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What Causes Peptic Stomach Ulcers

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Treatments For Stomach Ulcers

What Triggers a Peptic Ulcer?

Most peptic ulcers take a month or two to heal with treatment. Theres a small chance that they may come back in the future.

If the cause of your ulcer is an H. pylori bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to kill off the infection. This also reduces your chances of developing another ulcer in the future.

Stomach ulcers caused by NSAIDs are treated with a medication called proton pump inhibitors . This medication helps to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach, allowing the ulcer to heal. Your doctor may also recommend that you take paracetamol instead of NSAIDs.

What Are Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. Theyre usually formed as a result of inflammation caused by the bacteria H. pylori, as well as from erosion from stomach acids. Peptic ulcers are a fairly common health problem.

There are three types of peptic ulcers:

  • gastric ulcers:ulcers that develop inside the stomach
  • esophageal ulcers:ulcers that develop inside the esophagus
  • duodenal ulcers: ulcers that develop in the upper section of the small intestines, called the duodenum

Different factors can cause the lining of the stomach, the esophagus, and the small intestine to break down. These include:

  • Helicobacter pylori , a type of bacteria that can cause a stomach infection and inflammation
  • frequent use of aspirin , ibuprofen , and other anti-inflammatory drugs

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Abdominal ultrasound is not used for the diagnosis of stomach ulcer but it helps in ruling out other causes of abdominal pain or to help detect presence of fluid in the abdomen which may result from perforation of the stomach.

Other investigations that may be asked for may be used in getting the physiological condition of the individual or help rule out other disease conditions.

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Measures To Prevent Ulcers

It is important to properly use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, etc. Otherwise, they may cause heartburn or even an ulcer. the gastroduodenal whose first symptom may be hemorrhage.

Sensitivity to these drugs varies from person to person, depending on, among other things:

  • the duration of use.

Here is some useful information. To find out more, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice:

Note that currently there is no way to prevent Helicobacter pylori infection.

Diagnosis Of Peptic Ulcers

Peptic Ulcer

Your GP will want to find out if youve got a peptic ulcer and whats causing it, as this will help them decide on the right treatment. Treating your ulcer as soon as possible will reduce the risk of complications.

Your GP will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also feel your abdomen, to check for tenderness or pain.

Your GP will want to find out if your ulcer is caused by H. pylori or by taking NSAIDs. You should tell the doctor if youve been taking over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen regularly.

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Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers

You may not have symptoms straightaway with an ulcer. Youre more likely to have a so-called silent ulcer if you are male, older, smoke, or are taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.

If you do have symptoms, a common one is abdominal pain or discomfort. You may also have pain in the middle of your back. If you have a duodenal ulcer , the pain tends to come on a couple of hours after a meal. Generally, it goes away when you eat again. You may also have pain that wakes you up at night when you have an empty stomach.

A gastric ulcer generally causes pain shortly after eating. Lying flat may relieve it. An oesophageal ulcer may cause abdominal or lower chest pain and make it difficult to swallow.

Indigestion is often a sign of a peptic ulcer. You may:

  • feel or be sick
  • have heartburn when the contents of your stomach go back up your oesophagus

Some symptoms may mean you have peptic ulcer complications. Or they can be caused by another medical condition, including cancer. You should see your GP urgently if you:

  • are losing weight without dieting
  • see blood in your vomit or your poo looks black and tar-like
  • are very tired, as this may be caused by anaemia
  • have trouble swallowing
  • feel full soon after youve started eating

Heartburn Or Acid Reflux

Finally, stomach ulcers can cause an increase in stomach acid, resulting in symptoms such as heartburn or acid reflux because the acid is leaking into the esophagus. This can be a painful experience and may even cause chest pain or difficulty swallowing. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to speak to your doctor about them as they may need to adjust your medications or take other actions to help reduce the amount of stomach acid present in your system. The increase can happen suddenly and can last for days or weeks, so it is important to get medical attention if the symptoms dont go away.

Stomach ulcers can be painful and uncomfortable, but they are a treatable condition. If you experience any of these seven signs that might indicate an ulcer, it is important to speak to your doctor right away and get the necessary medical treatment.

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In Case Of Ulcers Caused By Anti

The doctor will likely recommend that you stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. This is usually enough to make the ulcer go away, but an H2 blocker or proton pump inhibitor will usually also be prescribed for a few weeks.

Other medications that are less harmful to the stomach can be used instead of NSAIDs, as appropriate.

When Should I Go To Er

How a peptic ulcer develops

Seek emergency care if you have:

  • Severe pain that doesnt go away.
  • Signs of blood in your poop or bloody vomit.
  • Signs of severe blood loss, such as paleness and faintness.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Stomach ulcers are common and treatable, but they should be taken seriously. Even when they dont cause symptoms, they arent a good sign. A stomach ulcer means that your natural stomach acid is overwhelming your protective stomach lining. Thats a situation that can only get worse if it isnt managed. Lifestyle changes may help, but youll still need to treat the underlying cause. Its probably either NSAID use or a common bacterial infection. Your healthcare provider can help prescribe the right medicines for your condition.

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What Are Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers, or gastric ulcers, are open sores on the lining of your stomach. They are fairly common. Most people with stomach ulcers feel a burning sensation in their stomach or abdomen.

Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer. They develop when the acids that normally help you to digest and break down food damage the lining of the stomach or the small intestine. This causes a break in the lining, resulting in an ulcer.

Highly Seasoned And High

Many people high-fat meats and seasoned foods such as sausage, salami, bacon, ham, and cold cuts, however, these foods can increase the risk of developing ulcers.

They contain ceratin substances that weaken the lining of the digestive walls.

This exposes you to Helicobacter pylori, an ulcer virus. It is good to know it now, so in any case, you have ulcers, then these are the types of foods to avoid.

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Diagnosis Of A Duodenal Ulcer

To diagnose a duodenal ulcer, your doctor will talk to you and examine you. They will probably also run some tests, which could include:

  • a gastroscopy , where a specialist uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end to look inside your stomach and duodenum
  • a blood test, stool sample, or breath test to find out if you have a H. pylori in your system

If you have a gastroscopy, the surgeon might take a sample of tissue to test for H. pylori.

Foods To Eat And Avoid

What are the Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer? [Infographic]

Certain dietary factors seem to increase the severity of the stomach pain in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Therefore, dietary management is an important approach in providing symptomatic relief in these conditions. However, it should be emphasized that dietary management is not a treatment for gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

Medication and other therapeutic measures are the primary treatment modalities for both these ailments. On their own, managing diet and lifestyle factors have limited benefits in treating gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Therefore, it should be seen as secondary supportive measures that need to be considered alongside medical therapy.

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Common Causes Of Ulcers

Here are some of the most common causes of ulcers:

  • Helicobacter Pylori infection: This is considered to be the major reason for ulcers. This is caused by the bacteria H. Pylori, which directly causes inflammation in the stomach and increases acid production. Up to 90% of people report this cause of stomach ulcers.
  • Tumors and Diseases: Although this can be the less common reason for ulcer, the tumor also has a role to play, as it increases the acid production in the stomach. This acid, over time, erodes into the stomach creating an ulcer.
  • NSAIDs: This is caused as the result of frequent or excessive use of non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and others. This impairs the mucous lining of the stomach. This damage is caused by stomach acid.
  • There are also other causes that result in ulcers, and they include:

    • Bleeding: It is caused by a broken blood vessel in the stomach. This can be identified from a dark or bloody stool
    • Perforation: This is the result of a hole created in the stomach wall and is considered to be a serious condition, which lets digestive juice and food leak into the abdominal cavity. This may turn out to be life-threatening too over the days if not treated at the right time.
    • Blockages: This will prevent the food from moving properly through the digestive tract.
    • Peritonitis: It is the condition where the infection in the lining may become serious.

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    Treating And Managing Peptic Ulcers

    Peptic ulcer treatment focuses on reducing stomach acid, neutralising any bacterial infections and protecting the ulcer as it heals. Doctors will usually prescribe a mix of medications that may include:

    • Antibiotics to kill pylori infections
    • Proton pump inhibitors to lower stomach acid levels
    • Acid blockers, which further help reduce stomach acid and can help relieve ulcer pain
    • Cytoprotective agents to coat the stomach lining and protect it from further erosion

    Regular ulcers generally respond well to medication, but some ulcers with severe complications may require surgery.

    Drinking alcohol, smoking, and taking NSAIDs are likely to irritate an ulcer and slow the healing process. Its best to avoid these activities as you recover and take all medicines as prescribed. Certain dietary changes, like cutting back on acidic foods and consuming more alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables, can also help facilitate healing.

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    How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated

    Treatment will depend on what caused the ulcer.

    Most people will be prescribed a medication called a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid in their stomach.

    Youll also need antibiotics if your ulcers were caused by a H. pylori infection.

    Stomach ulcers can come back after treatment, although this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is addressed.

    Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection

    Peptic ulcer disease – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

    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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    Nopal Or Opuntia Ficus Indica

    The flowers of this plant were traditionally used in Latin America for:

    • prevent the formation of gastric ulcers.

    The beneficial effects of the nopal on the digestive system are explained, at least in part, by its high content of pectin and mucilage. Animal test results have demonstrated that the nopal has anti-ulcer and anti-inflammatory action.

    Dosage: Traditionally, it is recommended to use a 1:1 flower extract at the rate of 0.3 to 1 ml, 3 times a day.

    Dietary Fibre & Vitamin A

    Research shows that a high fibre diet decreases the risk of developing ulcer disease. Although both insoluble and soluble fibres demonstrate this association, there is a stronger association between diets high in soluble fibre and a decreased risk for developing ulcers.

    Foods that are high in soluble fibre include oats, psyllium husk, legumes, flax seeds, barley, nuts, and certain vegetables and fruits, such as oranges, apples, and carrots.

    Findings from a prospective cohort study that included 47,806 men, showed that a diet rich in vitamin A from all sources might reduce the development of duodenal ulcer, as might diets high in fruits and vegetables, possibly due to their fibre content.2 A prospective cohort study follows, over time, a group of similar individuals who differ with respect to certain factors under study, to determine how these factors affect rates of a certain outcome however, more research is necessary to verify results because there are so many other factors involved with this type of study that could confound the data.

    Animal studies demonstrate that vitamin A increases the production of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract. Impaired mucosal defense can allow ulcers to develop. Therefore, vitamin A may have a protective effect against the development of ulcer disease.3

    Good sources of vitamin A include liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and collard greens.

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    When To Contact A Doctor

    Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult a doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.

    Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness and breathlessness, may signal a slow-bleeding ulcer. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem, as people may vomit up blood, or stools are black and sticky.

    Perforation is also an emergency. Without quick treatment, the wall of the stomach can become infected. Sudden stomach pain that gets worse can indicate perforation, and any signs of being very unwell with infection need treatment as soon as possible.

    Rare Causes Of Peptic Ulcers

    Peptic ulcer disease, also known as a peptic ulcer or stomach ulcer is ...

    Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare cause of peptic ulcers. People with this condition have a tumour , usually in their duodenum or pancreas, that releases a hormone called gastrin. This hormone causes the stomach to make more acid than usual, and the excess acid can cause peptic ulcers to develop.

    Peptic ulcers can also sometimes develop in people who are very unwell . These so-called stress ulcers are actually caused by a lack of blood flow to the stomach. People who are seriously ill are usually given acid-suppressing medicines to try to prevent this type of peptic ulcer developing.

    Some infections and medicines other than NSAIDs can also rarely cause peptic ulcers. In other cases, no obvious cause can be found.


    1. Gastric disorders . In: eTG complete. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited 2018 Jul. . 2. BMJ Best Practice. Peptic ulcer disease . .

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    Complications That May Arise From Stomach Ulcer:

    A benign stomach ulcer may worsen resulting in complications. Bleeding is the most common of complications. It could be visible when the individuals vomitus contains blood which may appear bright red in colour or brownish.

    It could also be noticed when the individuals stool is black in colour or contains frank red blood. When blood clot is noticed it is an indication that the bleeding is much.

    Gastric outlet obstruction is another complication which results when the area around the ulcer is swollen and prevents food from leaving the stomach into the small intestine. It results in vomiting of stomach contents which would appear as stale food.

    Perforation of the stomach results when the ulcer in the inner wall of the stomach extends to the outer wall, discharging the stomach contents into the peritoneal cavity causing worsening of symptom.

    Theses complications may further lead to infection, shock, multiple organ failure and sadly death.

    What To Eat When You Have A Stomach Ulcer

    Imagine you had an open wound on your hand and you spilled lemon juice on it. It would hurt, right? Stomach ulcers work in a similar way, Ehsani explains.

    When you eat or drink certain foods, it can either help or hurt that open wound, she says. Its important to treat it carefully and feed yourself food and beverages that will help heal the ulcer.

    Antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and veggies should be a main staple in your diet when trying to heal a stomach ulcer. These foods can even help prevent another ulcer from developing. Focus on getting a different color of the rainbow on your plate with every meal.

    And when you do eat, try to keep your meals small.

    Smaller meals will produce less acid, therefore less burning sensation, says Jonathan Valdez, RDN. Hes a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Genki Nutrition. Skipping meals and overeating can be problematic for ulcers, says Valdez.

    Here are some of the best foods to eat if you have a stomach ulcer:

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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:

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