What Causes A Peptic Ulcer
Causes of peptic ulcers include
- long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen
- an infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori
- rare cancerous and noncancerous tumors in the stomach, duodenum, or pancreasknown as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Sometimes peptic ulcers are caused by both NSAIDs and H. pylori.
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 Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning
- Reduce NSAID use, if possible. Consider whether acetaminophen might substitute. If you take NSAIDs for medical reasons, talk to your doctor about reducing your dosage or switching your medication. Your doctor may also prescribe another medicine to take with NSAIDs to protect your stomach lining.
- Reduce other irritants that may contribute to too much stomach acid or erode your stomach lining, including smoking and alcohol use.
- Take an H. pylori breath test to find out if you have an overgrowth of the bacteria.
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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 .
What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Stomach Ulcer
Always seek medical care for a stomach ulcer. While you may be able to manage symptoms temporarily with over-the-counter medications, these wont heal the ulcer. You need to identify and treat the underlying cause. An untreated ulcer can lead to serious complications, even if your symptoms are mild. The major cause of stomach ulcers, H. pylori infection, can also lead to other complications.
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What Makes Ulcers Flare Up
There are some things that make ulcer symptoms worse. It’s worth knowing what they are even if everyone responds to them differently. If you have an ulcer, you may have noticed that some foods make ulcers flare up. WebMD reports that fatty foods, acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine worsen ulcers in some people. Livestrong notes that how coffee affects ulcers depends on your tolerance and the type of coffee you drink. According to the American Addiction Centers, drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing peptic ulcers and worsens ulcers. They advise that you cut down on drinking too much if you have a peptic ulcer.
According to a research review published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, smoking increases your risk of getting a H. pylori infection. Smoking also reduces mucus production, increases stomach acid, causes reflux from the duodenum, and makes ulcers difficult to heal.
General Causes Of Ulcerative Colitis
The exact cause for ulcerative colitis continues to be not acknowledged. However, researchers link the sickness to:
- A combination of environmental factors.
- A system that is awry.
- Genetic predisposition.
- A microorganism or microorganism infection within the colon, that initiates uncontrolled inflammation that is closely joined to colitis.
The condition may additionally be aggravated by the sort of diet and stress. For example consumption of Trans fats in masses will increase the danger of the condition. These fats square measure chiefly in processed foods. On the opposite hand, the intake of Omega -3 fatty acids in massive quantities lowers the danger of developing the condition.
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How Should I Use This Medication
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medication works best if you take it on an empty stomach, 1 hour before meals. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team’s advice.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Peptic Ulcer
A dull or burning pain in your stomach is the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer. You may feel the pain anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. The pain most often
- happens when your stomach is emptysuch as between meals or during the night
- stops briefly if you eat or if you take antacids
- lasts for minutes to hours
- comes and goes for several days, weeks, or months
Less common symptoms may include
- feeling sick to your stomach
Even if your symptoms are mild, you may have a peptic ulcer. You should see your doctor to talk about your symptoms. Without treatment, your peptic ulcer can get worse.
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Exercising With Stomach Ulcers
The World Health Organization recommends that adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise for overall health and wellbeing. But ulcer patients may experience pain and feel unwilling to exercise.
The Canadian Society of Internal Research acknowledges that exercising with gut problems can be tricky. Intense exercise could cause heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, and gut bleeding. But moderate exercise could be beneficial to the gut, they explain. According to research published in Sports Medicine, exercising reduces stomach acid and improves immunity, which could reduce the risk of developing H. pylori infections. Moderate exercise also reduces anxiety, smoking, and drinking, and helps you adopt a healthier lifestyle.
As for what exercises you can do when you have a stomach ulcer, Livestrong suggests cardio exercises , stress relief exercises , and strength training exercises . It’s safe to exercise if you have a stomach ulcer, but let your doctor know what exercises you perform and if your symptoms worsen during your workout.
Food As Trigger Of Flare
Participants frequently discussed the possibility that certain foods could trigger flares, but had great difficulty in identifying common themes across participants.
I never could figure out what triggers it. When Ive got a flareup going, I mean, its always, I eat, and then half an hour later Im in the bathroom.
I know until I kept a food journal, I had no concept of what would or wouldnt trigger it. I just its hard to isolate.
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How Do Nsaids Cause A Peptic Ulcer
To understand how NSAIDs cause peptic ulcer disease, it is important to understand how NSAIDs work. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce pain, fever, and inflammation, or swelling.
Everyone has two enzymes that produce chemicals in your bodys cells that promote pain, inflammation, and fever. NSAIDs work by blocking or reducing the amount of these enzymes that your body makes. However, one of the enzymes also produces another type of chemical that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid and helps control bleeding. When NSAIDs block or reduce the amount of this enzyme in your body, they also increase your chance of developing a peptic ulcer.
Can Stomach Ulcers Be Treated
Yes, stomach ulcers can heal well with a medication regimen. The type of treatment will depend on what caused your ulcer.
If your stomach ulcer was caused by a H. pylori bacterial infection, youll likely receive antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor medication. The antibiotics could include:
The PPIs that you will also be prescribed will block the production of stomach acid. There are both prescription and over-the-counter PPI medications, including:
You may also end up taking histamine blockers, or H-2 blockers, that reduce the stomach acid released into your digestive tract. The reduction of stomach acid can promote healing and lessens the pain you may be feeling. Your doctor may prescribe these or you could take over-the-counter medications such as:
Your doctor may also prescribe antacids to help with symptom relief. There are also medications called cytoprotective agents to protect the lining of your stomach, such as Carafate and Cytotec .
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Peptic Ulcer Disease Can Be Caused By These Factors Sometimes In Combination
Diagnosis Of A Stomach Ulcer
Diagnosing a stomach ulcer is done using a range of methods, including:
- Endoscopy a thin flexible tube is threaded down the oesophagus into the stomach under light anaesthesia. The endoscope is fitted with a small camera so the physician can see if there is an ulcer.
- Barium meal a chalky liquid is drunk and an x-ray is performed, showing the stomach lining. These tests are less common nowadays, but may be useful where endoscopy is unavailable.
- Biopsy a small tissue sample is taken during an endoscopy and tested in a laboratory. This biopsy should always be done if a gastric ulcer is found.
- C14 breath test this checks for the presence of H. pylori. The bacteria convert urea into carbon dioxide. The test involves swallowing an amount of radioactive carbon and testing the air exhaled from the lungs. A non-radioactive test can be used for children and pregnant women.
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What Triggers Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcers are irritated by stomach acid. Some people notice this irritation more after they eat, and some people notice it more on an empty stomach. There are also certain irritants that seem to make ulcer symptoms worse and make them more difficult to heal. Smoking and alcohol are the biggest ones.
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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Is There Some Way To Get Help With My Diet
Your single best source for help in developing a diet which will help you control lupus flareups is your Rheumatologist. Regular checkups and lab tests will ensure that your body is responding to treatments and inflammation is kept at a minimum. Your physician will watch your organ functions including kidney, heart, and more. The goal is to control symptoms and reduce flareups. Each situation is different, so be sure to communicate any concerns and dietary questions with your doctor.
If you do not currently have a Rheumatologist or are considering a change, request an appointment to meet with a Kymera Rheumatologist now by clicking here.
Ulcerative Colitis Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Whether youÃ¢re worried your symptoms are UC, or you already have the condition and want more information, here are questions to ask your doctor:
- Are my symptoms a sign of ulcerative colitis or another condition?
- Are there different kinds of UC? Do they have different symptoms?
- What tests will I need?
- If I have ulcerative colitis, what will my treatment plan be?
- Will changing my diet or lifestyle help ease my symptoms?
- How serious is my ulcerative colitis?
- If I take medication for ulcerative colitis, will there be side effects?
- Should I take nutritional supplements like probiotics?
- How often will I need to come in for checkups?
- What should I do if my symptoms suddenly get worse?
- How do I know if my ulcerative colitis is getting worse?
- How do I know if I should change my ulcerative colitis medication?
- Should I consider surgery? What does surgery involve?
- What is my risk of getting colon cancer?
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Natural Remedies For Stomach Ulcers
According to a research review from the Brazilian Archives of Digestive Surgery, eating fiber-rich foods like apples, oatmeal, granola seeds, flaxseed, pears, and whole grains helps food pass through the digestive system fast, and reduces bloating and abdominal pain from eating. Additionally, Healthline notes that foods like cabbage and honey have antioxidant abilities that help prevent and heal ulcers dried licorice and honey help increase mucus and garlic and mastic have antibacterial properties that can help fight against H. pylori infection.
Apart from food, other natural remedies are also effective to some extent. identifies five essential oils effective against H. pylori infection based on a study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. They include lemon grass, carrot seed, clove, cinnamon bark and manuka essential oils. Also, Dr. Samuel Meyers told Prevention that water dilutes stomach acid, so drinking a full glass of water can help ease discomfort.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, supplements and herbs may affect drugs you are taking and may be compromised during their manufacture. So, you should discuss any remedy you want to use with your doctor.
Whole Grain Breads Cereals And Pastas
Whole grain flour is high in fiber because it hasnt had the germ or bran removed.
Its important to avoid eating food made from any whole grain flour, such as:
, including beans, lentils, and peas, are high fiber, high protein foods. Because of the indigestible sugars in beans, theyre also notorious for causing gas. If you are experiencing a UC flare-up, youll want to pass on the following:
- all beans, including chickpeas
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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.
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
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 .
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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.
What Is The Treatment For Stomach 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.
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