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Signs You Have A Stomach Ulcer

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Healing Foods To Eat When You Have An Ulcer

4 Signs and Symptoms You May Have a Stomach Ulcer

Avoiding triggering foods is step one. Next, you also need to consume foods that will help the stomach and digestive system to heal from the ulcer, while fighting off the bad bacteria that can bring them on.

Ulcer-healing foods are rich in vitamins and minerals and other nutrients to help the stomach repair and to naturally boost digestion.

Nutrients that are vital in the healing process include vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and vitamin C, along with fiber and probiotics.

Tests For Bleeding Ulcers

The most definitive way to diagnose a bleeding ulcer is to visualize it with an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. However, other tests may also help with the diagnosis in conjunction with a physical examination by a doctor and the signs and symptoms mentioned above.

  • Low hemoglobin count indicates anemia. While there are several possible causes, it should be considered as an indicator of a bleeding ulcer when there are symptoms like bloody vomit and indigestion.
  • Positive fecal occult blood test is another indicator of a bleeding ulcer when there are upper GI symptoms like indigestion.

However, both tests may be positive due to other causes. For example, a low hemoglobin count may also occur in women with heavy menstrual bleeding. A positive FOBT does not conclusively indicate that the bleed is from a stomach ulcer. Instead the bleeding could occur lower down in the bowels as may be the case with inflammatory bowel disease .

WARNING: Always consult with a medical professional. Some of these signs and symptoms may also occur with other conditions like stomach cancer.

What Are The Possible Complications

An untreated ulcer that swells or scars can block your digestive tract. It can also perforate your stomach or small intestine, infecting your abdominal cavity. That causes a condition known as peritonitis.

A bleeding ulcer can lead to anemia, bloody vomit, or bloody stools. A bleeding ulcer usually results in a hospital stay. Severe internal bleeding is life-threatening. Perforation or serious bleeding may require surgical intervention.

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How Is It Diagnosed

Stomach ulcers are diagnosed through a review of medical history along with the symptoms experienced by the patient. Doctors would also want to know if there are any other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications involved.

Doctors would also do a physical examination. They will check for bloating in the belly and pain.

To determine if H. pylori are involved, a blood, stool or breath test may be conducted. A breath test involves drinking a clear liquid and breathing into a bag that will be then sealed after. If the breath sample contains high levels of carbon dioxide, H. pylori are present.

X-rays or a test called endoscopy can also be conducted. These tests can accurately determine the presence of an ulcer. An endoscopy involves a thin, bendy tube that is moved down the throat and into the stomach and small intestine. The tube has a camera at the end that can check the lining for ulcers.

How Are Stomach Ulcers Diagnosed

Why Take These 10 Stomach Ulcer Symptoms Seriously

Diagnosis and treatment will depend on your symptoms and the severity of your ulcer. To diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will review your medical history along with your symptoms and any prescription or over-the-counter medications youre taking.

To rule out H. pylori infection, a blood, stool, or breath test may be ordered. With a breath test, youll be instructed to drink a clear liquid and breathe into a bag, which is then sealed. If H. pylori is present, the breath sample will contain higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide.

Other tests and procedures used to diagnose stomach ulcers include:

  • Barium swallow: You drink a thick white liquid that coats your upper gastrointestinal tract and helps your doctor see your stomach and small intestine on X-rays.
  • Endoscopy : A thin, lighted tube is inserted through your mouth and into the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. This test is used to look for ulcers, bleeding, and any tissue that looks abnormal.
  • Endoscopic biopsy: A piece of stomach tissue is removed so it can be analyzed in a lab.

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Your Appetite Went Mia

For many patients with ulcers, the condition can actually result in a loss of appetite. This drop in food intake, combined with occasional vomiting, may lead to unexpected weight loss. Some ulcer patients report eating their normal amount of food, yet still lose weight, so the ulcer itself may cause a drop on the scale, too.

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.

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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated

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.

How Is A Peptic Ulcer Diagnosed

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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.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bleeding Ulcer

Bleeding ulcers dont always cause pain. Sometimes the first signs of a bleeding ulcer are signs of anemia. These include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.

You might have a heavier bleed if you notice:

  • Blood in your poop, or black poop that resembles tar.
  • Bloody vomit.

These symptoms require urgent medical attention.

Diagnosis And Tests For A Stomach Ulcer

If you regularly have stomach ulcer symptoms, make an appointment with your GP, who may refer you to a consultant. If your GP or consultant suspects you have a stomach ulcer, theyll arrange a range of tests, which may include:

  • A blood test to check for anaemia and that your liver and pancreas are healthy
  • A stool sample, biopsy, blood or breath test to check for H. Pylori an infection which can cause stomach ulcers
  • A gastroscopy when a tiny camera films the inside of your digestive system, identifying problems such as stomach ulcers. This is usually done as an outpatient case and you may be given a sedative beforehand
  • A biopsy to check for stomach cancer, which can have a similar appearance to a stomach ulcer

Youll need to have a gastroscopy if you have:

  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Difficulties in swallowing, known as progressive dysphagia
  • Swelling or changes to the shape of your abdomen due to an epigastric mass

If youre over the age of 55, your doctor may recommend a gastroscopy if you have:

  • Had a stomach ulcer or gastric surgery previously
  • Used NSAIDs
  • A condition called pernicious anaemia
  • A family history of gastric carcinoma

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How To Suspect Acute Gastroenteritis

  • The symptoms suddenly start and often last for few days .
  • Abdominal pain: sudden onset of cramps . The colics are usually more severe .
  • Sudden onset diarrhea .
  • Vomiting: is common with viral gastroenteritis.
  • Nausea and loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue, and muscle aches .
  • Fever, which is usually low grade in viral and protozoal infection. But it may become a high grade with bacterial gastroenteritis.

What Are Stomach Ulcers

11 Signs You Have a Stomach Ulcer and Natural Remedies

There are two kinds of stomach ulcers: gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are sores on the upper section of your small intestine.

Your body creates a protective layer of mucus to shield the linings of your stomach and small intestine from the harsh stomach acid required to break down food. When the mucus layer is worn away or doesnt function properly, the acid begins to damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine, creating an ulcer. Many people believe spicy foods or stress cause ulcers, but while these can exacerbate existing ulcers, they dont actually cause them.

Ulcers are usually caused by an infection from a common bacteria called helicobacter pylori or from the habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin. Other factors, such as being older than age 50, smoking, genetics, steroid use, and frequent alcohol use, can increase your risk of developing an ulcer.

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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.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer Does It Cause Pain

Ulcers do not always cause symptoms. Sometimes, a serious complication such as bleeding or a sudden, bad upper abdominal pain is the first sign of an ulcer.

The most common symptom of peptic ulcers is abdominal pain.

  • The pain is usually in the upper middle part of the abdomen, above the belly button and below the breastbone.
  • The ulcer pain can feel like burning, or gnawing, and it may go through to the back.
  • Pain often comes several hours after a meal when the stomach is empty.
  • The pain is often worse at night and early morning.
  • It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
  • The ulcer pain may be relieved by food, antacids, or vomiting.

Other symptoms of peptic ulcers include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight

Severe ulcers may cause bleeding in the stomach or duodenum. Bleeding is sometimes the only symptom of an ulcer. This bleeding can be fast or slow. Fast bleeding reveals itself in one of the following ways:

  • Vomiting of blood or dark material that looks something like coffee grounds: This is an emergency and warrants an immediate visit to an emergency department.
  • Blood in the stool or black, tarry, sticky-looking stools

Slow bleeding is often more difficult to detect, because it has no dramatic symptoms.

  • The usual result is low blood cell count .
  • The symptoms of anemia are tiredness , lack of energy , weakness, rapid heartbeat , and pale skin .

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You Have Pain Specifically In Your Upper Abdomen

One of the most common ulcer symptoms is a severe pain in the upper abdomen, according to Neil Sengupta, MD, a gastroenterology specialist at the University of Chicago. Ulcers can develop anywhere in the upper digestive track, but Dr. Sengupta says we often think about those occurring in the stomach or small intestine, where we feel pain. This pain usually occurs between the breastbone and belly button, and can bring on a burning, aching, or dull feeling. The sensation may begin as a light, mild pain but often progresses into something more serious as the ulcers develop.

When Should You Call Or See A Doctor

Bleeding Ulcer Symptoms And Causes – How To Know If You Have A Bleeding Stomach Ulcer

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:

  • weakness

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What To Do If You Have Stomach Cancer Or Ulcer Symptoms

  • If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Dont assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
  • If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
  • Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.

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Signs You Have A Stomach Ulcer According To Physicians

Painful and recurrent, a stomach ulcer isn’t just disruptive to digestionit can seriously impact your quality of life. But contrary to folklore, ulcers aren’t caused by too much stress, and a glass of milk isn’t the best way to treat them. In many cases, ulcers can be resolved by dropping certain habits or taking medication. Here are the most common signs you have a stomach ulcer, and what you can do about it, according to physicians. Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

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How Are Stomach Ulcers Treated

Ulcers can heal if they are given a rest from the factors that created them. Healthcare providers treat uncomplicated ulcers with a combination of medicines to reduce stomach acid, coat and protect the ulcer during healing and kill any bacterial infection that may be involved. Medicines may include:

  • Antibiotics. If H. pylori was found in your digestive tract, your healthcare provider will prescribe some combination of antibiotics to kill the bacteria, based on your medical history and condition. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include tetracycline, metronidazole, clarithromycinand amoxicillin.
  • Proton pump inhibitors . These drugs help reduce stomach acid and protect your stomach lining. PPIs include esomeprazole,dexlansoprazole,lansoprazole, omeprazole,pantoprazole and rabeprazole.
  • Histamine receptor blockers . These reduce stomach acid by blocking the chemical that tells your body to produce it . H2 blockers include famotidine, cimetidine and nizatidine.
  • Antacids. These common over-the-counter medicines help to neutralize stomach acid. They may bring some symptom relief, but they arent enough to heal your ulcer. They also might interfere with some antibiotics.
  • Cytoprotective agents. These medicines help to coat and protect your stomach lining. They include sucralfate and misoprostol.
  • Bismuth Subsalicylate. This over-the-counter medicine, commonly found as Pepto-Bismol, can help coat and protect your ulcer from stomach acid.

When Should I See A Doctor If I Think I Have A Peptic Ulcer

11 Signs You Have a Stomach Ulcer &  Natural Remedies ...
  • If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Don’t assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
  • If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
  • Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.

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Nausea and vomiting are also due to the inflammatory cascade that occurs as a result of the ulcers development, says Modi. The inflammation of the stomach lining itself causes intermittent contractions and if the muscles of the abdominal wall contract with enough force, it can cause full-on vomiting, says Rudolph Bedford, M.D., gastroenterologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

In some cases, these symptoms strike because the ulcer is causing a blockage in the stomach and food isnt able to pass easily into the small intestine. Your doctor can determine the exact cause of the ulcer and, most likely, treat it with antacid medicationsbut, if theres evidence of a blockage, youll be admitted to the hospital for further treatment, says Modi.

Find out what you MUST do the next time you go to the doctor:

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