Lifestyle Change To Treat Stomach Ulcer
Reveal certain lifestyle enhancements to treat stomach ulcer. Quit smoking, drinking, and taking Nsaids. Smoking and drinking can both cause unbalanced qualities in digestive fluids, while Nsaids can agitate the adjustment if taken in high measurements. Stop each of the three while you are sitting tight for a determination from your doctor.
Bleeding Peptic Ulcer: Treatment
A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum . Your ulcer is bleeding or at high risk of bleeding. This means that you need treatment right away. Treatment can include medicines. It may also include a procedure such as endoscopy, angiography, or surgery. Your provider will work with you to decide which treatments are best for you. Read on to learn more about each type of treatment.
The Best Otc Drugs For Ulcers
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, 10 out of every 100 Americans will suffer an ulcer in their lifetime 3. Many over-the-counter medications are available to relieve your pain and assist the healing process. Each medication has a separate function, though the drugs serve the same purpose: pain relief and acid digestion. You can choose from acid neutralizers, acid blockers and drugs that stop acid production altogether.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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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.
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When Should I See A Doctor If I Think I Have A Peptic Ulcer
- 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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Reducing Your Risk Of Developing A Stomach Ulcer
You may be able to lower your risk of developing a stomach ulcer by:
- Completing the full course of antibiotics if you have been diagnosed with H. pylori infection
- Not drinking alcohol or limiting alcohol intake less than two drinks per day for a man and one drink per day for a woman
- Not using or minimizing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen
- Not using tobacco products
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:
- 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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What Is A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers, also known as peptic ulcers, are open sores in the lining of the stomach.
While the most common cause of stomach ulcers is an H. pylori infection, overuse of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, smoking, and constant exposure to stress can also cause and/or aggravate the ulcers.
Your doctor might give you an antibiotic to fight the infection, or medications to reduce, block, or neutralize stomach acid. While these provide temporary relief, managing these ulcers in the long term is crucial.
Stomach Cancer And Other Conditions Associated With H Pylori
H pylori is strongly associated with certain cancers. Some studies have also linked it to a number of non-gastrointestinal illnesses, although the evidence is inconsistent.
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In developing countries, where the rate of H pylori is very high, the risk of stomach cancer is six times higher than in the United States. Evidence now suggests that H pylori may be as carcinogenic to the stomach as cigarette smoke is to the lungs.
Infection with H pylori promotes a precancerous condition called atrophic gastritis. The process most likely starts in childhood. It may lead to cancer through the following steps:
- The stomach becomes chronically inflamed and loses patches of glands that secrete protein and acid.
- New cells replace destroyed cells. But the new cells do not produce enough acid to protect against carcinogens.
- Over time, cancer cells may develop and multiply in the stomach.
Although the evidence is mixed, some research suggests that early elimination of H pylori may reduce the risk of stomach cancer to that of the general population. It is important to follow patients after treatment for a long period of time.
H pylori also is weakly associated with other non-intestinal disorders, including migraine headache, Raynaud disease , and skin disorders such as chronic hives.
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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.
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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How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are very common in Western countries. In the United States, there are about 4 million cases per year. Some estimates say that 1 in 10 people will have one at some point in their lives. Thats because many of the causes that contribute to stomach ulcers are common in Western life. Fortunately, these causes are usually easy to trace and to reverse, giving ulcers a chance to heal and your stomach lining a chance to repair.
Alternative Treatments For Stomach Ulcers
There is some evidence for a beneficial effect of these agents on ulcers:
- Bismuth, a metal and main ingredient in Pepto-Bismol
- Fish oil or fish oil supplements, which may inhibit the growth of H. pylori
- Licorice, deglycyrrhizinated , which may work in place of bismuth as a stomach lining protectant. It may also inhibit H. pylori bacterial growth, based on studies of GutGard. DGL is also a common alternative remedy for indigestion.
- Mastic gum, based on its antimicrobial properties, particularly against H. pylori
- Probiotics to help replenish your gut with good bacteria during antibiotic treatment
- Vitamin C, based on its antioxidant properties
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How Are Ulcers Treated
Three kinds of medicines can be used to treat ulcers. All of them do a good job of healing ulcers. Your doctor can tell you which one is right for you. You should take the medicine just as your doctor tells you to.
The first kind of medicine reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes. This medicine can heal an ulcer in the duodenum in six to eight weeks. Ulcers in the stomach take a little longer to heal. You take these medicines for eight to 12 weeks if you have a stomach ulcer.
A second kind of medicine blocks the stomachs ability to make acid. This medicine helps heal an ulcer in the duodenum in four weeks. It helps heal stomach ulcers in six to eight weeks.
A third kind of medicine coats the ulcer. It protects the sore place from stomach acid, so it can heal. This kind of medicine takes eight to 12 weeks to heal an ulcer.
What To Avoid If You Have An Ulcer
If you have an ulcer, avoid NSAIDs or smoking, which can reduce the ability of the stomach lining to protect itself against stomach acid. Foods that increase stomach acid, such as dairy, coffee, and soda should be taken out of the diet. Highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus, will only make things worse. Finally, substances that irritate the stomach, such as alcohol or spicy foods, are probably not a good idea.
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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.
Alcohol and smoking can make an ulcer more likely. Help your child avoid coffee, tea, sodas, and foods that contain caffeine, which can increase acid in the stomach and may make an ulcer worse.
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How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you might have a peptic ulcer, he will take a full medical history and perform a physical exam. Diagnostic tests you might take include:
- Lab test for H. pylori A blood, stool, or breath test may be used to determine whether H. pylori bacteria are present in your body.
- Endoscopy During this procedure, a hollow tube with a lens will be passed down your throat to your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This will allow your doctor to look for a peptic ulcer and take a biopsy if one is present.
- Barium swallow For this test, you will swallow a white liquid containing barium, which coats your digestive tract. A series of X-rays of your upper digestive system will be taken and the liquid makes the ulcer more visible.
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What If A Peptic Ulcer Doesnt Heal
Most often, medicines heal a peptic ulcer. If an H. pylori infection caused your peptic ulcer, you should finish all of your antibiotics and take any other medicines your doctor prescribes. The infection and peptic ulcer will heal only if you take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.
When you have finished your medicines, your doctor may do another breath or stool test in 4 weeks or more to be sure the H. pylori infection is gone. Sometimes, H. pylori bacteria are still present, even after you have taken all the medicines correctly. If the infection is still present, your peptic ulcer could return or, rarely, stomach cancer could develop. Your doctor will prescribe different antibiotics to get rid of the infection and cure your peptic ulcer.
Why Tylenol Can Be A Better Option:
- #1 Doctor Recommended Pain Relief brand for those with stomach problems.
- TYLENOL® will not upset the stomach the way naproxen sodium , or even Ibuprofen can.
- TYLENOL® can help relieve your pain while being gentle on your stomach.
- TYLENOL® can be taken on an empty stomach.
- TYLENOL® may be a safe over the counter pain reliever for those with a history of stomach bleeding, stomach ulcers, or stomach problems such as heartburn.
- TYLENOL® is not an NSAID. NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers and an increased risk of severe stomach bleeding.
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Can Stomach Ulcers Just Go Away
Some ulcers follow a chronic pattern of healing temporarily on their own and then returning. This might happen if the factors contributing to your ulcer, such as NSAID use, smoking and alcohol, are temporarily reduced and then resumed. You wont completely heal your ulcer until you eliminate the cause, whether that is chronic NSAID use, H. pylori infection or an overactive stomach. Even after successful treatment, you can get another ulcer.
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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Serious Side Effects Associated With Nsaids
The concern on both counts revolves around the quite serious side effects the medicines can cause, and the risks they pose especially if overused at higher doses for long periods. Two recent reports from Consumer Reports discuss the issue and offer detailed recommendations. One is the cover story in the June 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. The second is an from Consumer Rehttp://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/07/treating-pain-with-nsaid-medications/index.htmports Best Buy Drugs, available online.
Theres little doubt that NSAIDs are overused for the everyday aches and pains that come with advancing years, says Marvin M. Lipman, MD, chief medical adviser at Consumer Reports. Long-term use of any pain killer requires close medical supervision.
Heres the most salient advice distilled from both articles, which draw on the latest research:
- All the NSAIDs there are about 20, with some available only by prescription can cause serious side effects. These include stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin is the exception. It can cause GI bleeding and stomach ulcers but not heart attacks and strokes. Indeed, at low doses, aspirin can help prevent heart attacks and strokes, which are caused by blood clots that aspirin can counter.
How Does A Stomach Ulcer Affect Quality Of Life
Stomach ulcers are a form of peptic ulcer disease, which includes ulcers in the stomach or first part of the small intestine . Duodenal ulcers are more common than stomach ulcers. Some people with peptic ulcer disease recover but develop recurrent ulcers. It is considered a chronic disease.
Peptic ulcers decrease quality of life physically, psychologically and behaviorally, all of which can negatively interfere with how the individual manages the disease. Both the disease and its treatment have negative consequences. It can lead to decreased productivity, increased expenses, and changes in social interactions.
Understanding more about quality of life in relation to the disease and treatment side effects can help both patients and providers develop an effective treatment plan, which will increase the likelihood of recovery.
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Tips For Living With Ulcers
- If you have an ulcer, be careful when choosing over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can irritate an ulcer and prevent a bleeding ulcer from healing. Avoid powdered headache medication, too. It usually contains powdered aspirin. Your best choice may be acetaminophen, which doesnÃ¢t cause or worsen stomach ulcers.
- Donât overdose on iron supplements. You may need them if you have bleeding ulcers, but taking too much can irritate your stomach lining and the ulcer. Ask the doctor how much iron you need.
- Learn how to manage stress. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, guided imagery, and moderate exercise can help ease stress and promote healing.
- Avoid foods that irritate your stomach. Use common sense: If it upsets your stomach when you eat it, avoid it. Everyone is different, but spicy foods, citrus fruits, and fatty foods are common irritants.
- Stop smoking. Heavy smokers are more likely to get duodenal ulcers than nonsmokers.
- Practice moderation. Drinking lots of alcohol has been shown to contribute to ulcers, so keep your intake to a minimum.