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Stomach Ulcer Treatment Over The Counter

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How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed

OTC: Omeprazole

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.

What About Complicated Ulcers

While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.

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. 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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What Are The Risks For People With Ulcers

Why do painkillers increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems? The same chemicals that amplify pain — which some pain medicines block — also help maintain the protective lining of the stomach and intestines. When a painkiller stops these chemicals from working, the digestive tract becomes more vulnerable to damage from gastric acids.

For people with ulcers, the risky pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen, the active ingredients in medicines such as Bufferin, Advil, and Aleve.

Other pain relievers may be less dangerous. Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — works differently and poses a much lower risk of GI problems. However, like any drug, it does have side effects of its own. You shouldn’t take any over-the-counter painkiller for more than 10 days without your health care provider’s approval.

The risks from NSAIDs are quite serious. Studies show that people who use NSAIDs are about three times as likely to have gastrointestinal bleeding. Even at low doses, NSAIDs can make mild ulcers much worse.

Aspirin has additional risks. “Aspirin can help prevent blood clotting, which is why it helps people at risk of heart attacks and strokes,” says Cryer. “But in people with ulcers, it can lead to more serious gastrointestinal bleeding.”

Signs And Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers

Stomach Ulcer Best Medicine

Many people with peptic ulcers dont have any signs, but upper abdominal pain is the most common symptom.

  • Extend from your navel up to your breastbone
  • Feel worse when your stomach is empty
  • Feel better temporarily when you eat certain foods or take an antacid
  • Get worse at night
  • Come and go for days or weeks

Other symptoms of peptic ulcers may include:

  • Nausea

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What Natural Home Remedies Help Peptic Ulcer Pain

Home care for peptic ulcers often centers on neutralizing the stomach acid.

  • Don’t smoke, and avoid coffee and alcohol. These habits increase gastric acid production and weaken the mucosal barrier of the GI tract promoting ulcer formation and slowing ulcer healing.
  • Don’t take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acetaminophen is a good substitute for some conditions. If acetaminophen doesn’t help, talk to your health-care professional about alternatives.
  • If your symptoms are mild, try an over-the-counter antacid or nonprescription histamine blocker to neutralize stomach acid. Usually stronger prescription medications are needed.

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
  • 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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How Are Pressure Sores Diagnosed

Your doctor will do a physical exam to look at the sores. They will examine the size and depth of the sore and look to see if blood or fluid is oozing from the sore. Your doctor will check to see if your sore has a bad smell. They also will check for additional sores.

Testing may help to diagnose pressure sores or their complications. These tests might include a blood test. Another test would be to take a sample of the tissue from the sore. This is done by scraping or cutting it from the sore. That sample is sent to the lab for examination.

What Are Its Symptoms

Dr. Shazia talks about Stomach Ulcer

The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain in the centre of the abdomen. This is caused by the ulcer and is aggravated by stomach acid coming in contact with the ulcerated area. The pain typically may:

  • Be felt anywhere from your navel up to your breastbone
  • Be worse when your stomach is empty
  • Flare up at night
  • Often be temporarily relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication
  • Disappear and then return for a few days or weeks.

Less often, ulcers may cause severe signs or symptoms such as:

  • The vomiting of blood
  • Dark blood in stools or stools that are black or tarry
  • Nausea or throwing up blood
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Appetite changes.

People who have stomach ulcers generally continue to function quite comfortably and some ulcers heal spontaneously without medication.

However, left untreated, stomach ulcers can cause complications, including bleeding, perforation and obstruction of the gastric system.

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Peptic Ulcer Disease Treatment: Medication

Several different medication therapies are available to help reduce gastric acid and coat the ulcers:

  • Antacids neutralize gastric acid. The disadvantage is that you need to take a relatively large dose for them to be effective, and they can cause unwanted side effects like diarrhea.
  • Histamine blockers reduce gastric acid by blocking the H2 receptors. These medications decrease acid secretion and are a relatively safe treatment option.
  • Proton pump inhibitors are drugs that block the three major pathways for acid production. PPIs suppress acid production much more effectively than H2 blockers. PPIs are the gold standard in medication therapy of peptic ulcer disease.
  • Medications to protect and strengthen the mucous lining of the stomach
  • Antibiotics to treat H. pylori if it is detected

What Are The Symptoms Of A Stomach Ulcer

Symptoms vary from person to person, and some people may have no symptoms at all. Abdominal pain is common, and that associated with stomach ulcers tends to worsen after food. Other common symptoms include:

  • Bloating or belching
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss.

Symptoms such as vomiting, severe pain or blood in the stools are rare with stomach ulcers and should be reported to your doctor.

Most ulcers occur in the first layer of the inner lining. A hole that goes all the way through is called a perforation and will cause severe pain and bleeding. It is a medical emergency.

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What Is The Treatment For Peptic Ulcers

The choice of treatment depends on whether or not the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori. Correct diagnosis is key to whether a treatment works or not. If the bacteria are the cause, treatment focuses on killing the infection. Regardless of whether the bacteria are the cause, reducing acid in the stomach is another important focus of treatment.

The following treatments are recommended for ulcers:

  • Lifestyle changes: Quit smoking, avoid alcohol, aspirin, and NSAIDs
  • Acid-blocking medications
  • Medications that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum
  • Triple-therapy or dual-therapy regimens for ulcers caused by H pylori

No single medication works to get rid of H pylori infection. Two combinations have been found that work well in most people.

These treatments are generally given for two weeks.

Once H pylori bacteria are eradicated from a persons digestive tract, usually it will not come back. The ulcers usually heal completely and do not return.

Treatment for bleeding ulcers depends on the severity of blood loss and includes:

It is important to remember that treatment may not work if the diagnosis is not correct. If the doctor diagnoses an ulcer, it is important to determine whether the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori.

What Causes A Stomach Ulcer

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Peptic ulcer disease is the result of one of two things loss of the factors that protect the stomach and intestines from gastric acid or excessive production of gastric acid that overwhelms these factors.

Peptic ulcer disease is typically caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or Helicobacter pylori infection. NSAIDs reduce the production of protective prostaglandins in the stomach low levels of these prostaglandins increase the risk of ulcer formation. H. pylori can also invade the stomach lining, producing a basic environment around it so it can survive the hostility of the acidic stomach environment it does this with the enzyme urease. Chronic infection with H. pylori is a risk factor for the development of both peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer.

There are other risk factors for peptic ulcer disease. These risk factors generally do not lead to peptic ulcer disease alone but may lead to peptic ulcer disease in those that are genetically predisposed. The most common of these risk factors are:

  • Alcohol use
  • Corticosteroid use

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What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers

Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.

The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

Less common ulcer symptoms may include:

  • Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
  • Burping
  • Bloody or black stool
  • Vomiting blood

Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Peptic Ulcer Disease

An ulcer left untreated may cause serious complications, including:

  • Internal bleeding: While most people with ulcers wont have bleeding, this is the most common complication that can occur. A slow bleeding ulcer can cause anemia or even severe blood loss.
  • Perforation: An ulcer that is continuously eroded by acid can eventually become a hole in the stomach or intestinal wall. This is intensely painful and also dangerous. It allows bacteria from the digestive tract to enter the abdominal cavity, which can lead to an infection of the abdominal cavity called peritonitis. From there, the infection is at risk of spreading to the rest of the body . This can lead to a life-threatening condition called .
  • Obstruction: An ulcer in the pyloric channel, the narrow passageway that leads from the stomach into the duodenum, can become an obstruction that blocks the flow of food into the small intestine. This can happen after the ulcer has healed. Ulcers that have gone through a healing process may build up scar tissue that enlarges them. An ulcer that is big enough to obstruct the small intestine can stall the digestive process, with numerous side effects.
  • Stomach cancer: Some gastric ulcers can become malignant over time. This is more likely when your ulcer is caused by H. pylori infection. H. pylori is a contributing cause of gastric cancer, though fortunately this is uncommon.

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Ulcer Medication Over The Counter

Many non-prescription medications are available that help relieve pain and quicken the healing process. This article discusses various over-the-counter peptic ulcer and mouth ulcer medications.

Many non-prescription medications are available that help relieve pain and quicken the healing process. This article discusses various over-the-counter peptic ulcer and mouth ulcer medications.

Peptic ulcers are open sores which occur on the lining of stomach, esophagus, or duodenum. Many people believe that peptic ulcers are caused by spicy food or stress. However, peptic ulcers are caused due to a specific type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Stress and spicy foods can worsen peptic ulcer, though. NSAIDs, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen can also cause peptic ulcers.

If you are experiencing symptoms like abdominal pain with a burning sensation, pain after few hours of eating, pain becoming worse on an empty stomach, heartburn, belching, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, weight loss, or poor appetite, then these all point to peptic ulcer. To treat peptic ulcers, the doctor will prescribe you certain ulcer medications. Over-the-counter drugs and many lifestyle changes will also be advised.

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Otc Medication For Stomach Ulcers

Peptic Ulcer – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Peptic Ulcers

  • If you suspect you may have a peptic ulcer, you may first be diagnosed by your family practitioner or internist.
  • Children or teenagers may see a pediatrician.
  • For further treatment you will likely be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the digestive tract.
  • If you have an emergency such as vomiting or severe abdominal pain you will be seen by an emergency medicine specialist in an emergency room.
  • In the rare case where surgery is needed, you may see a general surgeon.

How Long To Take It For

If you buy pantoprazole from a pharmacy, you can usually take it for up to 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks:

  • if your symptoms have improved, you can take it for another 2 weeks
  • if your symptoms have not improved or they are worse, speak to a doctor before taking any more pantoprazole

Do not take pantoprazole for more than 4 weeks without speaking to your doctor first. If your symptoms have not improved, you may need some tests to find out whats causing them.

If you take pantoprazole on prescription, you may only need to take it for a few weeks or months, depending on your condition. Sometimes your doctor may advise you to take it for longer, even for many years.

Some people do not need to take pantoprazole every day and take it only when they have symptoms. Once you feel better , you can stop taking it.

Taking pantoprazole just on days when you have symptoms is not suitable for everyone. Speak to your doctor about whats best for you.

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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.

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Ulcer Medication

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All medications may produce side effects, and side effects will vary depending on the type of medication. This is not a complete list of possible side effects, so consult with a healthcare professional about any concerns or questions you may have regarding your specific situation.

Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers are relatively safe medications available in prescription and over-the-counter formulations. The most commonly experienced side effects are digestive system problems such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. H2 blockers can also affect the central nervous system, so headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness are often experienced.

Proton pump inhibitors can reduce the absorption of calcium in the body, which can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Patients will often be prescribed or recommended calcium supplements to take along with proton pump inhibitors. Other serious side effects of proton pump inhibitors may include kidney disease, vitamin B12 deficiency, and diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile infection.

The most serious side effects of H2 blockers are related to their effects on the central nervous system. These side effects may include delirium, hallucinations, extreme drowsiness, and slurred speech.

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