Friday, February 3, 2023

What Do You Do If You Have A Stomach Ulcer

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What Are The Symptoms Of Any Complications

Understanding Ulcers: How Do You Know If You Have One? Dr. Berg

Stomach ulcers can cause various complications but these are much less common now because of more effective treatments. However, complications can be very serious and include:

Bleeding from the ulcer

  • This can range from a trickle to a life-threatening bleed.
  • If there is sudden heavy bleeding then this will cause you to vomit blood and make you feel very faint.
  • Less sudden bleeding may cause you to vomit and the vomit looks coffee-coloured because the stomach acid has partly broken down the blood.
  • A more gradual trickle of blood will pass through your gut and cause your stools to look very dark in colour or even black .

PerforationThis is the term used to describe the ulcer having gone all the way through the wall of the stomach. Food and acid in the stomach then leak out of the stomach. This usually causes severe pain and makes you very unwell. Stomach perforation is a medical emergency and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible.

Stomach blockageThis is now rare. An ulcer at the end of the stomach can cause the outlet of the stomach to narrow and cause an obstruction. This can cause frequent severe vomiting.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Atrophic Gastritis

Youre more likely to develop AG if you have an H. pylori infection. This type of infection is fairly common around the world. It is more prevalent in areas of poverty and overcrowding.

Autoimmune AG is quite rare, but people who have thyroid disorders or diabetes are more likely to have this condition. Youre also more at risk if youre African-American or of northern European descent.

AG is more common in people who are of Hispanic or Asian descent.

Both AG and autoimmune AG can significantly increase your risk of stomach cancer.

Many cases of AG go undiagnosed because there are usually no symptoms. However, if an H. pylori infection is present, common symptoms include:

Making Lifestyle Changes To Relieve Ulcer Pain

  • 1Determine the triggers of your ulcer pain. First, find out if you have any triggers that cause ulcer pain. Triggers are any foods and beverages that make your stomach pain worse. When you learn your triggers, and avoid them.
  • This may involve keeping track of foods and beverages that cause you any problems. Start with the common triggers, like spicy foods, foods with high acidity, alcohol, caffeine, or foods with high fat content. Add any foods or beverages that you are sensitive to. This is a simple process of writing down the foods you eat and seeing how you feel about one hour after eating. If the food you ate an hour ago is bothering you, you should eliminate that food from your diet.
  • 2Change your diet. Eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce ulcer pain and stomach irritation. Most fruits and vegetables , and whole grains wont irritate your stomach. Plus, eating vitamin-rich foods will support your bodys healing so you can get rid of the ulcer.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol.
  • Getting more fiber from fruits and vegetables can help prevent new ulcers from developing and heal ulcers.
  • Foods rich in probiotics might help your ulcer. These include yogurt, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, pickles, and soy milk.
  • Cutting milk from your diet may be able to provide some relief.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
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    What Are The Symptoms Of A Bleeding Ulcer

    Bleeding ulcers dont always cause pain. Sometimes the first signs of a bleeding ulcer are signs of anemia. These include:

    • Dizziness or lightheadedness.

    You might have a heavier bleed if you notice:

    • Blood in your poop, or black poop that resembles tar.

    These symptoms require urgent medical attention.

    What If I Still Need To Take Nsaids

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    If you take NSAIDs for other conditions, such as arthritis, you should talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of using NSAIDs. Your doctor can help you determine how to continue using an NSAID safely after your peptic ulcer symptoms go away. Your doctor may prescribe a medicine used to prevent NSAID-induced ulcers called Misoprosotol.

    Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you take. Your doctor can then decide if you may safely take NSAIDs or if you should switch to a different medicine. In either case, your doctor may prescribe a PPI or histamine receptor blocker to protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum.

    If you need NSAIDs, you can reduce the chance of a peptic ulcer returning by

    • taking the NSAID with a meal
    • using the lowest effective dose possible
    • avoiding alcohol

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    What To Do When You Have A Stomach Ulcer

    Coffee or caffeine increases the production of stomach acids.

    The substance present in caffeine act as a catalyst. Therefore, it boosts the release of acid content in the stomach.

    This acid may cause ulcers and can make you discomfort.

    Therefore, coffee are some of the types of foods to avoid with ulcers.

    Furthermore, It irritates the stomach walls and leaves you with a lot of pain. If you must drink coffee, then it is important to limit it as it can also lead to heartburn.

    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.

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    Other Causes And Factors

    Other causes are rare. For example, some viral infections can cause a stomach ulcer. Crohns 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.

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    What Exactly Is A Stomach Ulcer

    Do I have a stomach ulcer?

    Stomach, or peptic, ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach or the upper portion of your small intestine. This occurs when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is diminished, which then enables digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line your stomach, causing an ulcer.

    According to Medscape, peptic ulcers are almost equally as common in men and women.

    There are two types of peptic ulcers:

  • Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach
  • Duodenal ulcers that occur on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine
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    What Is A Stomach Ulcer

    A stomach ulcer, also called a gastric ulcer, is an open sore that develops in your stomach lining. You can also get one in your duodenum, the first part of the small intestine that your stomach feeds into. Duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers are both types of peptic ulcers. Theyre named for pepsin, one of the digestive juices that are found in the stomach and that sometimes leak into the duodenum. These juices are a contributing factor in peptic ulcer disease.

    Peptic ulcers occur when the protective mucous lining in your stomach and duodenum has been eroded, allowing gastric acids and digestive enzymes to eat away at your stomach and duodenal walls. This eventually results in open sores that are continually irritated by the acid. If left untreated, they can begin to cause serious complications, such as internal bleeding. Over time, they can even wear a hole all the way through. This is a medical emergency.

    Tips For Living With Ulcers

    • If you have an ulcer, be careful when choosing over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can irritate an ulcer and prevent a bleeding ulcer from healing. Avoid powdered headache medication, too. It usually contains powdered aspirin. Your best choice may be acetaminophen, which doesnât cause or worsen stomach ulcers.
    • Don’t overdose on iron supplements. You may need them if you have bleeding ulcers, but taking too much can irritate your stomach lining and the ulcer. Ask the doctor how much iron you need.
    • Learn how to manage stress. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, guided imagery, and moderate exercise can help ease stress and promote healing.
    • Avoid foods that irritate your stomach. Use common sense: If it upsets your stomach when you eat it, avoid it. Everyone is different, but spicy foods, citrus fruits, and fatty foods are common irritants.
    • Stop smoking. Heavy smokers are more likely to get duodenal ulcers than nonsmokers.
    • Practice moderation. Drinking lots of alcohol has been shown to contribute to ulcers, so keep your intake to a minimum.

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    Foods To Limit When You Have Acid Reflux And An Ulcer

    Some people who have an ulcer also have acid reflux. In some people, certain foods can relax the lower part of the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. A relaxed LES makes it easier for acid to back up into the esophagus and cause heartburn, indigestion, and pain.

    Foods that may make acid reflux worse include:

    Could I Have An Ulcer And Not Know It

    11 Signs You Have a Stomach Ulcer &  Natural Remedies

    5 min Read Time

    Around 25 million people will have a stomach ulcer in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite their prevalence, the symptoms of an ulcer can frequently be mistaken for other conditions, like heartburnand some people may not show any signs at all. Its also unlikely that stress or your diet is the culprit. If youre concerned that your stomach pain could be something more serious, read on to find out the causes, proper treatment and prevention methods for peptic ulcers.

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    Supplements May Be Beneficial

    If your stomach ulcer is being treated with an antibiotic, consider taking a probiotic supplement as part of your diet plan. This can help reduce antibiotic-associated symptoms. It may also improve the effectiveness of the antibiotic.

    Ask your doctor what probiotic would be best to take with your antibiotic medication. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces supplements have shown benefits in people with H. pylori ulcers.

    Deglycyrrhizinated licorice and curcumin extracts have shown promise in some ulcer research due to their action against H. pylori.

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    How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated

    With treatment, most stomach ulcers will heal within a month or two. The treatment recommended for you 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 their stomach produces and allow the ulcer to heal naturally.

    If an H. pylori infection is responsible for the ulcers, antibiotics will also be used to kill the bacteria, which should prevent the ulcer coming back.

    If the ulcers are caused by the use of NSAIDs, PPIs are usually prescribed and your doctor will discuss whether you should keep using NSAIDs.

    Alternative medication to NSAIDs, such as paracetamol, may be recommended.

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

    Read more about treating stomach ulcers.

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    Limit Eating Too Much Chocolate

    Chocolate is one of the types of foods to avoid with ulcers . It may increase your chances of developing ulcers or worsen your ulcer condition.

    Actually, eating chocolate boosts the secretion of stomach acids this weakens the lining wall of the digestive tract, increasing the discomfort. It can also lead to heartburn.

    For that reason, it is good to always limit the consumption of chocolate if you have ulcers.

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    How Can I Be Sure Its An Ulcer

    How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer In My Stomach?

    The only way to be sure an ulcer is causing your discomfort is with a medical diagnosis. We will evaluate your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.

    To determine the root cause of your ulcer, we may run blood, stool, or breath tests. These tests are designed to look for signs of helicobacter pylori, the bacteria linked to ulcers.

    Depending on your unique symptoms, we may also order an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, we insert a tube with a tiny camera down your throat and into your stomach to take pictures of any potential damage and collect tissue samples for analysis.

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    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.

    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:

    Endoscopy

    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.

    Imaging tests

    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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    How Is Atrophic Gastritis Diagnosed

    An AG diagnosis usually involves a combination of clinical observation and testing. During a physical exam, your doctor will check for stomach tenderness by lightly pressing on certain areas of your stomach. Theyll also look for signs of B-12 deficiency, such as paleness, rapid pulse, and neurological deficits.

    Your doctor might order blood tests to check for:

    • low levels of pepsinogen, a protein produced by the stomach cells
    • high levels of gastrin, a hormone that stimulates the production of stomach acid
    • low levels of B-12
    • antibodies that attack stomach cells and intrinsic factor

    In some cases, your doctor may need to perform a biopsy. Your doctor will insert an endoscope, down your throat and into your stomach. Theyll then take a sample of tissue from your stomach to look for evidence of AG. The sample of stomach tissue can also indicate signs of an H. pylori infection.

    If you dont already have a gastroenterologist, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.

    What Is The Treatment For Ulcers

    Foods that heal ulcers

    If you have ulcer symptoms, see your doctor. Prompt treatment can prevent excessive bleeding and other complications.

    Ulcers are usually diagnosed after an upper GI endoscopy . An endoscope is a long flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. The tube is inserted into your throat, then to the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Learn how to prepare for an endoscopy here.

    Generally performed as an outpatient procedure, it allows the doctor to locate and identify problems in the stomach and upper intestine.

    Bleeding ulcers must be addressed quickly, and treatment can start during the initial endoscopy. If bleeding from ulcers is found during the endoscopy, the doctor can:

    • inject medication directly
    • cauterize the ulcer to stop the bleeding
    • clamp off the bleeding vessel

    If you have an ulcer, youll be tested for H. pylori. This can be done using a tissue sample taken during the endoscopy. It can also be accomplished with noninvasive tests such as a stool sample or breath test.

    If you have the infection, antibiotics and other drugs can help fight the bacteria and ease symptoms. To be certain you get rid of it, you must finish taking the medication as directed, even if your symptoms stop.

    If your ulcers are the result of taking too many NSAIDs, work with your doctor to find another medication to treat pain.

    Over-the-counter antacids sometimes relieve symptoms. Ask your doctor if its okay to take antacids.

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    When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

    See your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Vomiting blood or dark material that looks like coffee grounds
    • Extreme weakness or dizziness
    • Nausea or vomiting that doesnt get better, or gets worse
    • A sudden, severe pain that may spread to your back
    • Losing weight without even trying

    Untreated peptic ulcers may cause other health problems. Sometimes they bleed. If they become too deep, they can break through your stomach.

    Ulcers can also keep food from going through your stomach.

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