. Fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity due to inflammation of the area is another contributor to abdominal distention. Abdominal guarding and distention both cause the area to feel rigid on examination. Light tapping on the abdomen will often produce a hollow, drum-like sound.
- Spillage of digestive contents into the abdominal cavity due to a perforated ulcer provokes intense inflammation of the area.
- This is evident on physical examination, as people with abdominal cavity inflammation reflexively stiffen the abdominal muscles when the doctor presses on the area.
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