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.
How Treatment Causes Mouth Sores
Mouth sores are common among people undergoing cancer treatment.
The sores form on the inside lining of the mouth or lips and can often be extremely painful, making it difficult to eat, talk, and swallow. The sores may even extend into the esophagus that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
Both chemotherapy and radiation can cause mouth sores. Chemotherapy not only targets cancer cells but other fast-replicating cells, including the mucosal tissues of the mouth.
Radiation impairs the bodyâs immune system, increasing your vulnerability to infection.
Both of these factors contribute to the development and severity of mouth sores.
What To Eat When You Have An Ulcer
If you have an ulcer, eating can often be a bit of a challenge. Ulcers can cause meal time to be painful if its a gastric ulcer, or can result in pain hours after eating if its an ulcer located in the duodenum. If you have one, you may be wondering what to eat when you have an ulcer. Here are a few tips and tricks that may make meal time a little less painful while your ulcer heals.
1. No matter what you eat, make sure you do so in small portions. Large meals will overwhelm your already sensitive stomach, and can even result in an overproduction of acid, which will exacerbate an existing ulcer. So, rather than eating a few large meals every day go for smaller more frequent ones. That helps your bodys digestive system and makes the healing process go more smoothly.
2. Focus on easily digestible foods, like whole grain seedless breads, certain low acid fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products , lean meats, fish and creamed nuts .
3. Above all, focus on maintaining a balanced diet. Providing your body with the proper nutrition will help it heal much faster.
4. Avoid the following foods if you have an ulcer: Vegetables like onions and tomatoes, anything high in acid breads that are high in fat like croissants high acid fruits, like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and citrus juices whole milk products and creams highly seasoned meats, poultry and fish deli meats sardines fried foods nuts gravy and high fat desserts, like cakes, cookies, pastries and donuts.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Stomach Ulcer
Symptoms vary from person to person, and some people may have no symptoms at all. Abdominal pain is common, and that associated with stomach ulcers tends to worsen after food. Other common symptoms include:
- Bloating or belching
- Weight loss.
Symptoms such as vomiting, severe pain or blood in the stools are rare with stomach ulcers and should be reported to your doctor.
Most ulcers occur in the first layer of the inner lining. A hole that goes all the way through is called a perforation and will cause severe pain and bleeding. It is a medical emergency.
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Assess Your Individual Tolerance
No evidence suggests that spicy or citrus foods affect ulcer disease, although some individuals do report worsening of symptoms after eating these types of foods. It is important to find out what works for you. If you notice that your symptoms get worse after eating certain foods, then limit or avoid them so you can feel your best, making sure that you dont eliminate an entire food group.
Everything You Need To Know About Managing A Stomach Ulcer
A relatively easy diagnosis and treatment doesnt mean you should discount the severity of an aching abdomen or other persistent symptoms. When ulcers go untreated, they can become a serious health issue. Read on for our tips on how to manage stomach ulcers. But first, do you know whats causing your stomach ulcer?
Manage stomach ulcers tip #1: Get to know your risk factors.
Taking certain other meds, in addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , can be other meds, in addition to NSAIDs, can be cause for concern. Steroids, anticoagulants and a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can up your risk of developing a stomach ulcer.
Manage stomach ulcers tip #2: Consult your doctor about your meds.
If youre taking an NSAIDs regularly, you may want to explore drug-free ways of controlling chronic headaches, for example. Or, if the medication is a must you may require a long-term low-dose PPI to counteract the effects and prevent future ulcers.
Manage stomach ulcers tip #3: Take your quadruple medication therapy with a bowl of yogurt.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 86 percent of people who took their meds with yogurt had better elimination of the bad bacteria.
Manage stomach ulcers tip #4: Embrace the power of probiotics.
Manage stomach ulcers tip #5: Do load up on ulcer-healing foods.
Manage stomach ulcers tip #6: Make a list of foods to avoid while treating your ulcer.
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What Are Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are open, painful sores that affect the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine, called the duodenum . Ulcers in the stomach are also called stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers. Those in the duodenum are also called duodenal ulcers. Peptic ulcers are rare in kids.
In the past, peptic ulcers could last for several years or even a lifetime. But a better understanding of what causes them and how to treat them means that most can be cured.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Peptic Ulcers
For a long time, it was believed that spicy foods or stress led to peptic ulcers but doctors now know that this isn’t the case.
In fact, the most common causes of ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, Advil or Motrin , and Aleve , which can wear away at the mucus layer of the digestive tract
Certain factors can put a person at a greater risk of developing a peptic ulcer, including:
- Taking high doses of NSAIDs
- Using NSAIDs continuously over a long period of time
- Being female
- Having a history of ulcer disease
- Taking corticosteroids, medications that may be prescribed to treat asthma, arthritis, or lupus
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What Causes Peptic Ulcers
In the past, experts thought lifestyle factors such as stress and diet caused ulcers. Today we know that stomach acids and other digestive juices help create ulcers. These fluids burn the linings of your organs.
Causes of peptic ulcers include:
- H. pylori bacteria . Most ulcers are caused by an infection from a bacteria or germ called H. pylori. This bacteria hurts the mucus that protects the lining of your stomach and the first part of your small intestine . Stomach acid then gets through to the lining.
- NSAIDs . These are over-the-counter pain and fever medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Over time they can damage the mucus that protects the lining of your stomach.
What Happens After Treatment
A repeat gastroscopy is usually advised a few weeks after treatment has finished. This is mainly to check that the ulcer has healed. It is also to be doubly certain that the ‘ulcer’ was not due to stomach cancer. If your ulcer was caused by H. pylori then a test is advised to check that the H. pylori infection has gone. This is done at least four weeks after the course of combination therapy has finished.
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Milk And Other Dairy Products
Some people may find that a cold, creamy cup of milk provides some temporary relief, but in reality it worsens the symptoms of a peptic ulcer.
Whole milk as well as many dairy products are high in fat that can aggravate your current symptoms. Also, the protein in milk may encourage the production of excess stomach acid that can make an ulcer worse.
Even drinking milk on a full stomach can make things worse. Along with whole milk, strong-flavored cheeses, cream and buttermilk should also be avoided.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
Certain lifestyle changes can help you recover from an ulcer.
- Watch your diet. If you know that there are specific foods that make your ulcer feel worse, avoid them until your treatment is over. For many people, these include alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, spicy foods, and chocolate.
- Stop smoking. If you smoke, you are already at increased risk of getting an ulcer. The data also shows that ulcers take longer to heal in smokers and that the ulcer medication you are taking may be less effective. Scientists don’t know exactly why smoking has these negative effects.
- Take pain medication carefully. NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and many other commonly taken drugs, are taken for pain and fever, but can cause an ulcer if used too often. NSAIDs can also prevent an ulcer from healing as quickly as you would like, so talk to your doctor about what you can take for your other aches and pains while you are waiting for your ulcer to heal. Acetaminophen does not cause ulcers, so it may be an effective substitute. Also, be sure to read all drug labels some cough and cold liquids have NSAID ingredients in them, and you should avoid them, too.
- Cut back on alcohol. Stop drinking alcohol if you want to completely reduce your risk of additional ulcers and help your body heal.
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What Are Stomach Ulcers
There are two kinds of stomach ulcers: gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. Gastric ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are sores on the upper section of your small intestine.
Your body creates a protective layer of mucus to shield the linings of your stomach and small intestine from the harsh stomach acid required to break down food. When the mucus layer is worn away or doesnt function properly, the acid begins to damage the lining of the stomach or small intestine, creating an ulcer. Many people believe spicy foods or stress cause ulcers, but while these can exacerbate existing ulcers, they dont actually cause them.
Ulcers are usually caused by an infection from a common bacteria called helicobacter pylori or from the habitual use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin. Other factors, such as being older than age 50, smoking, genetics, steroid use, and frequent alcohol use, can increase your risk of developing an ulcer.
What Not To Eat With A Stomach Ulcer
Since stomach ulcer is a problem related to stomach, following a diet menu which can help heal stomach ulcer is advisable. However, there are certain diet restrictions for individual suffering from the stomach ulcer. These include
- High salt intake in food
- Higher Intake of fat in food should be avoided both for preventing the occurrence of stomach ulcers or any other gastrointestinal problems
- Avoiding large meals and replacing it with 5 to 6 small meals each day since the small meals would require the stomach to produce smaller quantities of stomach acids
Thus Ideally The Food items Which Should be Avoided by the Individuals Suffering from Stomach Ulcers Include
- Red Meat
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So How Do They Work Exactly
Antioxidant-rich foods like cherries, blueberries, kale, and spinach boost your immune system to more effectively fight infections and even help ward off stomach cancer.
Whats more, mom was right about forcing you to eat broccoli. Research indicates that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, shows anti-H. pylori functionality.
Probiotic foods can be a little more complicated to work into your diet, but they are worth the effort! Clinical studies indicate loading up on foods like miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi are like kryptonite for H. pylori bacteria.
A Natural Approach To Helping Yourself Through Your Diet
Ulcers are sores that can happen in your digestive tract, including your lower throat , stomach and intestines. Ulcers are usually caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori that many of us have in our bodies already. The symptoms can be made worse by your stomach acid.
It is not entirely clear why ulcers start but stress and diet, especially a fatty diet, are big contributing factors. A higher intake of fat can greatly increase your chance of getting an ulcer in the first place and cause other gastrointestinal problems. High salt intake is also implicated.
STOMACH ULCER TREATMENT
You can treat ulcers. A doctor will recommend antibiotics to kill the bacteria, a medical herbalist will recommend herbal antibiotics such as goldenseal.
Carefully controlling your diet is crucial to successful treatment. This is to make sure that your stomach produces less acid when digesting your food. Eating large meals requires the stomach to produce large amounts of stomach acid. So it is best to eat small meals. Ideally, you should be having 5 to 6 small meals a day and not 2 or 3 large ones.
Your meals should be low in fat and sugar and high in fibre. A diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains is just that. The reason for avoiding fatty foods, is that they are harder for you to digest, so your body then produces more stomach acid and aggravates your condition. Foods that are low in fat can speed up your recovery.
CUTTING DOWN ON RED MEAT
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How Do I Do Know If Ive An Ulcer Or Gastritis
There also are many differences between the two stipulations. Both stipulations cause inflammation within the stomach lining, but gastritis is normal inflammation while an ulcer is a patch of infected abdomen lining. Ulcers cause more critical, localized pain with the danger of most cancers, bleeding, and stomach perforation.
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Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
You may not have symptoms straightaway with an ulcer. Youre more likely to have a so-called silent ulcer if you are male, older, smoke, or are taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.
If you do have symptoms, a common one is abdominal pain or discomfort. You may also have pain in the middle of your back. If you have a duodenal ulcer , the pain tends to come on a couple of hours after a meal. Generally, it goes away when you eat again. You may also have pain that wakes you up at night when you have an empty stomach.
A gastric ulcer generally causes pain shortly after eating. Lying flat may relieve it. An oesophageal ulcer may cause abdominal or lower chest pain and make it difficult to swallow.
Indigestion is often a sign of a peptic ulcer. You may:
- feel or be sick
- have heartburn when the contents of your stomach go back up your oesophagus
Some symptoms may mean you have peptic ulcer complications. Or they can be caused by another medical condition, including cancer. You should see your GP urgently if you:
- are losing weight without dieting
- see blood in your vomit or your poo looks black and tar-like
- are very tired, as this may be caused by anaemia
- have trouble swallowing
- feel full soon after youve started eating
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Prevention Of Peptic Ulcers
Using alternatives to NSAIDs, like acetaminophen, to relieve pain can help prevent peptic ulcers. If you need to use an NSAID, opt for the lowest dose and take it with a meal.
Peptic ulcers caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori are not usually preventable, but good hygiene such as washing your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the bathroom may help limit the spread.
What If I Still Need To Take Nsaids
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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