Complications Of Peptic Ulcers
If a peptic ulcer is treated, the outcome is usually very good, and complications arent very common. But if you havent had any treatment, or your ulcer has gone unnoticed for a while, complications may develop. Theres a particular risk if youre older and if youre taking medicines that stop your blood clotting, such as aspirin or warfarin. Complications include:
The most common of these is bleeding, especially if your ulcer is linked to NSAIDs. It happens if your ulcer grows into any underlying arteries or veins . If your ulcer is bleeding, you may:
- throw up blood this can be bright red, or dark like coffee grounds
- pass poo that is black and sticky
- develop iron deficiency anaemia, if youve been losing blood for some time
You should get urgent medical help if you have any of these symptoms. The surgeon may be able to stop the bleeding using an endoscope rather than open surgery. Its also possible to treat bleeding with a high dose of PPIs. Less commonly, you may need emergency surgery, but this can depend on how much blood youve lost.
If your ulcer eats through the lining of your stomach or duodenum, you may develop perforation. Perforation means the ulcer has broken through the wall of your stomach or duodenum, causing inflammation of your abdominal lining and a potentially serious infection. Your stomach will feel rigid and sore. You should go to hospital if you think this has happened as you may need emergency surgery.
What Happens After Stomach Ulcer 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.
Are Prescription Nsaids Better
NSAIDs are available both over-the-counter and as a prescription medication. It is very important to understand that while there are differences between prescription and non-prescription NSAIDs, this difference is not the potential relief of symptoms. Many patients find their best response from over-the-counter NSAIDs.
There has been no study showing that newer NSAIDs , prescription NSAIDs, or more expensive NSAIDs treat pain or swelling any better than more traditional NSAID medications. Most of the research evaluating the effects of NSAIDs has been done using over-the-counter ibuprofen.
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Drug Treatment Of Stomach Acid
, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
, and gastroesophageal reflux disease Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease In gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach contents, including acid and bile, flow backward from the stomach into the esophagus, causing inflammation in the esophagus and pain in the bottom… read more . Although the amount of acid present in the stomach is usually normal in people with these disorders, reducing the amount of acid in the stomach is important in treating the damage to the stomach and intestines as well as in relieving symptoms.
What Is The Best Medication For An Ulcer
Ulcers are primarily treated with medications that reduce stomach acid, but other medications such as antacids or pain relievers might be used, as well. However, if theres an underlying infection, that infection will need to be treated with antimicrobial medications as well. There is, then, no best medication for ulcers, only the best combination of medications for a particular situation.
|Best medications for ulcers|
|Analgesic||Oral||325 to 650 mg every four to six hours as needed. Maximum dose of 4,000 mg per day.||Nausea, stomach pain, headache|
The standard dosages above are from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , the National Institute of Health , or off-label studies for the treatment of peptic ulcers. Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
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Symptoms Of Nervous Stomach
Nervous stomach symptoms can vary. When caused by stress and anxiety, it can lead to physical symptoms. Physical symptoms may also lead to stress and anxiety. This is because the brain and gut are closely connected and communicate about which hormones and neurotransmitters to release and when.
Common nervous stomach symptoms:
- Certain lifestyle factors, including smoking, drinking coffee, and alcohol use which upset the stomach lining
What Are The Treatments For An Ulcer
You shouldnât treat an ulcer on your own without first seeing your doctor. Over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers may ease some or all of the pain, but the relief is always short-lived. With a doctor’s help, you can find an end to ulcer pain as well as a lifelong cure for it.
The chief goals of ulcer treatment are reducing the amount of acid in the stomach and strengthening the protective lining that comes in direct contact with stomach acids. If your ulcer is caused by bacterial infection, your doctor will also treat that.
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Treating The Causes Of Peptic Ulcers
Doctors treat the underlying causes of peptic ulcers to help the ulcers heal and prevent them from coming back.
Helicobacter pylori infection
Doctors treat H. pylori infection with a combination of medicines. These medicines most often include
Your doctor may avoid prescribing antibiotics youve taken in the past because the H. pylori bacteria may have developed antibiotic resistance to those antibiotics.
If you are given medicines, take all doses exactly as your doctor prescribes. If you stop taking your medicine early, some bacteria may survive and persist in your stomach. In other words, H. pylori bacteria may develop antibiotic resistance.
To find out if the medicines worked, your health care professional may recommend testing you for H. pylori at least 4 weeks after youve finished taking the antibiotics.2 If you still have an H. pylori infection, your doctor may prescribe a different combination of antibiotics and other medicines to treat the infection. Making sure that all of the H. pylori bacteria have been killed is important.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
If you have a peptic ulcer caused by taking NSAIDs, your doctor may recommend changing your medicines. Depending on the reason you have been taking NSAIDs, your doctor may suggest stopping NSAIDs, taking a different NSAID, taking a lower-dose NSAID, or taking a different medicine for pain.
Available By Prescription Or Over
- Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. Your doctor may include an antacid in your drug regimen. Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid and can provide rapid pain relief. Side effects can include constipation or diarrhea, depending on the main ingredients.
- Antacids can provide symptom relief, but generally aren’t used to heal your ulcer.
- Medications that protect the lining of your stomach and small intestine. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications called cytoprotective agents that help protect the tissues that line your stomach and small intestine.
- Options include the prescription medications sucralfate and misoprostol .
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What Medications Can Cause Nervous Stomach
Over-the-counter and prescription medications may cause a nervous stomach as a side effect. This can happen when taking a single medication or more than one medication simultaneously. It may also occur in people with ingredient sensitivities or other medical conditions. This is why it’s always important to consult and update a healthcare provider on your current list of medications .
Some medications may irritate the stomach, while others can cause constipation or diarrhea leading to discomfort and nervous stomach symptoms.
Common medications that may cause stomach side effect symptoms include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen which can weaken the stomach lining.
- Iron, antacids, and pain medications, particularly narcotics that cause constipation.
- Antibiotics, which can cause diarrhea.
Avoid Regular Use Of Non
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have many beneficial medical applications, but to prevent the development of stomach ulcers try to avoid taking such drugs regularly. Prevention is always preferable to treatment so after time using an NSAID, ask the doctor if paracetamol could be just as effective. The doctor might prescribe a COX-2 inhibitor medication since they are less likely to cause stomach ulcers. If a patient needs to take aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clotting, the addition of a PPI drug to their medication should lower their stomach ulcer risks.
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Q: Can An Ulcer Be Completely Cured
A: If you have peptic ulcer disease, which can involve stomach ulcers and/or duodenal ulcers of the small intestine, the answer is yes! These ulcers can be completely healed.
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The development of H2 blockers and then Proton Pump Inhibitors allow for most ulcers to be completely healed with medication. With these treatment developments, surgery for peptic ulcer disease is seldom needed.
These types of ulcers are caused primarily by three things: Stomach acids, H. pylori infections and medications, such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen .
Contrary to popular belief, the normal stress of day-to-day life does not cause or contribute to ulcers. Also, theres no genetic link involved with the risk for developing ulcers, and diet has no effect on the healing of an ulcer either.
When Should I Go To Er
Seek emergency care if you have:
- Severe pain that doesnt go away.
- Signs of blood in your poop or bloody vomit.
- Signs of severe blood loss, such as paleness and faintness.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Stomach ulcers are common and treatable, but they should be taken seriously. Even when they dont cause symptoms, they arent a good sign. A stomach ulcer means that your natural stomach acid is overwhelming your protective stomach lining. Thats a situation that can only get worse if it isnt managed. Lifestyle changes may help, but youll still need to treat the underlying cause. Its probably either NSAID use or a common bacterial infection. Your healthcare provider can help prescribe the right medicines for your condition.
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How Is A Stomach Ulcer Diagnosed
To help diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will ask you what medications you take or have been taking, and if you have had a peptic ulcer or any other relevant condition in the past. Make sure you mention all the medications you are taking, especially NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, or ketorolac.
Your doctor will also conduct a physical examination, to check for bloating or lumps within your abdomen, and to listen for bowel sounds. Make sure you mention any areas of pain or tenderness.
Blood may also be taken to test for infection or anemia and testing may also be conducted for Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria commonly associated with stomach ulcers. Testing usually involves either a breath test, stool sample, or biopsy. To get a clear picture of the inside of your stomach and small intestines, doctors may use an endoscope , a series of X-rays and/or a CT scan.
Causes And Treatments For Stomach Ulcers In Adults
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
Stomach ulcers in adults have a lot of possible causes, but one cause that is often overlooked is stress. Even if you are healthy and have no other health problem, simply being stressed out could be causing painful stomach ulcers to occur.
Stomach ulcers are sores in the lining of your stomach or small intestine. The stomach lining and small intestine have a layer of mucus which protects them from acidic digestive juices. If this mucus is reduced, our digestive juices can eat away at our stomach lining or small intestine, creating those pain-inducing stomach ulcers we want to avoid.
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Other Options For Pain Relief
Painkillers aren’t the only answer for many of life’s aches and pains. Many effective and safe alternatives don’t have any side effects at all.
- Ice packs, for acute injuries such as a sprained ankle, can keep down swelling and ease pain.
- Heat with a hot towel or heating pad can be helpful for treating chronic overuse injuries.
- Physical activity can help reduce some kinds of discomfort, such as arthritis pain.
- Relaxation with techniques such as yoga or meditation — may reduce pain. Biofeedback may help as well. These approaches are best for pain that’s amplified by stress, such as tension headaches.
- Nontraditional techniques with low risks — such as acupuncture — benefit some people.
So remember: Pain relief doesn’t only come from a pill bottle.
When Should You Call Or See A Doctor
If you think you have a stomach ulcer, call your doctor. Together you can discuss your symptoms and treatment options. If you dont already have a physician, you can use the Healthline FindCare tool to find a provider near you.
Its important to get a stomach ulcer taken care of because without treatment, ulcers and H. pylori can cause:
- bleeding from the ulcer site that can become life-threatening
- penetration, which occurs when the ulcer goes through the wall of the digestive tract and into another organ, such as the pancreas
- perforation, which occurs when the ulcer creates a hole in the wall of the digestive tract
- obstruction in the digestive tract, which is due to swelling of inflamed tissues
- stomach cancer, specifically
Symptoms of these complications can include those listed below. If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to call you doctor right away:
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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®.
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When To Call A Healthcare Provider
If the ulcer is large or deep, growing in size, incredibly painful, or if you have any signs of infection , you notice a bad smell coming from your ulcer, or youre running a fever, call your healthcare provider right away.
Youll also want to call your healthcare provider if your ulcer, no matter how minor, isnt showing signs healing after a week to 10 days.
In most cases, the ulcer will be dressed to protect the wound. However, if your ulcer is draining considerably, your healthcare provider may recommend leaving the wound uncovered. Dressing the ulcer if its draining considerably can impede healing.
If your ulcer is painful, pain medication can be prescribed. Antibiotics may also be prescribed either prophylactically to prevent infection or to treat an already infected wound.
Debridement is done to remove dead tissue from more serious ulcers. For deep ulcers or those that arent healing after a long period of time, skin grafts may be needed. In the most severe cases, part of the foot, leg, or other appendage may have to be amputated.
Restoring good circulation is key in treating and preventing ulcers. This includes elevating the legs, wearing compression stockings, reducing pressure on ulcer-prone areas, superficial vein surgery. Leg ulcers, in particular, are incredibly likely to reoccur, so compression stockings are often needed to be worn for life.
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What Causes Peptic Ulcers
The most common causes of peptic ulcers are bacterial infection and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines .
The majority of peptic ulcers are caused by infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori . Most people with H. pylori infection don’t have symptoms of peptic ulcer. The H. pylori bacteria make a substance that damages the mucous lining of the stomach so it can be damaged by acids that break down food during digestion. The bacteria also make the body produce more acid which makes the problem even worse. Read more about H. pylori.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
After H. pylori, the next most common cause of ulcers is taking long term or high dose anti-inflammatory medicines, eg, aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These can work in the same way as a bacterial infection, leaving your stomach open to attack from digestive acids. If you are taking anti-inflammatory drugs long term for pain relief you should talk to your healthcare provider about how you can protect yourself from developing ulcers.
- Smoking increases your risk of developing ulcers and slows the healing if you have one.
- Increase in age.
- Crohns disease .
Watch a video on how a peptic ulcer develops.
How Is A Stomach Ulcer Treated
Treatment for stomach ulcers usually involves a combination of medications which reduce acid secretion, protect the mucosa, and kill H. pylori bacteria .
This allows ulcers to heal and reduces the chance of them will come back. All medications should be taken exactly as prescribed.
Examples of medications that may be considered to treat stomach ulcers include:
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori
- H2 receptor blockers that reduce stomach acid production
- Proton pump inhibitors to block stomach acid production
- Protectants that coat the ulcer and protect it against acid and enzymes, enhancing healing
Rarely, surgery may be needed.
If NSAIDs have caused your stomach ulcer, your doctor may advise you to stop taking them, reduce their dosage, or switch to an alternative medicine. Follow his/her advice. Talk to your doctor before taking antacids as these may reduce the absorption of some other medications.