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®.
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?
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Can Stomach Ulcers Just Go Away
Some ulcers follow a chronic pattern of healing temporarily on their own and then returning. This might happen if the factors contributing to your ulcer, such as NSAID use, smoking and alcohol, are temporarily reduced and then resumed. You wont completely heal your ulcer until you eliminate the cause, whether that is chronic NSAID use, H. pylori infection or an overactive stomach. Even after successful treatment, you can get another ulcer.
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What Happens After Treatment
A repeat gastroscopy is usually advised a few weeks after treatment has finished. This is mainly to check that the ulcer has healed. It is also to be doubly certain that the ‘ulcer’ was not due to stomach cancer. If your ulcer was caused by H. pylori then a test is advised to check that the H. pylori infection has gone. This is done at least four weeks after the course of combination therapy has finished.
Do You Have A Stomach Ulcer
If you suspect that you have a stomach ulcer, it is beyond important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As you can tell from the symptoms listed above, things can only get worse if your ulcer goes untreated. Call the experts at West Gastroenterology in Los Angeles today and make an appointment!
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How Do You Get A Stomach Ulcer
The primary cause is a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori, which was just discovered in 1982. “Many people have the bacteria in their bodies, but may not realize it until later in life, if and when they develop gastritis, which is inflammation of the stomach, or an actual stomach ulcer,” said Dr. Rajapaksa. Another possible cause of stomach ulcers is the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and aspirin, she added.
Will Surgery Cure A Peptic Ulcer
Medical therapy works in most people with peptic ulcers. Sometimes, medical therapy does not work, or a person canât 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.
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How Do You Get Stomach Ulcers And How Can You Treat Them
If youve ever experienced a stomach ulcer then you know that they are no fun to deal with. A stomach ulcer is a sore that is in the lining of your stomach. Yes, it can be pretty painful as well. The mucus that typically protects your digestive tract is usually reduced, thus leaving your stomach more exposed to the acid that you is created in it. When theres nothing to protect your stomach from the acid, the acid is going to start tearing away at the lining of your stomach. This is how a stomach ulcer can occur. The good news is that ulcers are relatively easy to cure.
Stomach Ulcers: Symptoms and Treatments Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer
- Burning sensation from chest to belly button
- Not wanting to eat due to stomach pain
Stomach Ulcer Treatment Stomach Ulcers and Your Diet Fix the Ulcers Before They Progress
What Tests Are There For A Stomach Ulcer
If your doctor thinks you may have a stomach ulcer, the initial tests will include some blood tests. These tests will help to check whether you have become anaemic because of any bleeding from the ulcer. The blood test will also check to see that your liver and pancreas are working properly.
The main tests that are then used to diagnose a stomach ulcer are as follows:
- A test to detect the H. pylori germ is usually done if you have a stomach ulcer. The H. pylori bacterium can be detected in a sample of stool , or in a ‘breath test’, or from a blood test, or from a biopsy sample taken during a gastroscopy. See the separate leaflet called Helicobacter Pylori for more details.
- Gastroscopy is the test that can confirm a stomach ulcer. Gastroscopy is usually done as an outpatient ‘day case’. You may be given a sedative to help you to relax. In this test, a doctor looks inside your stomach by passing a thin, flexible telescope down your gullet . The doctor will then be able to see any inflammation or ulcers in your stomach.
- Small samples are usually taken of the tissue in and around the ulcer during gastroscopy. These are sent to the laboratory to be looked at under the microscope. This is important because some ulcers are caused by stomach cancer. However, most stomach ulcers are not caused by cancer.
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What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
Signs You May Have An Ulcer
Did you know that stomach ulcers also called peptic ulcers affect at least 1 in 10 Americans over the course of their lives? And while stomach ulcers can be treated easily when caught early, lack of medical care can lead to serious complications.
Understanding the signs of stomach ulcers is important in helping you get the treatment you need. At Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our care team has the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat stomach ulcers. Weve curated this guide to help you recognize the warning signs of an ulcer and understand what you can do about it.
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of a peptic ulcer can include a burning, aching, or gnawing pain between the belly button and the breastbone, and belly pain that is temporarily relieved by taking an antacid. Symptoms can also include back pain, loss of appetite, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Some people have no symptoms.
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.
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What Causes An Ulcer And Who’s At Risk
Dr. Terry Simpson, Weight Loss Surgeon and Culinary Medicine Specialist with Dignity Health St. John’s Hospital says, “The vast majority of stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria called Helicobactor pylori which was discovered in the 1980’s. 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 doesn’t 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 doesn’t. 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.”
Can Stomach Ulcers Be Treated
Yes, stomach ulcers can heal well with a medication regimen. The type of treatment will depend on what caused your ulcer.
If your stomach ulcer was caused by a H. pylori bacterial infection, youll likely receive antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor medication. The antibiotics could include:
The PPIs that you will also be prescribed will block the production of stomach acid. There are both prescription and over-the-counter PPI medications, including:
You may also end up taking histamine blockers, or H-2 blockers, that reduce the stomach acid released into your digestive tract. The reduction of stomach acid can promote healing and lessens the pain you may be feeling. Your doctor may prescribe these or you could take over-the-counter medications such as:
Your doctor may also prescribe antacids to help with symptom relief. There are also medications called cytoprotective agents to protect the lining of your stomach, such as Carafate and Cytotec .
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What Are The Possible Complications Of Peptic Ulcer Disease
An ulcer left untreated may cause serious complications, including:
- Internal bleeding: While most people with ulcers wont have bleeding, this is the most common complication that can occur. A slow bleeding ulcer can cause anemia or even severe blood loss.
- Perforation: An ulcer that is continuously eroded by acid can eventually become a hole in the stomach or intestinal wall. This is intensely painful and also dangerous. It allows bacteria from the digestive tract to enter the abdominal cavity, which can lead to an infection of the abdominal cavity called peritonitis. From there, the infection is at risk of spreading to the rest of the body . This can lead to a life-threatening condition called .
- Obstruction: An ulcer in the pyloric channel, the narrow passageway that leads from the stomach into the duodenum, can become an obstruction that blocks the flow of food into the small intestine. This can happen after the ulcer has healed. Ulcers that have gone through a healing process may build up scar tissue that enlarges them. An ulcer that is big enough to obstruct the small intestine can stall the digestive process, with numerous side effects.
- Stomach cancer: Some gastric ulcers can become malignant over time. This is more likely when your ulcer is caused by H. pylori infection. H. pylori is a contributing cause of gastric cancer, though fortunately, this is uncommon.
Causes Of Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers happen when theres damage to the layer that protects the stomach lining from the acids in your stomach.
This is usually a result of:
- an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- taking anti-inflammatory medicines , such as ibuprofen or aspirin particularly if they’re taken for a long time or at high doses
It used to be thought that stress or certain foods might cause stomach ulcers, but there’s little evidence to suggest this is the case.
Stomach ulcers can affect anyone but are more common in people aged 60 or over. Men are more affected than women.
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How Can I Prevent Ulcers
You may be able to prevent ulcers from forming if you:
- Talk to your doctor about alternatives to NSAID medications to relieve pain.
- Discuss protective measures with your doctor, if you cant stop taking an NSAID.
- Opt for the lowest effective dose of NSAID and take it with a meal.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
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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Can Stomach Ulcers Give You Acid Reflux
Thereâs a lot of confusion about the relationship between ulcers and acid reflux . Do ulcers cause acid reflux? Or does acid reflux cause ulcers?
Well, ulcers wonât give you reflux . However, chronic reflux can worsen or even cause ulcers.
Letâs get a little background here. An ulcer is a sore or hole in your digestive tract, while acid reflux is the term for your stomach acid flowing back up into your esophagus .
Acid reflux can be caused by a variety of factors, such as trigger foods, a hiatal hernia, or lifestyle risks like smoking or being overweight.
In contrast, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, the two most common causes of ulcers are a bacterium in the stomach called Helicobacter pylori , which can cause inflammation of the stomach lining that ultimately produces an ulcer, and a group of pain treatment medications called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs , such as AdvilÂ®, AleveÂ®, and ibuprofen..
While chronic reflux isnât generally pointed to as one of the primary causes of ulcers, there definitely is a strong association between ulcers and GERD. One study found that nearly 50% of patients with an ulcer also had GERD. Thatâs because frequent backwards flow of acid can erode your esophagus or stomach lining â which doesnât do you any favors as far as ulcers are concerned.
Signs You May Have A Peptic Ulcer
posted: Jan. 15, 2019.
Peptic ulcers, or stomach ulcers, are breaks or holes in the lining of the stomach. An ulcer in the first part of the intestines is known as a duodenal ulcer. An ulcer in the stomach is known as a gastric ulcer. If you think you may have an ulcer, you should see a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of peptic ulcers. Here are 5 signs you may have a peptic ulcer. 1. Burning pain- The most common peptic ulcer symptom is a burning sensation or gnawing pain in the middle of your abdomen. The pain may come and go for several days or weeks. Even though discomfort may be mild, peptic ulcers can worsen if they arent treated. Taking antacids can relieve the discomfort, but it will keep coming back until the peptic ulcer is treated by a doctor.
2. Nausea- The symptoms of peptic ulcers may include nausea. Nausea is a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit. Nausea has many possible causes. Some common causes of nausea include appendicitis, infection, reactions to some medicines, migraines, food poisoning or intestinal blockage.
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