How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated
Treatment will depend on what caused the ulcer.
Most people will be prescribed a medication called a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid in their stomach.
Youll also need antibiotics if your ulcers were caused by a H. pylori infection.
Stomach ulcers can come back after treatment, although this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is addressed.
What Are The Causes Of A Peptic Ulcer
In the late 1990s, Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that nests in the stomach and can induce gastritis , and which in some patients can lead to the formation of gastric or duodenal ulcer, was isolated. Helicobacter therefore induces an inflammatory reaction that only in some subjects will lead to the formation of the actual peptic ulcer. It should also be noted that not all Helicobacter types are the same some are more pathogenic and therefore more harmful to the digestive system.
Other factors that may contribute to the condition include intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, smoking and alcohol. In the case of drugs, for example, the mucosa of the digestive system produces substances that create protection, as if they were an enamel the taking of these drugs blocks the production of these substances and so the mucosa becomes more easily attacked, emphasized prof. Danese.
If Your Ulcer Was Caused By An Anti
If possible, you should stop taking the anti-inflammatory medicine. This allows the ulcer to heal. You will also normally be prescribed an acid-suppressing medicine for several weeks. This stops the stomach from making acid and allows the ulcer to heal. However, in many cases, the anti-inflammatory medicine is needed to ease symptoms of arthritis or other painful conditions, or aspirin is needed to protect against blood clots. In these situations, one option is to take an acid-suppressing medicine each day indefinitely. This reduces the amount of acid made by the stomach and greatly reduces the chance of an ulcer forming again.
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What Triggers Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcers are irritated by stomach acid. Some people notice this irritation more after they eat, and some people notice it more on an empty stomach. There are also certain irritants that seem to make ulcer symptoms worse and make them more difficult to heal. Smoking and alcohol are the biggest ones.
Difference Between Ulcer And Gastritis
July 31, 2011 Posted by Dr.Dinusha
Ulcer vs Gastritis
In the world today, we come across a lot of people who are complaining of abdominal pain associated with a burning sensation, and it is more common in those who take painkillers in the form of NSAIDs. When describing these symptoms, people tend to use gastritis and ulcers interchangeably. But, people are not well aware that ulcer and gastritis are two separate conditions, and the treatment and management for these conditions require separate approaches, as the diagnosis and even the complications differ. Both these conditions involve the stomach and the lining of the stomach, but not always limited to the stomach.
What is the difference between Ulcer and Gastritis?
Both these conditions involve the epithelial lining of the stomach and disruptions to the integrity. The causative factors and the risk factors for both these conditions are most of the time similar, with gastritis having a more psychological aspect. The symptoms like upper abdominal pain, nausea, and the complications are common to both. Both require similar investigations, and the symptomatic management of both are similar as well. But ulcers cause, dyspeptic symptoms more and it show ulcerated surfaces on endoscopy and defective surfaces on the barium meal.
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Pain Accompanied By Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexpected weight loss may sound like the answer to many of our dreams but if you aren’t actively trying to lose weight, it’s often an extremely concerning sign that something’s wrong.
If it’s accompanied by belly pain, it could be a sign of:
- an IBD like Crohn’s or Colitis
Even if you don’t have pain, it’s still worth getting checked out – but it’s absolutely necessary if you do have a tender tummy too.
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.
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What Causes Stomach Ulcers
The two most common causes are:
- H. pylori infection. This common bacterial infection affects up to half of people worldwide. It primarily lives in the stomach. In many people, it doesnt seem to cause problems. Their gut immune systems keep it in check. But a portion of those infected have H. pylori overgrowth. The bacteria continue to multiply, eating into the stomach lining and causing chronic inflammation and peptic ulcer disease. H. pylori infection is associated with about 60% of duodenal ulcers and 40% of gastric ulcers.
- Overuse of NSAIDs. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.” These include common over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. NSAIDs contribute to ulcers in several ways. They irritate the stomach lining on contact and repress some of the chemicals that defend and repair the mucous lining. Up to 30% of people who take NSAIDs regularly develop peptic ulcers. Up to 50% of all peptic ulcers are caused by the overuse of NSAIDs.
Less common causes of stomach ulcers include:
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. This is a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce too much gastric acid.
- Severe physiological stress. Severe illness, burns or injuries can produce stress ulcers in the stomach. Physiological stress changes your bodys PH balance, increasing stomach acid. Stress ulcers develop very quickly in response to stress, unlike normal stomach ulcers that develop gradually.
What Are The Symptoms Of Any Complications
Stomach ulcers can cause various complications but these are much less common now because of more effective treatments. However, complications can be very serious and include:
Bleeding from the ulcer
- This can range from a âtrickleâ to a life-threatening bleed.
- If there is sudden heavy bleeding then this will cause you to vomit blood and make you feel very faint.
- Less sudden bleeding may cause you to vomit and the vomit looks coffee-coloured because the stomach acid has partly broken down the blood.
- A more gradual trickle of blood will pass through your gut and cause your stools to look very dark in colour or even black .
PerforationThis is the term used to describe the ulcer having gone all the way through the wall of the stomach. Food and acid in the stomach then leak out of the stomach. This usually causes severe pain and makes you very unwell. Stomach perforation is a medical emergency and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible.
Stomach blockageThis is now rare. An ulcer at the end of the stomach can cause the outlet of the stomach to narrow and cause an obstruction. This can cause frequent severe vomiting.
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How Can I Be Sure Its An Ulcer
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.
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Gene And Protein Expression
About 20,000 protein coding genes are expressed in human cells and 70% of these genes are expressed in the normal duodenum. Some 300 of these genes are more specifically expressed in the duodenum with very few genes expressed only in the duodenum. The corresponding specific proteins are expressed in the duodenal mucosa, and many of these are also expressed in the small intestine, such as ANPEP, a digestive enzyme, ACE, an enzyme involved in control of blood pressure, and RBP2, a protein involved in the uptake of vitamin A.
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Gallstones Symptoms Vs Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Gallstones symptoms and stomach ulcer symptoms are sometimes mistaken for one another because of their similar symptoms.
There are 2 primary types of gallstones that may cause gallstones symptoms. One is the cholesterol gallstone, where the stone must be made up of a minimum of 80% cholesterol. Typically, these types of gallstones can vary from 2-3 cm, and they often have a darkish spot in the centre. These gallstones may be more difficult to detect via ultrasound examination, because it often blends in with the bile in your gallbladder.
The second gallstone is known as a pigment stone. This stone is usually darker in colour than the cholesterol gallstone and it is composed of minerals, such as calcium and bilirubin. These stones are easily detected through ultrasound. Sometimes, smaller gallstones might not cause much discomfort, which can cause people to ignore or overlook their symptoms. Larger gallstones may cause gallbladder attacks, which are painful.
Symptoms you might get are: pain on the upper right abdominal area, as well as chest and shoulder pain. The pain you receive might be either a dull ache or a quick sharp jab.
Along with these symptoms, you might experience excessive weight gain, headaches, acid reflux, increased flatulence, dizziness, constipation or diarrhea, and jaundice. These symptoms occur more often after large fatty meals.
Similar to gallstones symptoms, stomach ulcer symptoms can vary and many people might have little or no symptoms at all.
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.
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What Are Possible Complications Of Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers In A Child
Your child could have severe complications if his or her ulcer isnt treated well. The most common problems include:
Bleeding. An ulcer can harm blood vessels. This can cause bleeding.
Hole . An ulcer can wear a hole through the wall of the stomach or duodenum. Bacteria and partially digested food can spill through the opening into the abdominal cavity . This can cause peritonitis. This is inflammation of the abdominal cavity and wall.
Narrowing and blockage . Ulcers at the end of the stomach where the duodenum is attached can cause swelling and scarring. This can narrow or close the intestinal opening. This blockage can stop food from leaving the stomach and going into the small intestine. This can cause vomiting.
Stomach cancer. H. pylori infection increases the risk for stomach cancer later in life.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Its important to get treatment for ulcers. The symptoms of an ulcer, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss, are all reasons to see a healthcare provider.
For those who have been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer, its important to see a healthcare provider if any new symptoms develoop or if symptoms get worse.
This can include:
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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.
Gastric Ulcer Vs Peptic Ulcer: What’s The Difference
Medicine borrows much of its vocabulary from Latin and ancient Greek. For example, the word “gastric” refers to the stomach. The word “peptic” refers to the digestive system. As such, these two terms overlap a bit in describing what occurs in the body when breaking down food. They’re also employed frequently in explaining what can sometimes go wrong in the midsection.
For example, in about 10% of the American public, gastric or peptic ulcers can become a problem. Ulcers are sores that form in soft tissue, such as the lining of the digestive tract, and gastric — or stomach — ulcers occur when there’s too much acid in the stomach.
“There’s a delicate balance in the stomach between the destructive effects of stomach acid, which breaks down our food and destroys foreign pathogens, and the stomach’s natural ability to protect itself from digestion,” says Dr. Robert Lerrigo, a gastroenterologist with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in Southern California. “When there is an imbalance in the system, either due to excessive stomach acid or an inability of the stomach to protect itself, the stomach literally digests itself and forms breaks in its lining called ulcers.”
The same process is responsible for peptic — or digestive — ulcers. These ulcers occur in the top of the small intestine, a section of the digestive tract called the duodenum.
— Pain that starts between meals or during the night.
— Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night.
— Chest pain.
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How Are Ulcers Treated
Treatment for gastric and duodenal ulcers depends on the causes and how severe your symptoms are. For example, your doctor may prescribe histamine receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors to reduce the amount of acid and protect your stomach lining.
For H. pylori infections, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, PPIs, and other medications to fight the bacteria and promote healing. These medications include mucosal protective agents, which help protect your stomachs mucus lining.
If NSAIDs caused the peptic ulcer, youll often be advised on how to reduce or eliminate your use.
If the ulcer is actively bleeding, your doctor can use special tools to stop the bleeding through an endoscope during the EGD procedure.
In cases that medication or endoscopic therapy doesnt work, your doctor may recommend surgery. If the ulcer becomes deep enough to cause a hole through the wall of your stomach or duodenum, this is a medical emergency and surgery is most often required to fix the problem.
An untreated gastric or duodenal ulcer can develop into a serious problem, especially if you have certain existing medical conditions.
The most common complications of ulcers are:
You may not be able to completely remove your risk for developing an ulcer, but there are things you can do to lower your risk and prevent them:
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Get medical help right away if you:
- Develop sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have a rigid, hard abdomen that is tender to touch
- Have symptoms of shock, such as fainting, excessive sweating, or confusion
- Vomit blood or have blood in your stool
Contact your provider if:
- You feel dizzy or lightheaded.
- You have ulcer symptoms.
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Diagnosis Of Peptic Ulcer Disease
Sometimes serum gastrin levels
may manifest with similar manifestations and must be excluded, especially in patients who are > 45, have lost weight, or report severe or refractory symptoms. The incidence of malignant duodenal ulcer is extremely low, so biopsies of duodenal lesions are generally not warranted. Endoscopy can also be used to definitively diagnose H. pylori infection, which should be sought when an ulcer is detected .
Gastrin-secreting cancer and gastrinoma should be considered when there are multiple ulcers, when ulcers develop in atypical locations or are refractory to treatment, or when the patient has prominent diarrhea or weight loss. Serum gastrin levels should be measured in these patients.
How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
If you take all medicines as prescribed and avoid irritating the ulcer with NSAIDs, alcohol or smoking, your ulcer should heal well within a few weeks. Surgical cases may take a few weeks more. Your healthcare provider will follow up with you at the end of your course of medication to make sure the ulcer has healed and any infection has cleared. They will probably take follow-up tests, including an upper endoscopy to look at the site of the ulcer and tests for H. pylori, if you had it, to make sure the infection is gone.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Vomiting blood or dark material that looks like coffee grounds
- Extreme weakness or dizziness
- Blood in your stools
- Nausea or vomiting that doesnt get better, or gets worse
- A sudden, severe pain that may spread to your back
- Losing weight without even trying
Untreated peptic ulcers may cause other health problems. Sometimes they bleed. If they become too deep, they can break through your stomach.
Ulcers can also keep food from going through your stomach.