Gastric Ulcer Symptoms Causes And Treatment Know Them All
Gastric ulcer symptoms vary, and this frequent condition can greatly affect the life of the one who suffers from it. Learn all about it!
The excess of gastric acids that some people suffer makes them more prone to developing gastric ulcers. That is, they occur when the lining of the stomach or duodenum is damaged. Therefore, a gastric ulcer is a wound or sore in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. However, it could appear in the esophagus and even in later sections of the small intestine.
Most ulcers occur in the first layer of lining that covers the affected organ. Sometimes they are so large that they pierce the stomach. If this were to happen, the patients life would be in danger. Hence, it must be addressed with the utmost urgency.
Hence, it is essential to know this disorder. This way we will be in better conditions to prevent it.
Watch For These 10 Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
The severity of the ulcer determines the severity of your stomach ulcer symptoms. A common early stomach ulcer symptom is a burning sensation in your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Stomach ulcer pain often increases when your stomach is empty. The length of time the pain is present can vary from a few minutes to several hours.
Other common signs of a stomach ulcer include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Weight loss
If youre regularly experiencing symptoms of a stomach ulcer, you should talk to a doctor. Even if your symptoms are currently quite mild, ulcers get worse when left untreated and became the most dangerous type of ulcer, a bleeding ulcer.
Its possible for an ulcer to bleed so slowly, you may miss the symptoms. The first indications of a slow-bleeding ulcer may appear when you develop anemia, at which point you may see signs like excessive fatigue, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and pale skin.
When a stomach ulcer is bleeding heavily, youll see changes in stool: it may be black and sticky, or you may see dark red blood in the stool. Immediately consult a doctor if youre experiencing those type of stool changes. Another symptom that indicates you should seek immediate medical attention is bloody vomit with a consistency like coffee grounds. Remember, rapid-bleeding ulcers can be fatal. Its vital that you take these symptoms seriously and get urgent medical help.
How Do H Pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer And Peptic Ulcer Disease
H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause peptic ulcer disease by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Once H. pylori have damaged the mucous coating, powerful stomach acid can get through to the sensitive lining. Together, the stomach acid and H. pylori irritate the lining of the stomach or duodenum and cause a peptic ulcer.
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Other Causes And Factors
Other causes are rare. For example, some viral infections can cause a stomach ulcer. Crohn’s disease may cause a stomach ulcer in addition to other problems of the gut.
Stomach cancer may at first look similar to an ulcer. Stomach cancer is uncommon but may need to be ‘ruled out’ if you are found to have a stomach ulcer.
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.
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Why Are Ulcers Worse At Night
Ulcers are the open sores that develop in the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum. One of the aggravating factors is an increase in gastric acid in the stomach. When we eat food at night, our stomach makes a lot of acid to digest the food.
Once the digestion is completed, the stomach gets emptied and it remains as such for a longer duration of time. But the gastric acid levels still remain high there, as a result of which ulcers that are already present worsen.
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:
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Nsaid Drugs And Stomach Ulcers
A group of painkillers known as NSAIDs carries a risk of stomach ulcers. The two best-known NSAIDs are aspirin and ibuprofen.
The risk of ulcers increases if the drugs are taken in high doses, or regularly for a long time.
Stronger NSAIDs, such as those that need a prescription, are riskier for stomach ulcers than those that can be bought over-the-counter .
People should always check labels and talk to a pharmacist or a doctor about any concerns with using painkillers. They may recommend an alternative such as acetaminophen.
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.
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What Are Some Ulcer Symptoms
Some people with ulcers dont experience any symptoms. But signs of an ulcer can include:
- Gnawing or burning pain in your middle or upper stomach between meals or at night.
- Pain that temporarily disappears if you eat something or take an antacid.
In severe cases, symptoms can include:
- Dark or black stool .
- Severe pain in your mid- to upper abdomen.
How To Lower Your Risk Of Developing Ulcers
Once youve had a stomach ulcer, and successfully treated it, youll probably be very committed to doing whatever you can to avoid developing another one. People used to think that eating certain foodsin particular, spicy or sour foodscould cause or irritate ulcers. Some people do find that eating certain foods increases the discomfort associated with ulcers, but theres no evidence that your diet causes ulcers. When it comes to prevention, the Gastrointestinal Society reports that medical professionals now put the emphasis on eating a high-fiber diet loaded with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Some foods also contain compounds that can help flush H. pylori bacteria from your system and boost your populations of healthy gut bacteria. Adding the following foods to your diet will maximize the health of your digestive system:
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts
- Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Probiotic-rich foods including kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha
- Olive oil
Scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led a study which demonstrated that glutamine can help neutralize gastric damage caused by H. pylori. Glutamines effect stems, at least in part, from its ability to .
Food sources of glutamine include fish, chicken, eggs, spinach, and cabbage.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
- sudden, sharp, lasting belly pain
- bloody or black bowel movements
- bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
These could be signs of a serious problem for a child whos had a peptic ulcer, such as:
If your child takes NSAIDs and shows signs of a peptic ulcer, get medical help right away. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can lead to more problems and, possibly, the need for surgery. But with quick treatment, almost all peptic ulcers can be cured.
Peptic Ulcer Facts And Picture
- Peptic ulcer are sores in the lining of the esophagus, stomach or duodenum.
- The main symptom of a stomach or duodenal ulcer is upper abdominal pain, which can be dull, sharp, or burning .
- Other associated symptoms may include:
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Feeling satiated when eating
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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 And Duodenal Ulcers Diagnosed In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your childs treatment will also depend on whats causing his or her ulcer. For instance, ulcers caused by H. pylori need different treatment from ulcers caused by using NSAIDs.
Your childs healthcare provider will ask about his or her health history. He or she will also give your child an exam. Your child may need more tests before his or her ulcer is diagnosed.
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What Causes Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers In A Child
Experts used to think that stress, diet, and stomach acid caused ulcers. Today, research shows that most ulcers form because of an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Other things play a role, but this germ is often the main cause of most ulcers.
The following things may play a role in stomach or duodenal ulcers:
How Is An Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. They may do an endoscopy. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube attached to a camera down your throat and into your stomach. Your doctor will test your blood, breath or stool for H. pylori. They also can test a sample of your stomach lining. Your doctor also will ask you if you regularly take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines.
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Ulcer Symptoms To Watch Out For
Also known as gastric or peptic ulcers, stomach ulcers happen when part of the stomach or intestinal lining becomes eroded. For some, particularly older individuals, this condition may present no symptoms. However, others experience a variety of issues from mild discomfort to serious side effects. Luckily, with treatment, most stomach ulcers will heal within a couple of months. Lets take a look at some of the signs of this problem.
How To Reduce Risks For Ulcer
The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends the following management tips for ulcer-prone horses:
- Allow free-choice access to grass or hay
- Feed smaller, more frequent meals
Though some ulcers may spontaneously resolve on their own, most will need treatment in order to heal, especially when horses remain in performance or training. There are several different approaches to treating ulcers in horses, but the primary one is acid suppressive therapy.
The most commonly prescribed ulcer treatment is omeprazole, an FDA approved proton pump inhibiting drug that has been well studied. Other drugs may prescribed depending on the location and severity of your horses ulcers. Some of these treatments include histamine blockers, coating or binding agents, synthetic hormones, prokinetic agents, and antibiotics, and a combination of several therapies is used in some instances.
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Signs You May Have A Stomach Ulcer
We have absolutely warned our patients about the dangers of untreated ulcers in the past. However, we consider this to be an extremely important matter and therefore, we will continue to try to educate the people of Los Angeles, as well as those elsewhere on the most common symptoms of stomach ulcers. If you know the signs, you can see your doctor sooner rather than later when things have gotten especially bad. Continue reading below to get familiar with what these symptoms are.
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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Cribbing Or Other Stereotypic Behaviors
Stereotypic behaviors, such as cribbing, are repetitive and unnatural behaviors that become increasingly fixed. However, these behaviors only occur in a small percentage horses so this is one of the less common signs of ulcers.
Dietary factors such as a lack of available forage have been strongly associated with oral stereotypies like cribbing. However, foals with ulcers may crib-bite as well.
How Are Peptic Ulcers Treated
Treatment will depend on the type of ulcer you have. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on what is causing your ulcer.
Treatment can include making lifestyle changes, taking medicines, or in some cases having surgery.
Lifestyle changes may include:
- Not eating certain foods. Avoid any foods that make your symptoms worse.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking can keep your ulcer from healing. It is also linked to ulcers coming back after treatment.
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine. They can make your symptoms worse.
- Not using NSAIDs . These include aspirin and ibuprofen.
Medicines to treat ulcers may include:
- Antibiotics. These bacteria-fighting medicines are used to kill the H. pylori bacteria. Often a mix of antibiotics and other medicines is used to cure the ulcer and get rid of the infection.
- H2-blockers . These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These lower stomach acid levels and protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum.
- Mucosal protective agents. These medicines protect the stomach’s mucus lining from acid damage so that it can heal.
- Antacids. These quickly weaken or neutralize stomach acid to ease your symptoms.
In most cases, medicines can heal ulcers quickly. Once the H. pylori bacteria is removed, most ulcers do not come back.
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