Increasing Pain From A Penetrating Point
If an individual is suffering from episodes of intense pain brought about by characteristically a penetrating discomfort, the person may be suffering from a bleeding ulcer.
A more localized pain that radiates pain to the back of the person who has a known stomach ulcer can be an indicator of present bleeding of the ulcers in areas around the site of pain.
Especially when intolerable, the person is usually advised to seek medical attention to be on the safer side and be able to make necessary corrections before things goes out of control.
When Should You Call Or See A Doctor
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:
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.
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What Is A Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a break in the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum. A peptic ulcer of the stomach is called a gastric ulcer of the duodenum, a duodenal ulcer and of the esophagus, an esophageal ulcer. Peptic ulcers occur when the lining these organs is eroded by the acidic digestive juices that the cells of the lining secrete of the stomach secrete. A peptic ulcer differs from an erosion because it extends deeper into the lining and incites more of an inflammatory reaction from the tissues that are involved, occasionally with scaring. Peptic ulcer also is referred to as peptic ulcer disease.
Peptic ulcer disease is common, affecting millions of Americans yearly. Moreover, peptic ulcers are a recurrent problem even healed ulcers can recur unless treatment is directed at preventing their recurrence. The medical cost of treating peptic ulcer and its complications runs into billions of dollars annually. Recent medical advances have increased our understanding of ulcer formation. Improved and expanded treatment options now are available.
Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection
If your stomach ulcer’s caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, you’ll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer’s caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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Stomach Ulcer Causes Signs Symptoms Remedy Treatment
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What Ulcer Treatments Are Available
If your ulcer is bleeding, your doctor may treat it during an endoscopy procedure by injecting medications into it. Your doctor could also use a clamp or cauterization to seal it off and stop the bleeding.
For most people, doctors treat ulcers with medications, including:
- Proton pump inhibitors : These drugs reduce acid, which allows the ulcer to heal. PPIs include Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Aciphex®, Protonix® and Nexium®.
- Histamine receptor blockers : These drugs also reduce acid production and include Tagamet®, Pepcid®, Zantac® and Axid®.
- Antibiotics: These medications kill bacteria. Doctors use them to treat H. pylori.
- Protective medications: Like a liquid bandage, these medications cover the ulcer in a protective layer to prevent further damage from digestive acids and enzymes. Doctors commonly recommend Carafate® or Pepto-Bismol®.
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How Do Tumors From Zes Cause Peptic Ulcers
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare disorder that happens when one or more tumors form in your pancreas and duodenum. The tumors release large amounts of gastrin, a hormone that causes your stomach to produce large amounts of acid. The extra acid causes peptic ulcers to form in your duodenum and in the upper intestine.
Presence Of Blood In Stool
When the person uses the toilet, he may experience and be surprised with the presence of a blood in the stool discharge. It is one of the most well-known symptoms of a bleeding ulcer.
If the person goes for a long call of nature and notices dark red traces of blood in the feces, he should seek medical assistance. Blood traces in the stool of a given individual is reasonable enough to believe that he may be experiencing a problem of bleeding ulcers within the digestive track.
It is important to note that blood in the stool is an indicative sign and symptom of internal bleeding ulcers that needs to be confirmed through examinations by a medical professional.
- Biecker E, Heller J, Schmitz V, Lammert F, & Sauerbruch T . Diagnosis and management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
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When Should I Expect The Result From My H Pylori Breath Test What Do The Test Results Mean
- Your healthcare provider will contact you as soon as your laboratory test results are available.
- You will be treated with antibiotics if your test result indicates you have an H. pylori infection.
- One month after antibiotic treatment, your provider might order a repeat breath test to make sure the infection has been cured.
- If you have a negative test result and continue to have symptoms, your provider may order other tests to determine their cause.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/20/2020.
How Are Mouth Ulcers Treated
While most mouth ulcers heal on their own, topical treatments may be prescribed to ease discomfort and reduce the risk of complications. Common mouth ulcer treatments include antiseptic gels, steroid ointments or medicated mouth rinses. In severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe immunosuppressants.
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How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
It’s not known exactly how common stomach ulcers are. They have become much less common since the 1980s because of much more effective treatments. So people with stomach ulcers now usually get better much more quickly.
The term ‘peptic ulcer’ is used to describe ulcers that are caused by too much acid in the stomach. This includes stomach ulcers and also ulcers in the first part of the gut known as the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are less common than duodenal ulcers.
If Your Ulcer Was Caused By Helicobacter Pylori
Most stomach ulcers are caused by infection with H. pylori. Therefore, a main part of the treatment is to clear this infection. If this infection is not cleared, the ulcer is likely to return once you stop taking acid-suppressing medication. For more information, see the separate leaflet called Helicobacter Pylori.
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What Should I Expect After An Upper Endoscopy
Youll spend some time recovering while the sedative wears off before going home. An upper endoscopy can irritate your throat. You may be hoarse or have a cough for a few days. You can eat soft foods, drink ice water and use throat lozenges until the soreness subsides.
After the procedure, you may experience some bloating and nausea . With your doctors approval, you should be able to resume your usual activities, including working and driving, the next day.
Antacids And H2 Blockers
Antacids neutralize existing acid in the stomach. Antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, and Amphojel are safe and effective treatments. However, the neutralizing action of these agents is short-lived, and frequent dosing is required. Magnesium containing antacids, such as Maalox and Mylanta, can cause diarrhea, while aluminum containing agents like Amphojel can cause constipation. Ulcers frequently return when antacids are discontinued.
Studies have shown that a protein released in the stomach called histamine stimulates gastric acid secretion. Histamine antagonists are drugs designed to block the action of histamine on gastric cells and reduce the production of acid. Examples of H2 blockers are cimetidine , nizatidine , and famotidine . While H2 blockers are effective in ulcer healing, they have a limited role in eradicating H. pylori without antibiotics. Therefore, ulcers frequently return when H2 blockers are stopped.
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What Are Prescription Medications For Heartburn
If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:
- Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength , Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
- Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.
There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.
When To See A Healthcare Provider/go To The Hospital
You may feel relief with an antacid, but you should not ignore symptoms of a peptic ulcer. If you have persistent symptoms for longer than a week, it is best to see your healthcare provider. He or she will determine whether you need prescription medications and whether you have complications, such as bleeding or anemia.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have:
- Pain that radiates to the back
- Pain that doesn’t go away when you take medication
- Unintended weight loss
- Vomiting blood
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdominal area
- Loss of consciousness
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What Are The Symptoms
Skin ulcers look like round, open sores. They range in severity and are usually minor injuries on the skin.
In severe cases, ulcers can become deep wounds that extend through muscle tissue, leaving bones and joints exposed.
The symptoms of skin ulcers include:
- discoloration of the skin
People can develop the following types of skin ulcer:
Stomach Ulcer : Symptoms & Signs
- Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019
Peptic ulcer disease is characterized by sores, or ulcerations, in the lining tissues of the stomach or the duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers can be caused by a number of conditions, including certain medications, excessive alcohol use, and other medical conditions. The primary symptom of peptic ulcer is upper abdominal pain. The pain can be sharp or dull and is often described as burning. Some affected people have indigestion that may quickly resolve after taking antacids or eating foods that neutralize stomach acids. Other people with peptic ulcers may not have symptoms at all or may have only very mild symptoms. The severity of the ulcers is not related to the severity of the symptoms they cause mild ulcers may cause severe pain, while severe ulcers may only cause mild symptoms.
Loss of appetite and weight lossmay occur in people with peptic ulcer disease. In certain cases, the ulcers may bleed into the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in dark stool.
Related Symptoms & Signs
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What Is An Upper Endoscopy
An upper endoscopy is a procedure to examine the upper part of the digestive tract. The procedure is also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD.
A gastrointestinal doctor uses an endoscope. The scope is a narrow, flexible tube with a light and small video camera. Through the scope, your doctor can view the inside lining of your:
- Esophagus: The tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.
- Stomach: The organ that holds food and starts the digestion process.
- Duodenum: The upper part of your small intestine.
What Complications Are Associated With Zollinger
Complications of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome are related to the overproduction of stomach acid and to the severity of the peptic ulcers. Severe peptic ulcers can:
- Penetrate to an artery, causing internal bleeding.
- Cause swelling, resulting in an obstruction in the path of food leaving the stomach.
- Cause an intestinal perforation .
The following complications of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can be life-threatening. Seek immediate medical help if you have these symptoms:
- Black or bloody stools.
- Symptomatic anemia .
- Severe, sudden and/or persistent stomach pain.
- Vomit that looks like coffee grounds or has blood in it.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
Youâll most likely feel a burning pain or discomfort between your belly button and breastbone. You might especially notice it on an empty stomach — such as between meals or at night. The pain may stop for a little while if you eat or take an antacid, but then return. The pain can last for a few minutes or a few hours, and may come and go for many days or weeks.
Other symptoms may include:
Small ulcers may not cause any symptoms. But if you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor.
Fainting Or Passing Out
After sitting or lying down for a long amount of time, the person who tries to stand up may experience lightheadedness which may lead to fainting. This happens because the body doesnât pump enough blood to the brain as much as necessary.
A display of faintness during situations like standing or sitting after prolonged lying down in a patient with stomach ulcer can be an indication of bleeding. With increased blood loss, the person may become anemic. The individual will usually feel weak and sleepy most of the day. It makes them feel exhausted as well.
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What Steps Do I Need To Take Before The Procedure
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicines or if you are phenylketonuric. Follow these instructions:
- Four weeks before your test, do not take any antibiotics or Pepto-Bismol® .
- Two weeks before your test do not take any over-the-counter or prescription proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole , lansoprazole , pantoprazole , rabeprazole or esomeprazole , dexlansoprazole .
Do not stop taking any other medicine without first talking with your healthcare provider.
Food and drinks:
- One hour before the test, do not eat or drink anything .
On the day of the procedure
A healthcare provider will explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions you might have. The procedure lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.
After the procedure
- Your breath samples are sent to the laboratory where they are tested.
- You may resume your normal activities.
- No restrictions.
What Causes Mouth Ulcers
The exact cause of mouth ulcers is unknown. But there are several factors that can contribute to the development of these sores:
- Minor tissue injury from dental work, such as having a cavity filled.
- Accidentally biting your cheek or tongue.
- Allergic reaction to certain bacteria.
- Viral, bacterial or fungal infections.
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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 person’s 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.