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.
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.
Knowing If You Have An Ulcer
Burning stomach pain, burping, bloating and heartburn are among the common signs of an ulcer, Abdi said. But Borum noted that its not unusual for people with ulcers to be asymptomatic until they develop a complication, such as bleeding or perforating, as in Dingells case. About 2 to 10 percent of ulcer patients will experience a perforated ulcer, which often manifests as acute, severe and diffuse abdominal pain, Borum said.
Because of the overlap between symptoms of various gastrointestinal problems, Borum urged people to pay attention to their bodies. If your symptoms are recurring, persistent and increasing in severity, you should definitely seek medical attention, she said.
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What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
The classic symptoms of peptic ulcers are stomach pain and indigestion. Ulcer pain feels like burning or gnawing inside your stomach, which is between your breastbone and your belly button. It may improve temporarily when you eat or drink or when you take an antacid, medication to reduce stomach acid. It may feel worse between meals and at night when stomach acid builds up without food to digest. It may also make you feel like you dont want to eat.
How do I know if I have an ulcer or gastritis?
Gastritis and gastric ulcers share many symptoms and often go hand in hand. Gastritis can be a precursor to stomach ulcers, caused by the same conditions that will eventually cause ulcers, including H. pylori infection and mucous erosion. You may also have both.
Both gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause stomach pain, as well as symptoms of indigestion. Usually, the pain from an ulcer will feel more localized like its coming from one particular spot. But since some ulcers are silent, you might not feel it if you do have one.
If you have symptoms of either gastritis or stomach ulcer, you should seek medical care. Gastritis can lead to ulcers if it hasnt already. It can also indicate an infection or other condition that needs to be treated. Medical testing can quickly determine the causes of your stomach pain.
How can I tell if I have ulcer pain or heartburn?
What Natural Home Remedies Help Peptic Ulcer Pain
Home care for peptic ulcers often centers on neutralizing the stomach acid.
- Don’t 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.
- Don’t take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Acetaminophen is a good substitute for some conditions. If acetaminophen doesn’t 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.
Seven Foods To Eat If You Have Stomach Ulcers
Dietary habits are key to the treatment of stomach ulcers. While some foods worsen symptoms, others contain nutrients and properties that can help repair the tissues to achieve rapid relief.
Of course, these are a supplement to any treatment prescribed by your doctor. In fact, although these foods may control the symptoms, you shouldnt consider them as a replacement for your recommended medications.
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.
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What To Eat If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Since H. pylori bacteria is now known to be an important cause of ulcer formation, scientists are exploring what foods may have a role in fighting against an infection.
In addition to taking the antibiotics and acid-blocking medications recommended by your doctor for your ulcer treatment, eating these foods may also be helpful against the ulcer-causing bacteria:
for ulcer treatment. These foods, such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi, may prevent reinfection.
Turmeric is currently being studied as a potential treatment for ulcers as well.
Garlic, decaffeinated green tea, and licorice round out the list of things you might want to incorporate in your diet.
Peptic Ulcer Diet Recommendations
You can load up on foods that reduce stomach acid to lessen your symptoms, and research recommended foods to avoid with ulcers. Itâs important to note that everyone is different, so foods that will worsen some peopleâs symptoms may not affect others. Keep a record of which specific foods and drinks worsen your symptoms, and try your best to avoid them.
UMass Medical School says you should avoid any gastric irritants that can increase stomach acid secretions. Suggested foods to avoid with ulcers include caffeinated drinks, chiles, alcoholic drinks, chocolate, carbonated beverages and peppers. Other foods that could trigger ulcer flare-ups include:
- Dairy products. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says that drinking large amounts of milk can increase stomach acid secretion and suggests that whole milk, cream and butter are all foods to avoid with ulcers.
- Fatty foods, including deep-fried foods, lard, margarine and high-fat meats like bacon.
- Spicy foods. You might find that certain spices and seasonings cause that burning stomach pain, in which case itâs best to avoid them.
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The Pros And Cons Of Pain Relief Drugs
Here’s a rundown of the benefits and risks of some popular pain medications. It should help simplify your choices when you’re in the drugstore.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use any over-the-counter painkiller on a regular basis. If you’re in that much pain, you need to talk with your doctor.
- How it works. Acetaminophen is not an NSAID. Experts aren’t actually sure how it works, but it seems to affect chemicals that increase the feeling of pain.
- Benefits. Acetaminophen reduces pain and lowers fevers. Unlike aspirin and other NSAIDS, acetaminophen is believed to be safe for people with ulcers. It doesn’t affect the natural lining of the stomach. Since it doesn’t thin the blood, it doesn’t increase the risk of bleeding either. It is safe for women who are pregnant and nursing.
- Side effects and risks. Experts say that acetaminophen is safe for people with ulcers. But like any drug, it can cause other side effects. Very high doses of acetaminophen — well over the recommended maximum of 4,000 mg/day — can cause serious liver damage. Long-term use of acetaminophen in high doses — especially when combined with caffeine or codeine can cause kidney disease.
ASPIRINBayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin
Diagnosis Of Abdominal Pain In Adults
If examinations and tests are needed, these may include:
- a rectal exam to check for hidden blood or other problems
- if you are a man, the doctor may check your penis and scrotum
- if you are a woman, the doctor may do a pelvic exam to check for problems in your womb , fallopian tubes and ovaries, and do a pregnancy test
- a blood test to look for infection or bleeding
- other blood tests may look at enzymes in the liver, pancreas and heart to sort out which organ may be involved
- a urine test to look for a urine infection or blood
- an ECG to rule out a heart attack
- other tests, including x-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- sometimes you may be referred to another doctor to help find the cause of the problem.
- endoscopy is an examination where a flexible tube with a light and video camera at the tip is used to examine some internal organs without the need for surgery. Different names are used depending on which organ is being looked at.
If you do have tests, the doctor will explain the results to you. Some results may take a number of days to come back and these will be sent to your local doctor.
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Possible Uses For Tylenol
When talking about Tylenol, people generally think about the pain-relieving benefits as it is generally a pain medication. However, the brand now has additional drugs available too.
Tylenol Extra Strength is known to be highly effective for people who have a more significant level of pain. The medication contains a higher dose of acetaminophen.
Tylenol Sinus is one particular option that has become quite popular. This drug contains the same chemicals as other OTC medications available under the Tylenol brand. But Phenylephrine HCI is added to assist in relieving symptoms associated with the sinus. Phenylephrine HCl is highly effective at improving sinuses and can help with congestion.
Tylenol Sleep is yet another option for cold relief and sleep. This drug has ingredients that help to improve sleep. Many people who experience insomnia due to pain reach for Tylenol Sleep for relief.
A drug may have as many as 3 different names: Brand, generic, and chemical. For example:
Brand names: Tylenol, Tempra, Liquiprin, Anacin, Paramol
Drug companies give their products brand names, and some products have more than one brand name. You should also know that the same brand name may be used on different drugs, since the name belongs to the company. Read the labels to see what ingredients are in each medicine.
Generic names: acetaminophen
Chemical names: N- acetamide
Chemical names tend to be long and hard to pronounce, so they are not used often.
What you need to know about drug names
Will Surgery Cure A Peptic Ulcer
Medical therapy works in most people with peptic ulcers. Sometimes, medical therapy does not work, or a person can’t take the therapy for some reason. Surgery is an alternative to medical therapy for these people.
Surgical operations often used in peptic ulcers include the following:
- Vagotomy: Cutting the vagus nerve, which transmits messages from the brain to the stomach, can reduce acid secretion. However, this can also interfere with other functions of the stomach. A newer operation cuts only the part of the nerve that affects acid secretion.
- Antrectomy: This is often done in conjunction with a vagotomy. It involves removing the lower part of the stomach . This part of the stomach produces a hormone that increases production of stomach acid. Adjacent parts of the stomach may also be removed.
- Pyloroplasty: This procedure also is sometimes done with vagotomy. It enlarges the opening between the stomach and duodenum to encourage passage of partially digested food. Once the food has passed, acid production normally stops.
- Tying off an artery: If bleeding is a problem, cutting off the blood supply to the ulcer can stop the bleeding.
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What To Eat And Not To Eat With A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach Ulcers, also commonly known and referred to as Gastric Ulcer, are a painful digestive problem where open sores usually develop on the stomach lining. This problem is likely to occur more in men as compared to their female counterparts. Apart from the sores in the stomach lining, such sores can also occur in various parts of the intestine especially lying just beyond the stomach.
Such sores are usually referred to as Duodenal Ulcers. However, even the duodenal ulcers are commonly referred to as Stomach Ulcers or Peptic Ulcers. In fact, the entire digestive tracts of individuals are susceptible to get affected by ulcers including the lower throat or esophagus. Since this kind of sores is related to the stomach and adjoining areas, the kind of food would have a direct impact and contact with such sores. Thus, it is important to know what to eat and what not to eat with a stomach ulcer.
Tip Sheet: Ulcers And Pain Relievers
Be cautious about taking over-the-counter pain relief drugs if you have an ulcer. Some can worsen your symptoms. These tips will help.
If you have an ulcer, you need to be very careful with over-the-counter pain medicines. Remember: No drug is risk-free. It is very important to discuss the use of over-the-counter drugs with your doctor, especially if you have an ulcer or other medical conditions. Here are some tips from the experts for using these medicines safely.
- Avoid Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs . If you have an ulcer, use of NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen could be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. A non-NSAID pain reliever, like acetaminophen, may be a safer choice. Your doctor can recommend appropriate alternatives.
- Take precautions. If you need to use an NSAID, always take it with milk or food to make it easier on your stomach. To prevent problems, your doctor might recommend:
- A prescription proton pump inhibitor
- High doses of prescription H2 receptor antagonists
- Cytotec, a drug to protect your stomach lining
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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
- Blood in your stools
- 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.
What Is The Treatment For Peptic 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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How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are very common in Western countries. In the United States, there are about 4 million cases per year. Some estimates say that 1 in 10 people will have one at some point in their lives. Thats because many of the causes that contribute to stomach ulcers are common in Western life. Fortunately, these causes are usually easy to trace and to reverse, giving ulcers a chance to heal and your stomach lining a chance to repair.