Fluids To Stay Hydrated
According to research from WebMD, staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of a colitis sufferer diet. After all, ulcerative colitis flare-ups put you at dangerous risk of becoming dehydrated.
Focus on a diet filled with easily digestible fluidssuch as water infused with a squeeze of real fruit, soup broth, and even fresh smoothies as a meal replacement when your body cant handle solid foods. Think of fluids as a great method for infusing your body with much-needed nutrients.
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.
Living With Peptic Ulcer Disease
Most ulcers heal within about 8 weeks. Peptic ulcers come and go. You have to do what you can to reduce your risk. If you smoke or chew tobacco, ask your doctor about how to quit. Eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid foods that cause discomfort. These include alcohol, coffee, caffeinated soda, fatty foods, chocolate, and spicy foods. Avoid eating late at night. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to NSAIDs. Take all medicines with plenty of water.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.
The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Less common ulcer symptoms may include:
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Bloody or black stool
Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
Symptoms And Causes Of Ulcers
The primary symptom of ulcers and peptic ulcer disease is pain. A painful, burning sensation can be felt throughout the top of the sternum, seeping all the way to the navel. The time frame for the pain can fluctuateit could last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours.
Most ulcers are caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori , a gastrointestinal infection that can cause both peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. H. pylori affects about 20% of people younger than 30 years old and 50% of people over the age of 60.Researchers are unsure how H. pylori can spread from one person to the other, but they do believe that it can be transmitted through food, water, and close contact with others. A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that H. pylori is more likely to be found in individuals with low blood levels of vitamin C. Study researchers recommended increased vitamin C consumption.Aside from H. pylori, other causes of ulcers include excess digestive acids that will damage the lining of the digestive tract, long-term and constant use of anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as unmanaged stress. Stress causes a change in the immune system, blood flow, and acid secretionthese changes can aggravate ulcer symptoms and impede on the healing process.
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How Can Stem Cell Therapy Aid Ulcer Patients
Peptic ulcer disease is a chronic condition that can be cured with the help of stem cell therapy.
Stem cells are a group of cells that are derived from one original stem cell. Further, stem cells are generated from the existing ones. These are grown in the lab and frozen for storage.
Stem cells are immature cells that can develop into any kind of cell in the body. The idea is that these cells will help the body heal, including in cases where the stomach lining has been damaged by acid or other substances.
As a peptic ulcer treatment, stem cell therapy is one of the most promising avenues because it stimulates the growth of new cells and regenerates damaged tissue, which leads to increased protection from acid reflux and other problems that come with this condition. This regenerative medicine is shown to substitute scarred tissue with freshly produced healthy tissue.
Stem cell therapy helps stimulate tissue repair, improving the rate at which the perforations are healed. The anti-inflammatory properties in the stem cells aid in reducing the swelling caused by ulcers.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Stomach Ulcer
Always seek medical care for a stomach ulcer. While you may be able to manage symptoms temporarily with over-the-counter medications, these wont heal the ulcer. You need to identify and treat the underlying cause. An untreated ulcer can lead to serious complications, even if your symptoms are mild. The major cause of stomach ulcers, H. pylori infection, can also lead to other complications.
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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 tracts 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.
What Are Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are open, painful sores that affect the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine, called the duodenum . Ulcers in the stomach are also called stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers. Those in the duodenum are also called duodenal ulcers. Peptic ulcers are rare in kids.
In the past, peptic ulcers could last for several years or even a lifetime. But a better understanding of what causes them and how to treat them means that most can be cured.
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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.
What Exactly Is Peptic Ulcer Disease
The human body has a natural defense mechanism called the immune system. It protects the body against pathogens and other harmful substances. When this defense system is compromised, it may increase stomach acid production, which results in an ulcer. The immune system also plays a crucial role in healing peptic ulcers by producing white blood cells that can fight off infection or bacteria inside the stomach lining.
Peptic ulcer disease is when the lining of the stomach or duodenum becomes inflamed and develops holes. The ulcer can be painful, and sometimes bleeding occurs from it.
It is caused by stomach acid and pepsin that leak from the stomach into the duodenum. Too much acid in the stomach or too little protective mucus in the duodenal lining can be the cause. These peptic ulcers can be found in either the esophagus or the stomach.
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You Bleed When You Use The Bathroom
Blood coming from the gastrointestinal tract can signal a variety of underlying health issues, but Dr. Sengupta says when this bleeding is combined with upper abdominal pain, hes highly suspicious that its one of the signs of an ulcer. Many patients notice this blood either when vomiting, or when using the bathroom, as their stools may appear black. If you notice youre suffering from a bleeding GI tract, along with nausea and pain in the stomach or chest, Dr. Sengupta says doctors will often perform a blood test or an upper endoscopywhere they use a camera to look into the stomach itselfto check if an ulcer is the culprit. Blood in your stool can also be due to hemorrhoids or a symptom of colon cancer, so its a good idea to get checked out by your doctor.
What Causes Peptic Ulcer Disease
The main cause is the bacterial infection, Helicobacter pylori . Another common cause is long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. In rare cases, the disease can be caused by cancerous and noncancerous tumors. A less common cause is a rare disorder called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
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Advice On Taking Nsaids
If your stomach ulcer has been caused by taking NSAIDs, your GP will want to review your use of them.
You may be advised to use an alternative painkiller not associated with stomach ulcers, such as paracetamol.
Sometimes an alternative type of NSAID thatâs less likely to cause stomach ulcers, called a COX-2 inhibitor, may be recommended.
If you do need to keep taking it, long-term treatment with a PPI or H2-receptor antagonist may be prescribed alongside the aspirin to try to prevent further ulcers.
Itâs important to understand the potential risks associated with continued NSAID use.
Youâre more likely to develop another stomach ulcer and could experience a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
Page last reviewed: 14 January 2022 Next review due: 14 January 2025
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Burning Pain In The Abdomen
Persistent burning pain in the abdomen is one of the first signs of a stomach ulcer. The sensation of pain occurs when juices in the stomach, which help in digestion, come into contact with an open sore in the stomach lining.
In most cases, the pain is felt from the breast bone to the navel, and it often worsens during the night. If you skip meals, particularly breakfast, you may also experience this burning sensation in the stomach during the daytime.
If the dull and burning ache of the ulcer often turns into a sharp, stabbing pain, it is a sign that your ulcer is acting up and you need medical help. It could mean that the ulcer has caused a more critical problem like a perforation in the wall of your stomach or intestine, or a blockage in your digestive tract, and it is triggering intense pain.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bleeding Ulcer
Bleeding ulcers dont always cause pain. Sometimes the first signs of a bleeding ulcer are signs of anemia. These include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
You might have a heavier bleed if you notice:
- Blood in your poop, or black poop that resembles tar.
These symptoms require urgent medical attention.
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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.
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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 âpepticâ 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
How Can I Look After Myself If I Have A Peptic Ulcer
As well as seeking help from a healthcare professional, there are things you can do to care for yourself:
- Eat a well-balanced diet and have regular meals.
- Eat smaller meals and eat your evening meal 34 hours before going to bed.
- Identify and avoid food and drinks that make the pain worse
- Antacids can offer short term relief and may help protect the lining of the stomach. You can buy antacids from your local pharmacy.
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What Is Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is a condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine . Normally, a thick layer of mucus protects the stomach lining from the effect of its digestive juices. But many things can reduce this protective layer, allowing stomach acid to damage the tissue.
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Reduce Stress In Daily Life
Stress reduction techniques can help control signs and symptoms. To relieve stress, try:
Identify stressors in your current life. Learn how to manage stress. Exercise, if your doctor confirms its safe, and listening to soothing music can help.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques. May include relaxing breathing, meditation, yoga, and muscle relaxation.
Pursue relaxing activities. Spend time doing things you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports.
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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.
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