Known Risk Factors And Symptoms Of Ulcers
The primary causes of ulcers include infection, poor blood circulation, trauma, poor blood circulation, and vitamin deficiencies. Certain conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, can also cause ulcers. However, clinical symptoms and risk factors are unique for each type of ulcer. Here are some common types of ulcers, as well as their risk factors and symptoms.
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What Is An Ulcer
An ulcer is the result of an imbalance in digestive fluids. It occurs when the linings of the stomach or the small intestines become deeply eroded.
Ulcersrange from quite small to an inch or more in size.
Stomach ulcers are also known as gastric ulcers. Just as pepticulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestines.
The stomach produces a strong acid to help digest food and protect against microbes. To protect the tissues of the body from this acid, it also secretes a thick layer of mucus. If the mucus layer is worn away and stops functioning effectively, the acid can damage the stomach tissue causing an ulcer.
In some cases, the body produces too much stomach acid. As a result, the mucous lining becomes damaged or worn away. When this happens, the acid may damage the lining of the digestive tract and cause an ulcer sore.
Peptic ulcer remains a common problem in the United States. Around 10% of people will have peptic ulcer disease at some point in their life.
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019
Related Symptoms & Signs
What Are The Symptoms Of Rectal Ulcers
Symptoms of a rectal ulcer usually develop gradually. They often appear along with other symptoms, such as constipation.
Some people with rectal ulcers feel like they always need to have a bowel movement, even after going to the bathroom. Other signs of a rectal ulcer are:
A stomach ulcer can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria is thought to be responsible for around 60 per cent of stomach ulcers and at least 90 per cent of duodenal ulcers.
- Certain medications which include aspirin or clopidogrel, taken regularly to help prevent heart attack or stroke, and drugs for arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications are thought to cause around two fifths of stomach ulcers.
- Cancer stomach cancer can present as an ulcer, particularly in older people.
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What Are The Complications Of Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers can cause serious problems if you dont get treatment.
The most common problems include:
- Bleeding. As an ulcer wears away the muscles of the stomach or duodenal wall, blood vessels may be hurt. This causes bleeding.
- Hole . Sometimes an ulcer makes a hole in the wall of your stomach or duodenum. When this happens, bacteria and partly digested food can get in. This causes infection and redness or swelling .
- Narrowing and blockage . Ulcers that are found where the duodenum joins the stomach can cause swelling and scarring. This can narrow or even block the opening to the duodenum. Food cant leave your stomach and go into your small intestine. This causes vomiting. You cant eat properly.
What Not To Eat With A Gastric Ulcer
Some food items tend to increase the production of stomach acids which even worsens gastric ulcers. So it is better to avoid such food items which include:
Summary: It is better to avoid those food items which increase the secretion of stomach acids as these acids are the main cause of gastric ulcers.
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When To Seek Medical Attention
Most peptic ulcers are not a medical emergency and can be treated on an outpatient basis. But if there has been a perforation, severe internal bleeding, or obstruction, you’ll need to seek immediate medical care.
If left untreated, intestinal perforation and internal bleeding can lead to shock, coma, multiple organ failure, and death.
Can Turmeric Irritate The Stomach Lining
In EnglishPauseUpsetting the stomach The same agents in turmeric that support digestive health can irritate when taken in large amounts. Some participants in studies looking at the use of turmeric for cancer treatment had to drop out because their digestion was so negatively affected.
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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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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 Are Side Effects Of Stomach Ulcers
Firstoff, side effects are a medical term used to describe adverse effects caused by medications. So its not appropriateto say side effects of stomach ulcers. Because ulcers are a medical condition!
Instead, its best to say symptoms of stomach ulcers not side effects!
As thename implies, stomach ulcer is a kind of peptic ulcer disease thatform in the lining of the gastric . And yes the disease has severalsigns and symptoms.
Is There A Peptic Ulcer Diet Plan
No particular diet is helpful for people with peptic ulcers. At one time, a bland diet and avoidance of spicy or greasy foods was recommended. Milk and dairy food have been used in the past for ulcer symptoms, but have not been proven to be effective. We now know diet has little effect on ulcers. In some people, however, certain foods seem to aggravate stomach ulcer symptoms. Keep a food diary with your intake and the resulting symptoms and avoid eating any foods that aggravate symptoms.
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Cautions With Other Medicines
Pantoprazole and some medications can interact, increasing your risk of experiencing side effects or decreasing the effectiveness of one of the medications. Before beginning pantoprazole therapy, disclose to your doctor if you are currently taking any of the following medications:
- Antidepressant fluvoxamine
- A drug used to treat cancer, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- HIV medications
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.
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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.
- Now it is understood that people with ulcers have an imbalance between acid and pepsin coupled with the digestive tracts 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
- 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.
What Are The Causes Of Ulcers
Causes of ulcers are as follows:
- Stomach Ulcers are more likely to develop in people having a sedentary lifestyle or poor eating habits.
- Oesophageal ulcers often result from exposure to medications such as certain antibiotics or anti-inflammatories and alcohol abuse.
- Ulcers also form as a result of excessive stomach acid secretion, consuming fatty and oily foods, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. All of these factors contribute to a build-up of stomach acids which decay the protective lining of the stomach, esophagus and duodenum.
- According to a recent theory, bacterial infection is also one of the causes of peptic ulcers. For example, H.pylorii is present in 80% of stomach ulcers and 90% of duodenal ulcers.
- Overuse of over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen, alcohol consumption, psychological stress and smoking exacerbate the formation of ulcers, especially in those with H.pylori.
- Stomach ulcers are more probable to occur in elderly people. With advancing age, the pylorus relaxes and allows excess bile to seep up into the stomach which erodes the stomach lining.
- People with type A blood group are more prone to get cancerous stomach ulcers.
- Duodenal ulcers develop in those who have an O blood group type. This is because people of this blood group are unable to produce certain substances on the surface of blood cells that protect the lining of the duodenum.
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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.
When To See A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult their doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.
A slow-bleeding ulcer can be signaled by symptoms of anemia, such as being tired and breathless. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem and can be signaled if blood is vomited up, or stools are black and sticky.
Perforation, or a hole in the stomach, 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.
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How Should I Use This Medication
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medication works best if you take it on an empty stomach, 1 hour before meals. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team’s advice.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers symptoms depend upon the severity of symptoms. The most common symptom is a burning sensation in the abdomen. A gastric ulcer pain after eating a meal or during nighttime. Also, many people with ulcers dont even have symptoms.
Ulcers may cause severe Gastric Ulcer Symptoms such as:
Summary: Gastric ulcers signs are painful sores in the lining of the stomach which include a number of symptoms depending upon the severity of the disease.
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Can Peptic Ulcers Be Prevented
Regular use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems and bleeding in some children. Acetaminophen does not cause stomach ulcers and is a good alternative to NSAIDs for most childhood conditions.
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.
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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.