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What Is Stomach Ulcer Pain Like

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Do You Have A Stomach Ulcer

Real Questions | Stomach Ulcers

If you suspect that you have a stomach ulcer, it is beyond important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As you can tell from the symptoms listed above, things can only get worse if your ulcer goes untreated. Call the experts at West Gastroenterology in Los Angeles today and make an appointment!

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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:

What Causes An Ulcer

Most peptic ulcers are caused by:

  • bacteria called Helicobacter pylori infecting the stomach and upper intestine. They weaken the protective coating of the stomach and upper small intestine. Acid in the stomach then gets through to the sensitive lining underneath. Acid and bacteria irritate this lining, causing ulcers.
  • using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and aspirin. These medicines fight inflammation and help treat long-term, painful conditions like arthritis. If taken in high doses over a long period of time, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in some people.
  • smoking cigarettes. Smoking increases the risk of ulcers because nicotine causes the stomach to make more acid. Drinking a lot of alcohol each day for a period of time can also increase a person’s risk of ulcers. Over time, alcohol can wear down the lining of the stomach and intestines.

Sometimes stress can help cause ulcers. Usually this happens only when a person has an illness involving severe emotional or physical stress. Any illness that makes it hard for the body to heal also can make someone more likely to get an ulcer.

Also Check: Foods To Eat If You Have A Stomach Ulcer

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.

Can Peptic Ulcers Be Prevented

Stomach Ulcer Symptoms

Doctors arent sure how H. pylori bacteria spread from person to person. The bacteria have been found in saliva , so kissing may be one way. They also may spread through food, water, or contact with vomit thats infected with the bacteria.

Regular use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems and bleeding in some people. Acetaminophen does not cause stomach ulcers and is a good alternative to NSAIDs.

As with many infections, washing your hands well and often is an important part of ulcer prevention. This is extra important after you use the bathroom and before you eat. And take good care of your body by exercising regularly and not smoking or drinking.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Test For An Ulcer In The Stomach

How Do H Pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer And Peptic Ulcer Disease

H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause peptic ulcer disease by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Once H. pylori have damaged the mucous coating, powerful stomach acid can get through to the sensitive lining. Together, the stomach acid and H. pylori irritate the lining of the stomach or duodenum and cause a peptic ulcer.

Could I Have An Ulcer And Not Know It

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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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How Do You Stop A Stomach Ulcer From Hurting

Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle

  • Switching pain relievers is a good idea. If you take pain relievers on a regular basis, check with your doctor to see if acetaminophen is a choice for you.
  • Reduce the stress levels. The signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer may be made worse by stress.
  • Please dont smoke.
  • What Is A Stomach Ulcer

    Stomach Ache vs. Stomach Ulcer How Do You Know? | Gastroenterologist Dr. Anish Sheth

    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.

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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.

    Peptic Ulcers Are Often Symptomless

    About 30 percent of 60 year olds with confirmed peptic ulcer disease have no abdominal pain.24 This means 1 in 3 old people without the slightest hint of the major symptom of peptic ulcers actually have them.

    As if it was not already challenging to diagnose what cannot be seen, sometimes individuals suffering from peptic ulcers do not experience any symptoms.

    Older people and children are, unfortunately, at a higher risk of belonging to this no-symptoms niche. This increases the likelihood of a delayed diagnosis and grave complications like perforation and internal bleeding.

    Another group of individuals who may struggle with identifying peptic ulcers are those who are heavily dependent on NSAIDs. Even though abdominal pain is the most prominent indicator of peptic ulcers, such is not always the case. To our dismay, 1 in 3 people with peptic ulcers dont have any abdominal pain, particularly those popping NSAIDs.252627 This resonates with research findings that NSAIDs mask the symptoms of peptic ulcers.28 It is, thus, advisable to exercise caution if you need to regularly take these painkillers to treat other conditions.

    Having no symptoms or weak symptoms, hence, does not rule out the possibility of peptic ulcers.

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    What Treatments Are There For Ulcers

    Your treatment will depend on the cause of your ulcer. For example, if our tests indicate that an infection caused by helicobacter pylori is what created your ulcer, well give you antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.

    Regardless of the cause, medications that help reduce the level of acid in your stomach can help the ulcer heal. And different lifestyle changes can accelerate healing as well, such as eliminating certain foods, abstaining from alcohol, and practicing stress management.

    In severe cases, surgery may be required. Your provider at Prima Medicine will work with you to create a treatment plan for your situation.

    If you have a stomach ulcer or want to see if you do, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.

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    How Can I Tell If I Have A Peptic Ulcer

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    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 Causes A Peptic Ulcer

    Causes of peptic ulcers include

    Sometimes peptic ulcers are caused by both NSAIDs and H. pylori.

    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.

    Read Also: What Is A Gastric Ulcer And What Is Its Cause

    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.

    Are Peptic Ulcers Painful

    How a peptic ulcer develops

    The pain of ulcer disease correlates poorly with the presence or severity of active ulceration. Some individuals have persistent pain even after an ulcer is almost completely healed by medication. Others experience no pain at all. Ulcers often come and go spontaneously without the individual ever knowing that they are present unless a serious complication occurs.

      Symptoms and signs of peptic ulcers disease vary. Some people with stomach ulcers do not have any symptoms or signs while others may have a few or several.

      The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is a dull or burning pain in the stomach. The pain may be felt anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. Pain from a peptic or stomach ulcer

    • usually happens when your stomach is empty, for example, such as between meals or during the night
    • may stop briefly if you eat or take antacids
    • may last for minutes to hours
    • may come and go for several days, weeks, or months
    • Peptic ulcer other symptoms and signs that are less common include

    • bloating,
      • Cigarette smoking not only causes ulcers, but it also increases the risk of complications from ulcers such as bleeding, obstruction, and perforation. Cigarette smoking also is a leading cause of failure of treatment for ulcers.

        Contrary to popular belief, alcohol, coffee, colas, spicy foods, and caffeine have no proven role in ulcer formation. Similarly, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that life stresses or personality types contribute to ulcer disease.

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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.

        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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        When To Call A Healthcare Provider

        While stomach ulcers can be painful and uncomfortable, they’re rarely life-threatening. But if you notice changes in appetite, unexplained weight loss, vomiting blood, dark black or bloody stools, or trouble breathing, call a healthcare provider or seek immediate medical attention. These serious symptoms could be signs of perforation , internal bleeding, or a blockage, which all require emergency care.

        Stomach Ulcer Burning Pain What Does It Feel Like

        Peptic Ulcer

        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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        H Pylori Infection Treatment

        Patients infected with H. pylori will usually need PPIs and antibiotics. This treatment is effective in most patients, and the ulcer will start to disappear within days. When treatment is over, the individual will have to be tested again to make sure the H. pylori have gone. If necessary, they will undergo another course of different antibiotics.

        Signs You May Have An Ulcer

          Did you know that stomach ulcers also called peptic ulcers affect at least 1 in 10 Americans over the course of their lives? And while stomach ulcers can be treated easily when caught early, lack of medical care can lead to serious complications.

          Understanding the signs of stomach ulcers is important in helping you get the treatment you need. At Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our care team has the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat stomach ulcers. Weve curated this guide to help you recognize the warning signs of an ulcer and understand what you can do about it.

          Read Also: Why Do We Get Ulcers In Stomach

          When Should I Go To Er

          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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