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Is A Stomach Ulcer Serious

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How Can I Be Sure Its An Ulcer

The surprising cause of stomach ulcers – Rusha Modi

The only way to be sure an ulcer is causing your discomfort is with a medical diagnosis. We will evaluate your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.

To determine the root cause of your ulcer, we may run blood, stool, or breath tests. These tests are designed to look for signs of helicobacter pylori, the bacteria linked to ulcers.

Depending on your unique symptoms, we may also order an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, we insert a tube with a tiny camera down your throat and into your stomach to take pictures of any potential damage and collect tissue samples for analysis.

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.

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.

In the past it was thought that ulcers were caused by lifestyle factors such as eating habits, cigarettesmoking, and stress.

  • Now it is understood that people with ulcers have an imbalance between acid and pepsin coupled with the digestive tractâs 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
  • Cigarettesmoking
  • 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.

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What Causes Peptic Ulcers

In the past, experts thought lifestyle factors such as stress and diet caused ulcers. Today we know that stomach acids and other digestive juices help create ulcers. These fluids burn the linings of your organs.

Causes of peptic ulcers include:

  • H. pylori bacteria . Most ulcers are caused by an infection from a bacteria or germ called H. pylori. This bacteria hurts the mucus that protects the lining of your stomach and the first part of your small intestine . Stomach acid then gets through to the lining.
  • NSAIDs . These are over-the-counter pain and fever medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Over time they can damage the mucus that protects the lining of your stomach.

How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning

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  • 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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Where Is The Ulcer Pain Located

The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer. The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.

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.

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What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like

Stomach ulcer pain usually begins in the upper-middle parts of the abdomen, above the belly button, and below the breastbone. Heartburn covers a broader area and tends to be higher in the chest. The pain is often very similar to heartburn and 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.

You could have heartburn and ulcer pain at the same time. Pain may vary from a few minutes to several hours. Usually, people complain that their heartburn is worse at night. It can be relieved with foods, antacids, or even vomiting. If you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent any complications. These symptoms could only worsen with time if your ulcer goes untreated. Getting these symptoms diagnosed by a trained gastroenterologist for timely treatment is crucial for your overall health.

When To Contact A Doctor

What causes a stomach ulcer? Animation

Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult a doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.

Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness and breathlessness, may signal a slow-bleeding ulcer. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem, as people may vomit up blood, or stools are black and sticky.

Perforation is also an emergency. Without quick treatment, the wall of the stomach can become infected. Sudden stomach pain that gets worse can indicate perforation, and any signs of being very unwell with infection need treatment as soon as possible.

Also Check: What Should I Eat If I Have An Ulcer

Does Drinking Water Help Gastritis

Drinking too much water also alters the pH of your stomach which can intensify symptoms of gastritis. The best way to treat gastritis is naturally, with a few simple lifestyle changes: eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, and learning to face difficulties calmly.

How To Test For Stomach Ulcers

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:

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How Do You Tackle Vitamin B12 Deficiency In Order To Get Rid Of Mouth Ulcers

The main cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is our inability to absorb it from food, conditions like pernicious anaemia, dietary deficiency and post-surgical malabsorption. In some cases, however, the cause is unknown. You can take supplements to fight the deficiency. Make sure that your diet includes plenty of meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs. If you do not eat any animal products, you have to make sure that your diet includes plenty of vitamin B12-fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, fortified soy or plant milk or fortified mock meats made with wheat gluten or soybeans. Fighting B12 deficiency is part and parcel of remedy for mouth ulcers.

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Is Banana Good For Ulcer

What Are The Symptoms Of Having A Stomach Ulcer

Both raw and ripe bananas are found to be very beneficial in curing stomach ulcer. There are certain antibacterial compounds in bananas that inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori. Bananas are best to clear out the acidity of gastric juices that lowers the inflammation and strengthens the stomach lining.

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What Is This Medication

OMEPRAZOLE is used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, reflux disease, or other conditions that cause too much stomach acid. It works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. It belongs to a group of medications called PPIs.

This medicine may be used for other purposes ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME: Prilosec OTC

What Foods Soothe A Peptic Ulcer

High-fiber foods and those high in vitamin A may help soothe a persons stomach. Some examples include oats, barley, apples, and sweet potatoes.

7 sourcescollapsed

  • Levenstein, S., et al. . Psychological stress increases risk for peptic ulcer, regardless of Helicobacter pylori infection or use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .

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Watch For These 10 Stomach Ulcer Symptoms

The severity of the ulcer determines the severity of your stomach ulcer symptoms. A common early stomach ulcer symptom is a burning sensation in your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Stomach ulcer pain often increases when your stomach is empty. The length of time the pain is present can vary from a few minutes to several hours.

Other common signs of a stomach ulcer include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

If youre regularly experiencing symptoms of a stomach ulcer, you should talk to a doctor. Even if your symptoms are currently quite mild, ulcers get worse when left untreated and became the most dangerous type of ulcer, a bleeding ulcer.

Its possible for an ulcer to bleed so slowly, you may miss the symptoms. The first indications of a slow-bleeding ulcer may appear when you develop anemia, at which point you may see signs like excessive fatigue, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and pale skin.

When a stomach ulcer is bleeding heavily, youll see changes in stool: it may be black and sticky, or you may see dark red blood in the stool. Immediately consult a doctor if youre experiencing those type of stool changes. Another symptom that indicates you should seek immediate medical attention is bloody vomit with a consistency like coffee grounds. Remember, rapid-bleeding ulcers can be fatal. Its vital that you take these symptoms seriously and get urgent medical help.

Treatment For A Stomach Ulcer

What is Stomach Ulcer? What causes it, and how dangerous is it when left untreated?

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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Determining Which Stomach Ulcer Treatment Is Right For You

The right treatment for your stomach ulcer will depend on its underlying cause. If you seek treatment before your ulcer becomes too severe, all youll need is a prescription from your doctor. If your ulcer has begun to bleed, however, you will probably need to be hospitalized so you can receive intensive treatment. In certain instances, a blood transfusion may be required. And in rare cases, you may need surgery to fully treat your stomach ulcer.

What Triggers Stomach Ulcer Symptoms

Stomach ulcer symptoms are irritated by several triggers. They include:

  • Stomach acid â some people notice it after they eat while others notice it more on an empty stomach

Our site is the source of information about the gastroenterology related conditions and procedures. This information is intended for patients looking to learn about our gastroenterology practice in New York and make an appointment to see one of our physicians. This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult a doctor or GI specialist about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Terms and conditions are subject to change.

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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.

How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated

Can Stress Cause Stomach Ulcers

Some peptic ulcers heal on their own. But if you donât treat them, the ulcers tend to come back.

They can erode the blood vessel wall in your stomach or small intestine. The ulcers also can eat a hole through the lining and get infected. Or they can cause swelling, which may block food from moving from your stomach into your small intestine.

If H. pylori is the culprit, your doctor may prescribe a mix of antibiotics to kill it. If aspirin and other NSAIDs are behind the ulcer, you may need to cut down on them, stop taking them altogether, or switch to another pain reliever.

Your doctor may also give you antacids to fight stomach acid, or prescribe medicine to lessen the acid your body makes. Prescription drugs called cytoprotective agents can help protect the lining of the stomach or small intestine so the ulcer can heal.

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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.

What Is Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is pain felt anywhere in the area between the bottom of the ribs and the pelvis. Most Australians will experience abdominal pain at some point in their lives.

Abdominal pain can be serious, but most abdominal pain gets better on its own without needing any special treatment.

People sometimes refer to abdominal pain as stomach pain, stomach ache, stomach cramps, tummy pain, sore stomach, wind pain or belly ache.

Pain or discomfort in the abdomen can be mild or severe. It may come on suddenly it could be something that you experience from time to time or it could be an ongoing symptom that lasts for more than 3 months . It can also start off mild and steadily worsen . Pain that comes and goes in waves is referred to as colicky pain.

This page is about abdominal pain in adults, or anyone over the age of 12. Go to this page for information on abdominal pain in children.

A stomach ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach or small intestine . This sore usually causes pain and burning in the abdomen. This pain can come and go and may last for hours at a time.

Stomach ulcers occur when the acids that your body uses to digest food lead to damage to the stomach or duodenum walls. This can be caused by the infection H. pylori or the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications . Certain foods and stress can exacerbate the development of ulcers and associated pain.

Verywell / Danie Drankwalter

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Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers

A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.

The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.

Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:

  • dull pain in the stomach
  • heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest)
  • pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids
  • anemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
  • dark, tarry stools
  • vomit thats bloody or looks like coffee grounds

Talk to your doctor if you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they arent treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.

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