Symptoms And Treatment Of Stomach Ulcers In Children
Peptic ulcers, also known as stomach ulcers, are less common in children than adults but occur more frequently than one might imagine. According to 2011 research published in the medical journal Ulcers, as many as 8.1% of children in Europe and 17.4%in the United States will experience a peptic ulcer before the age of 18.
While peptic ulcers are closely related to a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori , they are sometimes secondary to more a serious disease, such as cancer.
Diagnosis in children differs slightly from adults as some tests are less able to deliver reliable results. Uncomplicated cases are usually easily treated with antibiotics and other oral medications.
Unless there is a serious underlying cause, the risk of complications from a peptic ulcer is low and the risk of death even lower .
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.
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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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.
Causes Of Stomach Ulcers:
Basically, the digestive juices damage stomach and small intestine wall. The mucus layer inside gets thin and starts attacking the lining. The causes behind it are:-
The presence of Helicobacter pylori or H. Pylori is responsible for causing it. Many of us carry it, and after having the infection for once, the ulcer will not take place. But in some cases, the amount of acid get rises, and the protective mucus layer breaks down. This breakdown causes irritation in the digestive tract. There is no particular cause to pass on helicobacter pylori, but close contact is responsible for it and also the consumption of unclean food and water.
Pain relievers like Aspirin for a very long time have a major effect on stomach or small intestine lining and cause stomach ulcers. This is also the case with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These block the body from making the chemical protecting the stomach and small intestine wall from stomach acid.
Cigarette and Alcohol:
Smoking cigarette and alcohol consumption also put a person at the risk of stomach ulcer development. The combination of alcohol and cigarette is dangerous for the stomach and small intestine lining. People who smoke and drink regularly experience it, and with time the condition gets worse.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Signs of a peptic ulcer include:
- most commonly, burning pain in the belly between the breastbone and the belly button
- feeding problems
- blood in vomit or bowel movements, which may look dark red or black
If your child has any of these signs and symptoms, call your doctor. Many can be caused by other childhood illnesses, but should be reported to your doctor. Based on your child’s medical history and symptoms, the doctor may want your child to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. This is a doctor who treats problems of the stomach, intestines, and associated organs.
How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may be able to make the diagnosis just by talking with you about your symptoms. If you develop an ulcer and youre not taking NSAIDs, the cause is likely an H. pylori infection. To confirm the diagnosis, youll need one of these tests:
If you have severe symptoms, your provider may recommend an upper endoscopy to determine if you have an ulcer. In this procedure, the doctor inserts an endoscope through your throat and into your stomach to look for abnormalities.
H. Pylori tests
Tests for H. pylori are now widely used and your provider will tailor treatment to reduce your symptoms and kill the bacteria. A breath test is the easiest way to discover H. pylori. Your provider can also look for it with a blood or stool test, or by taking a sample during an upper endoscopy.
Less frequently, imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans are used to detect ulcers. You have to drink a specific liquid that coats the digestive tract and makes ulcers more visible to the imaging machines.
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Causes Of Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers most commonly occur by one of the following:
- an infection with bacterium Helicopter pylori or H. pylori
- long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs which includes aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen
However, in rare conditions, condition: Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing the production of acid in your body.
Many doctors suspect that this condition can cause less than 1% of all peptic ulcers.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers & Am I At Risk
Youve probably watched a TV show before where an overly stressed character says, I think I have an ulcer. Ulcers are a fairly common type of gastrointestinal health condition, affecting nearly 4 million people each year in the United States. But what causes stomach ulcers?
Eric JacksononDecember 27, 2021
The first important thing to note is that not all ulcers are stomach ulcers. Ulcers can occur anywhere on or in the body and are open sores or raw areas. Ulcers affecting the GI system are whats known as peptic ulcers.
You can have two different types of peptic ulcerduodenal ulcer, which affects part of the small intestine, and gastric ulcer, which affects the lining of your stomach. Gastric ulcers are commonly referenced as stomach ulcers.
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Reason For Bleeding Of A Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is an open sore that forms in the lining of the stomach or duodenum of the small intestine. Duodenal ulcers are more common. Although it is an open sore, peptic ulcers do not always bleed. However, if the peptic ulcer is repeatedly irritated then this can cause further damage and result in a bleeding peptic ulcer.
Read more on what is a peptic ulcer.
Normally the stomach has a mucus barrier which prevents the stomach acid from making contact with the stomach wall. Similarly the duodenum can quickly respond to stomach juices and neutralize it. These mechanisms ensure that the stomach and duodenum are not irritated or damaged by the powerful digestive secretions.
However, there are cases where these mechanisms are not sufficient or suitable to counteract injury. This leads to an ulcer. If the cause is not removed then the continued irritation and damage may erode the ulcer to the point that it bleeds. The degree of bleeding depends on the extent of damage to the blood vessels in the gut wall.
When To Seek Medical Advice
You should visit your GP if you think you may have a stomach ulcer.
Seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds
- passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
- a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse
These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
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What Is A Bleeding Ulcer
The stomach is a mixing bowl, allowing food and digestive juices to combine and allow digestion to begin. But the stomach has a protective lining that prevents digestive enzymes from eating away at it. If this lining is damaged, inflammation and pain may occur. If the inflammation becomes worse, it can cause the lining of the stomach or the duodenum to bleed. The bleeding may not be noticeable, and the patient may not seek medical care.
What Is A Peptic Ulcer Hemorrhage
A severely bleeding ulcer is known as a peptic ulcer hemorrhage. For some people, an ulcer that has bled significantly can be treated during an upper endoscopy, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
For this procedure, a gastroenterologist uses a thin tube with a light and camera to examine the upper digestive tract and can inject medications, burn a bleeding vessel shut or clamp off a bleeding vessel. However, not all ulcers can be treated this way. Occasionally, ulcers may require more serious surgeries, such as a gastrectomy, which involves removal of part of the stomach.
Remember, if you suspect that you may have a peptic ulcer, seek medical attention. The quicker you address the ulcer, the easier it may be to treat. And if you have any signs of a bleeding peptic ulcer, get immediate attention.
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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 .
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 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
What Is A Bleeding Stomach Ulcer
An ulcer that is allowed to progress and eat away at the wall of the stomach may damage nearby blood vessels and become a bleeding stomach ulcer. The most common cause of this issue is when a normal ulcer is left untreated and grows worse. Patients suffering from this complication may experience progressively more debilitating symptoms, from abdominal pain to blood in their stool or severe anemia. The condition is potentially dangerous and in some cases even fatal, and treatment should be supervised by a doctor.
The effects of a bleeding stomach ulcer typically become more severe as the condition worsens. For some, the condition may be very painful, while in others the bleeding may act as a barrier to the stomach acid and actually decrease pain, which can mask the severity of the problem. Patients may vomit or spit up blood or have tarry stools with blood in them. Ongoing internal bleeding may lead to anemia, which often makes the person feel tired and lose weight if the blood loss is excessive, a blood transfusion may be necessary. In the most extreme cases, patients may lose consciousness or even die.
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How Are Stomach Ulcers Treated
If you have a stomach ulcer, you may be given:
- a combination of antibiotic medicines to eradicate the Helicobacter pylori bacteria if it is present
- medicines that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces, such as proton pump inhibitors
Some people have one of these treatments, while some have both.
If you have a stomach ulcer that was caused by taking anti-inflammatory medications, do not stop these without talking to your doctor first.
To help manage symptoms, you can also:
- stop smoking
- eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and make sure there is enough iron in your diet
- avoid foods that make symptoms worse, such as fatty meals, alcohol, tomatoes, spicy foods, coffee, chocolate or hot drinks
- lose weight if you are overweight
- take an antacid
What Are The Symptoms Of A Stomach Ulcer
Most people with a stomach ulcer do not experience any symptoms. The most common symptom is burning pain in the upper abdomen. The pain can travel to the chest and neck, bellybutton, or back.
Other less common symptoms include:
- feeling full and bloated, or belching
- not being able to tolerate fatty foods
Sometimes, stomach ulcers can lead to more serious symptoms, such as:
- a sudden sharp pain in the stomach that gets worse
- vomiting blood
- blood in your stool or black, tarry stools
- weight loss
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
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Why Does It Happen
The reasons vary, depending on where the bleeding is happening.
If itâs in your esophagus causes can include:
Esophagitis and gastroesophageal reflux. Stomach acid that returns, or “refluxes,” back into the esophagus from the stomach can cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus that may lead to bleeding. Read more about gastroesophageal reflux .
Varices. These are abnormally enlarged veins usually located at the lower end of the esophagus or the upper stomach. They may break open and bleed. Cirrhosis of the liver is the most common cause of esophageal varices. Learn more about the symptoms of bleeding varices.
Mallory-Weiss tear. This is a tear in the lining of the esophagus. Itâs usually caused by severe vomiting. It can also happen due to things that increase pressure in your belly, such as coughing, hiccupping, or childbirth. Find out more on nausea and vomiting.
Bleeding from the stomach can be caused by:
Ulcers. Ones in the stomach may enlarge and erode through a blood vessel, causing bleeding. Aside from medication, the most common cause of these is an infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Also, people who have had burns, shock, head injuries, or cancer, and those who’ve had major surgery, may get stress-related stomach ulcers. Get the facts on peptic ulcers.
Cancer of the stomach.