When Should I Call The Doctor
- sudden, sharp, lasting belly pain
- bloody or black bowel movements
- bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
These could be signs of a serious problem for a child whos had a peptic ulcer, such as:
If your child takes NSAIDs and shows signs of a peptic ulcer, get medical help right away. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can lead to more problems and, possibly, the need for surgery. But with quick treatment, almost all peptic ulcers can be cured.
How To Treat A Peptic Ulcer
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your ulcer. If tests show that you have an H. pylori infection, your doctor will prescribe a combination of medication. Youll have to take the medications for up to two weeks. The medications include antibiotics to help kill infections and proton pump inhibitors to help reduce stomach acid.
If your doctor determines that you dont have an H. pylori infection, they may recommend a prescription or over-the-counter PPI for up to eight weeks to reduce stomach acid and help your ulcer heal.
Acid blockers like famotidine can also reduce stomach acid and ulcer pain. These medications are available as a prescription and also over the counter in lower doses.
Your doctor may also prescribe sucralfate which will coat your stomach and reduce symptoms of peptic ulcers.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Peptic Ulcers
For a long time, it was believed that spicy foods or stress led to peptic ulcers but doctors now know that this isn’t the case.
In fact, the most common causes of ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, Advil or Motrin , and Aleve , which can wear away at the mucus layer of the digestive tract
Certain factors can put a person at a greater risk of developing a peptic ulcer, including:
- Taking high doses of NSAIDs
- Using NSAIDs continuously over a long period of time
- Being female
- Having a history of ulcer disease
- Taking corticosteroids, medications that may be prescribed to treat asthma, arthritis, or lupus
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More Attacks On Gastric Mucosa
In addition to H. pylori and NSAIDs, alcohol, vinegar, many spices, and excess bile salts can damage the gastric mucosal barrier as well. Deficiency in vitamin A and the trace elements of zinc and folic acid also predispose to mucosa damage. An excessive amount of salt encourages H. pylori growth in the stomach as well. Sleep deprivation can worsen the effect of the NSAIDs indomethacin-induced damage in the mucosa. Sleep deprivation also increases gastric acidity, histamine, and gastrin and reduces blood flow to the mucosal barrier.6
What Is A Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a break in the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum. A peptic ulcer of the stomach is called a gastric ulcer of the duodenum, a duodenal ulcer and of the esophagus, an esophageal ulcer. Peptic ulcers occur when the lining these organs is eroded by the acidic digestive juices that the cells of the lining secrete of the stomach secrete. A peptic ulcer differs from an erosion because it extends deeper into the lining and incites more of an inflammatory reaction from the tissues that are involved, occasionally with scaring. Peptic ulcer also is referred to as peptic ulcer disease.
Peptic ulcer disease is common, affecting millions of Americans yearly. Moreover, peptic ulcers are a recurrent problem even healed ulcers can recur unless treatment is directed at preventing their recurrence. The medical cost of treating peptic ulcer and its complications runs into billions of dollars annually. Recent medical advances have increased our understanding of ulcer formation. Improved and expanded treatment options now are available.
How Is Peptic Ulcer Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will do a physical exam. They will ask you questions about your medical history. Tell your doctor if you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen frequently. Your doctor will look for stomach bloating. They will listen to sounds in your stomach with a stethoscope. Your doctor will tap your stomach to check for pain.
Your doctor may schedule a special procedure to look at your stomach. This is called an endoscopy. For this procedure, youll be given medicine to relax. The medicine may make you fall asleep. The doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube down your throat. A tiny camera on the end of the tube displays the lining of your stomach and duodenum. The doctor may take a sample of your stomach lining . This is done to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample testing can also be used to check for H. pylori.
Who Is More Likely To Get Ulcers
One in 10 people develops an ulcer. Risk factors that make ulcers more likely include:
- Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , a group of common pain relievers that includes ibuprofen .
- A family history of ulcers.
- Illness such as liver, kidney or lung disease.
- Regularly drinking alcohol.
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Peptic Ulcer Disease: Symptoms And Treatment
Peptic ulcer disease affects 1 in 10 people. Caused by open sores that develop on the stomachs lining or the duodenum , peptic ulcers are painful and frustrating. Fortunately, available treatment can cure nearly all cases of the condition.
Many digestive health problems can be managed by your primary care provider. Find a provider accepting new patients. If necessary, he or she can refer you to one of our board-certified gastroenterologists.
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 Stomach Ulcer Surgery
Peptic ulcer surgery is an operation for repair of stomach damage that’s caused by an ulcer. A stomach ulcer is an erosion on the inside of the stomach lining, and it is also referred to as a peptic ulcer or a gastric ulcer. It can develop slowly, and you may have more than one at a time.
Approaches used in stomach ulcer surgery include:
- Laparotomy: An open procedure with a large abdominal incision
- Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery: Involves a small abdominal incision and the use of a camera-equipped surgical device for visualization and repair
- Endoscopic procedure: A flexible tube is inserted into the throat and advanced down into the stomach to repair the ulcer with the assistance of a camera and surgical tools
Clinical Manifestations And Diagnosis
A prospective study of patients in Taiwan undergoing a screening upper endoscopy as part of routine health maintenance determined that approximately two-thirds of those found to have peptic ulcer disease are asymptomatic.20
Among symptomatic patients with peptic ulcer disease, the most common presenting symptom is epigastric pain, which may be associated with dyspepsia, bloating, abdominal fullness, nausea, and early satiety.21 In many patients, symptoms may be intermittent in nature.
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Diagnosis Of A Stomach Ulcer
Diagnosing a stomach ulcer is done using a range of methods, including:
- Endoscopy a thin flexible tube is threaded down the oesophagus into the stomach under light anaesthesia. The endoscope is fitted with a small camera so the physician can see if there is an ulcer.
- Barium meal a chalky liquid is drunk and an x-ray is performed, showing the stomach lining. These tests are less common nowadays, but may be useful where endoscopy is unavailable.
- Biopsy a small tissue sample is taken during an endoscopy and tested in a laboratory. This biopsy should always be done if a gastric ulcer is found.
- C14 breath test this checks for the presence of H. pylori. The bacteria convert urea into carbon dioxide. The test involves swallowing an amount of radioactive carbon and testing the air exhaled from the lungs. A non-radioactive test can be used for children and pregnant women.
Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
Signs and symptoms of any type of peptic ulcer often include:
- Stomach pain
- Acid reflux
- An intolerance to fatty foods
- Diagnosing a Peptic Ulcer
More often than not, a patient will not present any of these common symptoms related to a peptic ulcer. To properly diagnose a peptic ulcer, a physician will typically need to perform an endoscopy.
During this simple procedure, the gastroenterologist inserts a small, flexible tube with an attached camera down the patients throat in order to get a clear visual of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The patient is usually sedated so that they do not feel any discomfort during the endoscopy.
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How About H Pylori
This dangerous spiralshaped bacterium is a common cause of the infection worldwide. H. pylori infection is usually contracted in childhood it may happen through food, water, or close contact with an infected individual. Most people with H. pylori dont display any symptoms until theyre older. In fact, they may go through life unaware that theyre infected. Half of the worlds population has H pylori. Although H. pylori infection usually doesnt cause problems in childhood, if left untreated it can cause chronic infection, gastritis , peptic ulcer disease in 10% of cases, and even stomach cancer in 1%. It may be certain strains of these bacteria are more dangerous than others.1
H. pylori lives and multiplies within the mucous layer that covers and protects tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. Often, H. pylori causes no problems, but sometimes it can disrupt the mucous layer and inflame the lining of your stomach or duodenum, producing an ulcer. To cure H. pylori infection, physicians generally prescribe antibiotics and other drugs that block acid production and increase the bioavailability of antibodies in the gastric mucosa. Proton pump inhibitors also help to stabilize some antibiotics. However, concerns are rising with such conventional therapies in the light of emerging evidence that frequent use of antibiotics for H. pylori infections increases its resistance to antibiotics and damage to the kidneys.
How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning
- Reduce NSAID use, if possible. Consider whether acetaminophen might substitute. If you take NSAIDs for medical reasons, talk to your doctor about reducing your dosage or switching your medication. Your doctor may also prescribe another medicine to take with NSAIDs to protect your stomach lining.
- Reduce other irritants that may contribute to too much stomach acid or erode your stomach lining, including smoking and alcohol use.
- Take an H. pylori breath test to find out if you have an overgrowth of the bacteria.
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Bleeding Peptic Ulcer: Treatment
A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum . Your ulcer is bleeding or at high risk of bleeding. This means that you need treatment right away. Treatment can include medicines. It may also include a procedure such as endoscopy, angiography, or surgery. Your provider will work with you to decide which treatments are best for you.
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.
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How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are very common in Western countries. In the United States, there are about 4 million cases per year. Some estimates say that 1 in 10 people will have one at some point in their lives. Thats because many of the causes that contribute to stomach ulcers are common in Western life. Fortunately, these causes are usually easy to trace and to reverse, giving ulcers a chance to heal and your stomach lining a chance to repair.
When Should I See A Doctor If I Think I Have A Peptic Ulcer
- If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Don’t assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
- If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
- Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
- Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.
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What To Expect On The Day Of Surgery
When you go to your surgery appointment, you will register and sign a consent form. You may have some pre-operative testing before you go to the pre-surgical area. These tests may include a chest X-ray, CBC, blood chemistry panel, and a urine test.
You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. You will have your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and oxygen level checked.
If you are having stomach ulcer surgery for an emergency, like a perforation, your preparation will happen quickly. You will need to have IV fluids and possibly a blood transfusion during this period.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
Youâll most likely feel a burning pain or discomfort between your belly button and breastbone. You might especially notice it on an empty stomach — such as between meals or at night. The pain may stop for a little while if you eat or take an antacid, but then return. The pain can last for a few minutes or a few hours, and may come and go for many days or weeks.
Other symptoms may include:
Small ulcers may not cause any symptoms. But if you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor.
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Role Of Proton Pump Inhibitors In The Treatment Of Peptic Ulcer Disease
Since their introduction into medical practice in the late 1980s, proton pump inhibitors have substantially changed the approach to peptic ulcer disease management. PPIs remain the mainstay of medical therapy for peptic ulcer-related gastrointestinal bleeding. Well-performed systematic reviews support the initiation of PPIs prior to endoscopic evaluation for acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding, although a clear mortality benefit has not been demonstrated.25, 26 The length of PPI
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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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.
What Exactly Is A Peptic Ulcer Disease
A peptic ulcer disease is a sore or hole that develops in the stomach or intestine. The word peptic refers to the digestive tract. Gastric ulcers refer to ulcers that appear in the stomach lining. An ulcer in the first part of the small intestine is called duodenal. The stomach lining is a layer of special cells and mucous membranes.
Mucous membranes prevent the stomach and duodenum from being damaged by digestive enzymes and acids. If there is a break in the lining , the tissue under the lining can be damaged by enzymes and corrosive acid.
If the ulcer is small, there may be some symptoms. The wound can heal itself. If the injury is deep, it can cause severe pain or bleeding.
Peptic ulcers are very common, and they become more common with advancing age. The common cause of peptic ulcers is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. The bacterium Helicobacter pylori are thought to cause most peptic ulcers. This bacteria causes inflammation in the stomach lining, making it vulnerable. A minority of people infected with Helicobacter pylori develop these types of ulcer problems.
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