Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Peptic Ulcer
If your doctor suspects a peptic ulcer, he or she will order an upper endoscopy. During this procedure, a gastroenterologist passes a thin, flexible tube through the mouth and into the stomach and small bowel. A tiny camera allows the doctor to see the GI tract from within.
If that ulcer is actively bleeding or has high-risk features of bleeding, then treatments can be applied through the endoscope to stop the bleeding, Dr. Yalamanchili says. These treatments include clips that clamp bleeding blood vessels, cautery devices to burn the bleeding blood vessel shut, injectable medicines to slow bleeding and sprays that induce clotting.
Ulcers caused by H. pylori are typically treated with antibiotics, drugs called proton pump inhibitors and over-the-counter medicines such as Pepto Bismol.
When NSAIDs are causing the ulcer, patients are told to discontinue the drugs. If they cant discontinue these medications for medical reasons, a doctor can prescribe a special acid-reducing medication in combination with the NSAID to lower the risk of bleeding.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a peptic ulcer, contact your doctor. If you dont have one, you can find one here.
Do Ulcers Hurt Worse After Eating
Generally, stomach ulcers will get worse after eating when digestive acids are secreted, explains Marcus. Duodenal ulcers, on the other hand, often get better after eating. That’s because eating stimulates release of bicarbonate in the small bowel, where duodenal ulcers are located, neutralizing stomach acid.
Treatment For A Stomach Ulcer
Special diets are now known to have very little impact on the prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers. Treatment options can include:
- medication including antibiotics, to destroy the H. pylori colony, and drugs to help speed the healing process. Different drugs need to be used in combination some of the side effects can include diarrhoea and rashes. Resistance to some of these antibiotics is becoming more common
- subsequent breath tests used to make sure the H. pylori infection has been treated successfully
- changes to existing medication the doses of arthritis medication, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication can be altered slightly to reduce their contributing effects on the stomach ulcer.
- reducing acid tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
- lifestyle modifications including quitting cigarettes, since smoking reduces the natural defences in the stomach and impairs the healing process.
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How Does H Pylori Cause Ulcers
Although many people naturally carry H. pylori, it is not clear why the bacteria only cause ulcers in some people. H. pylori spread through food and water. They live in the mucus that coats the lining of the stomach and duodenum, and they produce urease, an enzyme that neutralizes stomach acid by making it less acidic.
To compensate for this, the stomach produces more acid, and this irritates the stomach lining. The bacteria also weaken the defense system of the stomach and causes inflammation. Patients with peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori need treatment to get rid of the bacterium from the stomach, and to prevent them coming back.
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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.
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How Do Pain Relief Drugs Work
In a certain way, all pain is in your head. When we feel pain, its the result of an electrical signal being sent from the nerves in a part of your body to your brain.
But the whole process isnt electrical. When tissue is injured , the cells release certain chemicals in response. These chemicals cause inflammation and amplify the electrical signal coming from the nerves. As a result, they increase the pain you feel.
Painkillers work by blocking the effects of these pain chemicals. The problem is that you cant focus most pain relievers specifically on your headache or bad back. Instead, it travels through your whole body. This can cause some unexpected side effects.
Why Is Chocolate Bad For Stomach Ulcers
Ulcer: Follow Your Gut Of course, if you find that certain foods have an incendiary effect on your ulcer, by all means avoid them, Brown says. Caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, and even some over-the-counter pain relief medication is thought to stimulate the stomach to secrete acid, which can irritate an ulcer.
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Do Ulcers Hurt When You Drink Water
Bloating: A feeling of heaviness and fullness can occur in the stomach, usually the same feeling you get after drinking a full glass of water. General discomfort: With a stomach ulcer, it can be hard to do things such as eating or any other day to day to activities without the burning pain in your stomach.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Peptic Ulcer
You may feel bloated or full. Pain may start soon after you eat. Three to four hours after eating a meal, you may get pain or an empty feeling in your stomach that gets better after you eat again or take an over-the-counter antacid .
Other signs include belching, feeling sick or dizzy, vomiting, heartburn, and a bad taste in your throat. Some people have black stools from bleeding in the stomach or intestine.
Your doctor may give you a blood or stool test to see if you have anemia or HP infection. You may need an x-ray or an endoscopy .
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How Is Venous Insufficiency Diagnosed
Your doctor will want to do a physical examination and take a complete medical history to figure out if you have venous insufficiency. They may also order some imaging tests to pinpoint the source of the problem. These tests may include a venogram or a duplex ultrasound.
Venogram. Your doctor will put an intravenous contrast dye into your veins. Contrast dye causes the blood vessels to appear opaque on the X-ray image, which helps the doctor see them on the image. This dye will provide your doctor with a clearer x-ray picture of your blood vessels.
Duplex ultrasound. A type of test called a duplex ultrasound may be used to test the speed and direction of blood flow in the veins. A technician will place gel on the skin and then press a small hand-held device against your skin. The transducer uses sound waves that bounce back to a computer and produce the images of blood flow.
What Treatments Can Relieve Ulcer Pain
While over-the-counter medications can treat an upset stomach, they are generally not effective in treating ulcers. And taking over-the-counter painkillers could worsen the problem. That is why its better to see a doctor, who may combine several medications and therapies to relieve pain, cure the infection, and prevent it from worsening. Medications usually include:
Your doctor may also recommend making lifestyle modifications, including:
- Avoiding spicy and oily food
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Stages And Types Of Stomach Ulcers
If you dont get treatment for a stomach ulcer, it can develop into a more serious condition:
- Bleeding: Your ulcer can bleed, which may cause your stools to look dark and can lead to anemia.
- Perforation: The ulcer can become so severe that it creates a hole in the wall of the stomach out of which food can leak, which is a severe situation, but it is rare.
Can Ulcers Affect Bowel Movements
Rectal ulcers are sores that develop inside the rectum. These sores can be caused by several conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, solitary rectal ulcer syndrome and constipation. If you have a rectal ulcer, you may see blood in the stool, have rectal pain or experience painful bowel movements.
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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
- poor appetite
- weight loss
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.
What Natural Home Remedies Help Peptic Ulcer Pain
Home care for peptic ulcers often centers on neutralizing the stomach acid.
- Dont smoke, and avoid coffee and alcohol. These habits increase gastric acid production and weaken the mucosal barrier of the GI tract promoting ulcer formation and slowing ulcer healing.
- Dont take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acetaminophen is a good substitute for some conditions. If acetaminophen doesnt help, talk to your health-care professional about alternatives.
- If your symptoms are mild, try an over-the-counter antacid or nonprescription histamine blocker to neutralize stomach acid. Usually stronger prescription medications are needed.
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What Is Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcer disease is a condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine . Normally, a thick layer of mucus protects the stomach lining from the effect of its digestive juices. But many things can reduce this protective layer, allowing stomach acid to damage the tissue.
What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
Endoscopy. An upper endoscopy exam is expedient because allows healthcare providers to see inside your digestive tract and also take a tissue sample to analyze in the lab. The test is done by passing a thin tube with a tiny camera attached down your throat and into your stomach and duodenum. Youll have medication to numb your throat and help you relax during the test. Your healthcare provider may use the endoscope to take a tissue sample to test for signs of mucous damage, anemia, H. pylori infection or malignancy. If they take a sample, you wont feel it.
Imaging tests. Imaging tests to look inside the stomach and small intestine include:
- Upper GI series. An upper GI X-ray exam examines the stomach and duodenum through X-rays. Its less invasive than an endoscopy. For the X-ray, youll swallow a chalky fluid called barium, which will coat your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The barium helps your digestive organs show up better in black and white images.
- CT scan. Your healthcare provider might recommend a CT scan if they need to see your organs in more detail. A CT scan can show complications such as a perforation in the stomach or intestinal wall. For the test, youll lie on a table inside a scanner machine while X-rays are taken. You may drink or have an injection with contrast fluid to make your organs show up better in images.
Tests for H. pylori. Your healthcare provider might want to test you separately for H. pylori infection. Tests may include:
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.
Fast Facts On Stomach Ulcers
- Stomach ulcers are common in the West and easy to treat but can become serious.
- The most common causes are bacteria and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
- The classic symptom of a stomach ulcer is indigestion.
- Treatment for stomach ulcers normally focuses on removing the cause.
The classic symptom of a stomach ulcer is indigestion, also called dyspepsia.
Indigestion causes pain or discomfort in the stomach area. This symptom can be mistaken for heartburn, which can occur at the same time.
Stomach ulcer symptoms tend to be more distinct than heartburn, but symptoms can still be vague.
An ulcer also tends to produce a burning or dull pain in the center of the abdomen. People sometimes describe the pain as a biting or gnawing pain. Some individuals may describe a hungry sensation.
Individuals may also be able to relieve pain by eating, drinking, or taking antacids.
Some stomach ulcers go unnoticed and show no typical indigestion-type pains. These ulcers are less common, and doctors tend them after they have started bleeding.
Some ulcers can cause a hole in the stomach wall. Health experts call this perforation, which is a severe condition.
Stomach ulcer symptoms often change over time and can be difficult to spot.
Dietary changes can help prevent stomach ulcers from developing.
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Nsaids And Stomach Ulcers
The risk of ulcers increases if the drugs are taken in high doses or regularly for a long time.
Stronger NSAIDs, such as those available on prescription, carry a greater risk of stomach ulcers than those that people can buy over the counter.
A person should always check labels and consult a pharmacist or a doctor about any concerns regarding using pain relief medication. They may recommend an alternative, such as acetaminophen.
Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer Disease
The most common symptom is a burning pain in your stomach. It usually lasts for a few minutes to a few hours. It comes and goes for days or weeks at a time. The burning typically occurs between meals and at night. Small ulcers may cause no symptoms.
Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty drinking as much liquid as usual
- Hunger or an empty feeling in your stomach after you eat
- Mild nausea
- Stomach pain that wakes you up at night
Less common symptoms include:
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Could I Have An Ulcer And Not Know It
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.
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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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.
What To Do If You Have Stomach Cancer Or Ulcer Symptoms
- 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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