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.
How Are Stomach Ulcers Diagnosed
Diagnosis and treatment will depend on your symptoms and the severity of your ulcer. To diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will review your medical history along with your symptoms and any prescription or over-the-counter medications youre taking.
To rule out H. pylori infection, a blood, stool, or breath test may be ordered. With a breath test, youll be instructed to drink a clear liquid and breathe into a bag, which is then sealed. If H. pylori is present, the breath sample will contain higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide.
Other tests and procedures used to diagnose stomach ulcers include:
- Barium swallow: You drink a thick white liquid that coats your upper gastrointestinal tract and helps your doctor see your stomach and small intestine on X-rays.
- Endoscopy : A thin, lighted tube is inserted through your mouth and into the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. This test is used to look for ulcers, bleeding, and any tissue that looks abnormal.
- Endoscopic biopsy: A piece of stomach tissue is removed so it can be analyzed in a lab.
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.
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Peptic Ulcer Disease Vs Angina
Usually, its not particularly difficult for a healthcare provider to distinguish chest pain caused by peptic ulcer disease from angina caused by coronary artery disease . The characteristics of the two types of pain are usually quite different.
Peptic ulcer pain is not induced by exercise and relieved by rest . The gnawing pain accompanied by bloating and nausea is quite different from that of typical angina.
Nonetheless, because angina itself can have a noncardiac presentation, it may become important to do confirmatory tests to pin down the diagnosis.
Endoscopy is the favored method of diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease, especially in people who have evidence of bleeding or have had severe symptoms.
Testing for the presence of Helicobacter pylori may also be helpful. X-rays of the upper digestive system may also be recommended.
If your healthcare provider is concerned about the possibility of CAD, a stress test may be helpful in distinguishing between these two problems.
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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How Can I Be Sure Its An Ulcer
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.
Key Points About Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers In Children
Stomach and duodenal ulcers are open sores. They happen in the lining of the stomach or the duodenum.
Most ulcers are caused by an infection with Helicobacter pylori.
Treatment often includes antibiotics and medicines to block stomach acid production.
Without proper treatment, people with ulcers may have serious complications. But most people are cured with treatment.
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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 Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
If you take all medicines as prescribed and avoid irritating the ulcer with NSAIDs, alcohol or smoking, your ulcer should heal well within a few weeks. Surgical cases may take a few weeks more. Your healthcare provider will follow up with you at the end of your course of medication to make sure the ulcer has healed and any infection has cleared. They will probably take follow-up tests, including an upper endoscopy to look at the site of the ulcer and tests for H. pylori, if you had it, to make sure the infection is gone.
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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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A Closer Look With An Endoscopy
This procedure lets your doctor see any ulcers and take a tissue sample, which can be tested for H. pylori. The doctor gives you medicine to make you feel sleepy, then puts a skinny tube with a tiny camera down your throat and into your stomach. Your doctor is likely to suggest this test if you’re older, have signs of bleeding, or find it hard to swallow, eat, or keep on enough weight.
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Treatments That Target Stomach Acid
How your doctor treats your ulcer depends on its cause. Several types of drugs can cut the amount of acid in your stomach. They also coat your stomach to protect your ulcer so it has a chance to heal. Your doctor may suggest you take an over-the-counter antacid to get some quicker short-term relief.
How Do Tumors From Zes Cause Peptic Ulcers
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare disorder that happens when one or more tumors form in your pancreas and duodenum. The tumors release large amounts of gastrin, a hormone that causes your stomach to produce large amounts of acid. The extra acid causes peptic ulcers to form in your duodenum and in the upper intestine.
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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 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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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.
Youre More Bloated Than Usual
If you notice your stomach feeling particularly bloated, it may be more serious than a little bit of gasit could be one of the signs of an ulcer. According to RM Healthy, bloating is often one of the earliest ulcer symptoms, with patients especially complaining of pain in their midsection. Of course, bloating can also be caused simply by eating something your body doesnt agree with or not drinking enough water, but when combined with these other symptoms, its worth checking out.
Do Stomach Ulcers Go Away
Treatment Overview Left untreated, many ulcers eventually heal. But ulcers often recur if the cause of the ulcer is not eliminated or treated. If ulcers keep coming back, you have an increased risk of developing a serious complication, such as bleeding or a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine.
Stomach Ulcer Burning Pain What Does It Feel Like
Theopen sore can cause a number of signs and symptoms. And the severity of theulcer is usually equivalent with the severity of the symptoms.
Amongstomach ulcer symptoms, burning sensation or pain is the most common one.Typically, it is felt in the middle or upper part of abdomen specificallybetween the belly button and breastbone , where your stomach is locatedin the body.
Thepain usually feels like burning, gnawing, or dull sensation. In a few cases italso could be stabbing or intense, depending on the severity of the open sore. Sometimesit could be strong enough to radiate elsewhere in the body, such as the back.
Sothis may vary from person to person, including for duration. It may last in afew minutes or longer . Also, it could be chronic come & go in days, weeks, or even a few months.
But one unique thing to remember, in general the pain is more likely to flare up with empty stomach.
Often,it gets worse between meals such as in the morning or at night though againthis varies by individual. People usually have a spike in stomach acid whentheir stomach is empty. And high level of this acid can worsen the symptoms andmake the open sore take longer to heal.
Onthe other hand, the pain is likely to relieve for a while when you takeantacids or if you eat foods that can buffer yourstomach acid . But not all foods are good tohelp deal with since certain foods would also exacerbate the pain and otherstomach ulcer symptoms.
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Play It Safe With Pain Relief
Avoid NSAIDs during treatment and afterward. If you still use them, your ulcer may not heal or could go away and then come back. To ease pain, try acetaminophen, which is easier on your stomach. Your doctor can also prescribe a pain reliever that’s gentle on your stomach. If you must have an NSAID, take the smallest dose that still helps you, and swallow it with food.
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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What Causes Stomach Ulcers
The two most common causes are:
- H. pylori infection. This common bacterial infection affects up to half of people worldwide. It primarily lives in the stomach. In many people, it doesnt seem to cause problems. Their gut immune systems keep it in check. But a portion of those infected have H. pylori overgrowth. The bacteria continue to multiply, eating into the stomach lining and causing chronic inflammation and peptic ulcer disease. H. pylori infection is associated with about 60% of duodenal ulcers and 40% of gastric ulcers.
- Overuse of NSAIDs. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.” These include common over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. NSAIDs contribute to ulcers in several ways. They irritate the stomach lining on contact and repress some of the chemicals that defend and repair the mucous lining. Up to 30% of people who take NSAIDs regularly develop peptic ulcers. Up to 50% of all peptic ulcers are caused by the overuse of NSAIDs.
Less common causes of stomach ulcers include:
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. This is a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce too much gastric acid.
- Severe physiological stress. Severe illness, burns or injuries can produce stress ulcers in the stomach. Physiological stress changes your bodys PH balance, increasing stomach acid. Stress ulcers develop very quickly in response to stress, unlike normal stomach ulcers that develop gradually.
How To Treat Stomach Ulcers
It is important to get treatment for a stomach ulcer because they can worsen if ignored. Peptic ulcers can lead to internal bleeding, a perforation in your stomach, an obstruction in your digestive tract, or even stomach cancer.
If you experience sharp, sudden stomach pain that doesnt go away trouble breathing unexplained weight loss bloody, dark, or tarry stools or are vomiting blood or what looks like coffee grounds, you should see a doctor immediately. Any of these symptoms could indicate that the ulcer has caused a more serious problem.
A gastroenterologist at Digestive Health Centers can help diagnose and treat peptic ulcers. They can use endoscopic equipment to confirm a diagnosis of peptic ulcers and to determine your best course of treatment. While performing an upper endoscopy, your physician can see irregularities in the lining of your stomach and even take samples to test for H. pylori infection.
Heliobacter pylori can be successfully treated with antibiotics, and an acid reducer may also be prescribed to allow the ulcers to heal. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever that can be used in place of NSAIDs if your ulcers are caused by an overuse of pain relievers.
If you choose to seek treatment at Digestive Health Centers, a board certified, fellowship-trained gastroenterologist can help you repair your stomach and ease the pain caused by ulcers. Contact us today to begin your recovery!
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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
- Stomach pain that wakes you up at night
Less common symptoms include:
Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection
If your stomach ulcerâs caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, youâll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if itâs thought your stomach ulcerâs caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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Don’t Ignore Your Ulcer
There are lots of good reasons to get help. If you put off treatment, your ulcer may start to block food from moving smoothly through your digestive system. You may often throw up or feel too full to eat. Over time, your ulcer could make a hole through your stomach lining and put you at risk of a severe infection. An ulcer that bleeds can also land you in the hospital.