Ulcers With Other Causes
study from 2012 , H. pylori and NSAIDs are the most prevalent causes of peptic ulcers. However, a newer review in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention states that ulcers without H. pylori infection or NSAID involvement are increasing.
Quickly treating peptic ulcers, especially bleeding peptic ulcers, is the best way to avoid complications. If a person does not seek treatment for the ulcers, certain conditions can arise, such as:
- Severe internal bleeding: This can lead to hemorrhaging and is a medical emergency.
- Perforation: This is when the lining of the stomach splits open. This rare and severe complication can lead to stomach bacteria infecting the lining of the abdomen. This is called peritonitis.
- Gastric outlet obstruction: This is when a scarred or swollen stomach ulcer stops food from getting into the digestive system.
What Tests Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
To confirm a person has an ulcer a diagnostic imaging test will usually be ordered. The two most widely used tests are:
- Upper GI series : This is a type of X-ray. The patient is given a chalky liquid to drink that increases the contrast on the X-ray, making certain features easier to see. Because this liquid contains barium, this test is sometimes called a barium swallow.
- Endoscopy : An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end. The patient is given a mild sedative, and then the tube is passed through the mouth into the stomach. The doctor can see the lining of the stomach to diagnose a peptic ulcer. Tiny samples of the tissue will be taken , which are examined under a microscope.
If a diagnostic imaging test reveals an ulcer, the patient will most likely have a test to see if H pylori bacteria are present.
- It is important to be certain about this, because treatment of the H pylori is likely to heal the ulcer.
- Ulcers caused by H pylori are treated differently than ulcers caused by medications.
Three types of tests are available to detect H pylori.
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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Gastroduodenal Ulcer In Dogs
Gastroduodenal ulcer disease refers to ulcers found in the dogs stomach and/or the first section of the small intestine, also known as the duodenum.
These uclers often develop because the mucosal lining of the stomach or intestinal lumen is exposed. There are various factors that may alter these protective mechanisms.
Although the formation of these ulcers are less common in cats, they do occur. If you would like to learn more about how the disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
What Drugs Interact With Aspirin Vs Eliquis
- Aspirin is associated with several suspected or probable interactions that affect the action of other drugs. The following examples are the most common of the suspected interactions.
- NSAIDs may increase the blood levels of lithium by reducing the excretion of lithium by the kidneys. Increased levels of lithium may lead to lithium toxicity.
- Aspirin may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of blood pressure medications. This may occur because prostaglandins have a role in the regulation of blood pressure.
- When aspirin is used in combination with methotrexate or aminoglycoside antibiotics the blood levels of the methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because their elimination from the body is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
- Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants, for example, warfarin, should avoid aspirin because aspirin also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to serious bleeding.
- Apixaban is a substrate of both CYP3A4 and P-gp. Inhibitors of CYP3A4 and P-gp increase exposure to apixaban and increase the risk of bleeding. Inducers of CYP3A4 and P-gp decrease exposure to apixaban and increase the risk of stroke and other thromboembolic events.
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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, whether you take NSAIDs and other drugs, and medical history. Theyâll also check you for bloating in the belly and pain. That may be enough to make a diagnosis.
The only way your doctor can tell for sure if you have an ulcer is to look. They may use a series of X-rays or a test called an endoscopy. This test allows them to pass a thin, bendy tube down your throat and into your stomach and small intestine. The tube has a camera at the end so they can check the lining for ulcers. They may also take a small piece of the lining to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample tests also can screen for the bacteria.
Does Hydrocodone Hurt Stomach Ulcers
During treatment, this medicine can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines. There is a chance that this could lead to death if it is not detected. It is possible to increase your risk of developing cancer by taking this medicine for a long time. Smoking, drinking alcohol, older age, and poor health can also increase your risk.
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Who Gets Ulcerative Colitis And What Causes It
Colitis can develop at any age, but usually first appears in people aged 15 to 30.
Experts are not sure why UC or Crohnâs disease occurs in some people. It may be due to a combination of genetic, environmental and infectious factors that cause a fault in the immune system leading to inflammation of the bowel.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Reduce Ulcer Risk
Combining an NSAID with a proton pump inhibitor may decrease the risk of a stomach or duodenal ulcer. This can be beneficial if you’re at increased risk.
Cytotec , a prostaglandin, works differently than PPIs and may decrease the risk of ulcers. Arthrotec , a combination NSAID/prostaglandin, is taken 4 times/day with food to achieve maximum protection, but some protection occurs when taken twice daily.
It is contraindicated in women who are pregnant or could become pregnant because it can cause miscarriage.
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Anticoagulants And Gi Procedures
If you plan to have a GI procedure such as a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy, tell the doctor performing it if you are on blood-thinning medications. Its now considered safe to undergo most GI procedures without stopping aspirin. But if you take warfarin, you will need to tell the doctor who prescribes it that you are having a procedure. He or she will instruct you on when to stop warfarin and if you need to take other medication in its place.
Patients usually need to stop taking other blood thinners two to seven days prior to a GI procedure. You should ask your doctor for specific instructions on when to stop your medications.
Swedish Gastroenterology physicians are experienced in caring for all types of gastrointestinal bleeding and other GI conditions. If you have questions regarding GI procedures and the use of anticoagulants, call Swedish Gastroenterology at . You can also visit us online.
Duration Of Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori heal when the bacteria is killed. The typical course of treatment includes two weeks of antibiotics along with acid-suppressing medicine. This is followed by an additional four to eight weeks of the acid-suppressing medicine alone.
Its possible for an ulcer to heal temporarily without antibiotics, but it will likely recur or another one will form nearby if the bacteria is not killed.
Peptic ulcers caused by medication usually heal shortly after you stop taking the medication. Doctors typically recommend taking antacids for two to six weeks to assist with healing and relieve pain.
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What Causes Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers form when digestive juices damage the walls of the stomach or small intestine. If the mucus layer gets too thin or your stomach makes too much acid, your gut will feel it. The two major causes are:
- Bacteria. Itâs called Helicobacter pylori , and as many as half of us carry it. Most people infected with H. pylori do not get ulcers. But in others, it can raise the amount of acid, break down the protective mucus layer, and irritate the digestive tract. Experts arenât sure how H. pylori infection spreads. They think it may pass from person to person through close contact, like kissing. You may also get it from unclean food and water.
- Certain pain relievers. If youâve been taking aspirin often and for a long time, youâre more likely to get a peptic ulcer. The same is true for other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . They include ibuprofen and naproxen. NSAIDs block your body from making a chemical that helps protect the inner walls of your stomach and small intestine from stomach acid. Other types of pain meds, such as acetaminophen, wonât lead to peptic ulcers.
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol also can make you more likely to get ulcers. Stress and eating a lot of spicy food donât cause ulcers, as experts once thought. But they can make ulcers worse and harder to treat.
Adjust Your Dosage To Reduce Risk Of Side Effects
It’s best to take the lowest dosage of NSAID necessary to relieve your symptoms. Using the lowest effective dose reduces the risk of side effects.
Another suggestion for you to considerwith your healthcare provider’s approvalis to take your NSAID as needed, rather than daily. By doing soand keeping your dose lowyou would be reducing the risk of serious side effects.
That said, be sure to take your medication as directed. If you have questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
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How Does H Pylori Cause Ulcers
Although many people naturally carry H. pylori, it is not clear why the bacteria only cause ulcers in some people. H. pylori spread through food and water. They live in the mucus that coats the lining of the stomach and duodenum, and they produce urease, an enzyme that neutralizes stomach acid by making it less acidic.
To compensate for this, the stomach produces more acid, and this irritates the stomach lining. The bacteria also weaken the defense system of the stomach and causes inflammation. Patients with peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori need treatment to get rid of the bacterium from the stomach, and to prevent them coming back.
Tips For Taking Blood
Read the patient information
Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication to help you understand how to take it safely.
Talk to your doctor and dentist
Tell your doctor about any new medication you are taking if you are on anticoagulants. Never stop taking your medication if you feel unwell. Always contact your GP for advice before stopping. If you have any stroke symptoms, always call 999.
You should also tell your dentist you are taking anticoagulant medication before you have any treatment.
Talk to your local community pharmacist
Tell your pharmacist about any newly prescribed medication, supplements including herbal or Chinese medication, or any over the counter medication as these may interact with your current medication. Your pharmacists can offer you a Medication Use Review or New Medicines Service on newly prescribed medication to help you stick to your treatment and offer support.
Risk of bleeding
Because blood-thinning medications affect the way your blood clots, they increase your risk of bleeding. So if you cut or injure yourself, it may take slightly longer than usual for the bleeding to stop. This shouldnt cause too many problems for small cuts and injuries. However, you will have a slightly higher risk of having a haemorrhagic stroke . If you are taking anticoagulants and have a haemorrhagic stroke, youll be given medicine to stop the anticoagulants from working.
Anticoagulant alert card
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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.
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 Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
Endoscopy. An upper endoscopy exam is expedient because allows healthcare providers to see inside your digestive tract and also take a tissue sample to analyze in the lab. The test is done by passing a thin tube with a tiny camera attached down your throat and into your stomach and duodenum. Youll have medication to numb your throat and help you relax during the test. Your healthcare provider may use the endoscope to take a tissue sample to test for signs of mucous damage, anemia, H. pylori infection or malignancy. If they take a sample, you wont feel it.
Imaging tests. Imaging tests to look inside the stomach and small intestine include:
- Upper GI series. An upper GI X-ray exam examines the stomach and duodenum through X-rays. Its less invasive than an endoscopy. For the X-ray, youll swallow a chalky fluid called barium, which will coat your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The barium helps your digestive organs show up better in black and white images.
- CT scan. Your healthcare provider might recommend a CT scan if they need to see your organs in more detail. A CT scan can show complications such as a perforation in the stomach or intestinal wall. For the test, youll lie on a table inside a scanner machine while X-rays are taken. You may drink or have an injection with contrast fluid to make your organs show up better in images.
Tests for H. pylori. Your healthcare provider might want to test you separately for H. pylori infection. Tests may include:
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.
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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 ‘trickle’ 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.