Thursday, July 25, 2024

Can I Go To Urgent Care For Stomach Ulcer

Stomach Ulcer: Severe Symptoms Warning Signs When To Go To The Doctor

Peptic Ulcer Disease Pharmacology and Nursing Care | Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer NCLEX Lecture Part 2

If you have a stomach ulcer and have any of these signs, visit a doctor immediately.

  • vomiting blood
  • vomiting food eaten hours or days before
  • difficultly swallowing
  • sudden, severe pain in the abdominal area
  • pain that radiates to the back
  • pain that doesnt go away when you take medication
  • unintended weight loss
  • unusual weakness, usually because of anemia

Most of the signs above, indicate that the ulcer is bleeding. A bleeding ulcer can lead to serious injury or death if not treated immediately.

Genetic testing could find the best cure for your stomach ulcer

Treatment of bleeding ulcer

If you have a bleeding stomach ulcer, your doctor will probably prescribe LOTS of medication. Bleeding ulcers are treated with:

  • medications to relieve pain
  • medications to improve stomach health
  • medication to prevent stomach ulcer from reoccuring bleeding
  • dietary changes to prevent the stomach ulcer from bleeding again
  • daily dose of medication to balance stomach acids
  • medications to repair the stomach lining

**It is important to follow your doctors instructions and take the medicine as directed. If not, the ulcer can bleed again and cause worst physical problems.

Questions to ask your doctor about stomach ulcers

Having a stomach ulcer can be scary, be sure to ask your doctor tons of questions. And if you for get a question or to, dont be afraid to call the doctors office and ask the nurse on call.

What Is Stomach Pain

Stomach pain can be dull and achy or sharp and sudden. It may be felt only in one specific location or its all over and hard to pinpoint. Often, when people complain of stomach pain, they mean pain or discomfort anywhere in the belly or abdomen.

Stomach pain can be from over-stretching of gastrointestinal organs, an obstruction, inflammation, damage to the lining of the gut, damage to blood vessels or loss of blood flow, and other physical issues.

Stomach pain can have a number of causes, from stomach bugs to chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

It can also be caused by serious conditions or emergencies such as appendicitis, bowel perforation, or ischemia .

Knowing where the pain is located helpsdetermine which organs may be involved. For instance, appendicitis typically starts in the center and then moves to the right lower side. Gastritis typically involves the upper abdomen. Acid reflux involves the upper abdomen and chest area. Diverticulitis usually involves the left lower abdomen.

But its not always easy to identify the cause because pain can be referred. This means it travels through interconnected nerves to another area. For example, the stomach sits more to the left side, but stomach ulcers may feel like sharp pain toward the middle upper abdomen or even in the back.

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.

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Causes Of Stomach Pain

Stomach pain questionnaire

Stomach pain covers discomforts, cramps, and sharp pains, felt between your pelvis and rib cage. Common causes include stomach bugs, food poisoning, gas, or acid reflux, or a chronic condition like irritable bowel syndrome or an ulcer. If the pain is intense or you also have vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or other symptoms, you may need to see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated.

Upper Gastrointestinal Disorders In Urgent Care Part : Gastritis Peptic Ulcer Disease And Helicobacter Pylori

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Urgent message: Gastritis and peptic ulcer disease are a spectrum of diseases that can range from mild to serious urgent care providers must be on the alert for these conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment, along with recommendations for follow-up care with appropriate specialists, can help prevent long-term sequelae.

TRACEY Q. DAVIDOFF, MD Gastritis and peptic ulcer disease represent a continuum along a path of inflammation of the gastric mucosa, from superficial irritation of the stomach lining to full-blown ulceration with perforation or penetration. They are caused by varying degrees of disruption of the aggressive and defensive factors that maintain the integrity of the mucosa. Aggressive factors include gastric acid and pepsin, and defensive factors include mucus and bicarbonate. For the urgent care practitioner, it is imperative to recognize the alarm symptoms that may represent more serious disease progression. Identifying patients who are less ill and may benefit from treatment, starting that treatment, and suggesting appropriate follow-up measures are the keys to urgent care management of these conditions.

Table 1. Causes of Gastritis
Drugs

  • Acetaminophen, especially in combination with NSAIDs
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Clopidogrel and other antiplatelet drugs
  • Sirolimus

History of Present Illness In obtaining a thorough history of the current illness, ask about the following:

Be aware of the following points when conducting a physical examination:

References

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Mid 20’s Female With Nausea

Q: What are some common causes of stomach pain for females in their mid 20s?

A: If the patient is a young lady in her mid 20’s who’s complaining about abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, the first thing that comes to my mind is that she’s pregnant. I would want to rule out right away. You can do that with a urine test or blood test to make sure the woman is not pregnant.

Other things that first come to mind are what’s associated with the stomach pain. So, for example, is the abdominal pain associated with diarrhea? If so, that brings into play a whole host of infectious kinds of virus, for example, viral gastroenteritis or norovirus like the cruise ship virus. Those are the kinds of things that come to mind immediately.

Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers

A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.

The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.

Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:

  • dull pain in the stomach
  • weight loss
  • heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest)
  • pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids
  • anemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
  • dark, tarry stools
  • vomit thats bloody or looks like coffee grounds

Talk to your doctor if you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they arent treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.

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When To Go To The Doctor For Stomach Pain

Get help right away. Theres a bit of a gray area in terms of which stomach pain cases need immediate attention and which would warrant a call or visit to your doctor instead, as there can be symptom overlap. Again, listen to your body and your instincts if youre not sure.

These emergencies usually cause very noticeable and often intolerable signs and symptoms. Your stomach pain is probably a sign of an urgent medical problem if: Your pain started within a week of having abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy And Biopsy

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In an upper GI endoscopy, a gastroenterologist, surgeon, or other trained health care professional uses an endoscope to see inside your upper GI tract. This procedure takes place at a hospital or an outpatient center.

An intravenous needle will be placed in your arm to provide a sedative. Sedatives help you stay relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure can be performed without sedation. You will be given a liquid anesthetic to gargle or spray anesthetic on the back of your throat. The doctor will carefully feed the endoscope down your esophagus and into your stomach and duodenum. A small camera mounted on the endoscope sends a video image to a monitor, allowing close examination of the lining of your upper GI tract. The endoscope pumps air into your stomach and duodenum, making them easier to see.

The doctor may perform a biopsy with the endoscope by taking a small piece of tissue from the lining of your esophagus. You wont feel the biopsy. A pathologist examines the tissue in a lab.

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What Your Doctor Might Ask You

To narrow the possibilities of whats causing the pain, your doctor may ask you a series of questions.

What other symptoms do you have?

  • VomitingOften occurs with viral stomach infections such as norovirus. Vomiting can also occur with an obstruction or blockage in your intestines.
  • DiarrheaCan occur with intestinal tract infections such as Salmonella, E. coli, C. difficile, or with lactose intolerance or celiac disease. Diarrhea is a hallmark of inflammatory bowel disease , and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • FeverUsually signals an infection.
  • BloodWhen in either vomit or stool, it often means you have a serious condition such as an ulcer or diverticulitis, infectious diarrhea, or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Back painPain from abdominal organs are sometimes referred to the back. Severe or perforated stomach ulcers, pancreatitis, kidney stones, and aortic dissection can cause back pain.

Where is the pain?

  • Upper abdomen may suggest issues with your pancreas, gallbladder, stomach, or spleen.
  • Around the belly button . Appendicitis pain often starts here and then moves to your lower right abdomen.
  • Lower abdomen pain may be from your small or large intestines, kidneys, or bladder.

Is There A Peptic Ulcer Diet Plan

No particular diet is helpful for people with peptic ulcers. At one time, a bland diet and avoidance of spicy or greasy foods was recommended. Milk and dairy food have been used in the past for ulcer symptoms, but have not been proven to be effective. We now know diet has little effect on ulcers. In some people, however, certain foods seem to aggravate stomach ulcer symptoms. Keep a food diary with your intake and the resulting symptoms and avoid eating any foods that aggravate symptoms.

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When To Seek Medical Attention For Stomach Cramps

Some stomach cramps may require medical attention. You should be concerned about stomach cramps if they last for a week or longer or are so severe that you cant function, or you also have symptoms like fever or blood in your vomit or stool. What is causing your stomach cramps?

Any urgent or non-urgent pain can become serious with time. If you are experiencing any sort of pain that doesnt feel like a normal, ate too much stomach ache, you may want to be seen as soon as possible. If you have stabbing pains, cramping, persistent pain, or sudden pain, you should look into being seen by a medical professional.

How Are Stomach Ulcers Diagnosed

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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.

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Here Are Five Signs You Should Head For The Emergency Room Instead

Again, these are general. If you think you need emergency care for something that isnt on this list, seek it.

For instance, an allergic reaction involving swelling in your tongue and mouth can impact your breathing, which deserves emergency attention. Severe shortness of breath can also be a sign of a cardiovascular issue such as a heart attack. No matter the cause, always seek emergency care if your ability to breathe is compromised in an alarming way.

Chest discomfort on the left side, which could signal a heart attack, generally deserves prompt medical attention. This could present as straight-up pain, but it might also feel like pressure, squeezing, or as though that area is strangely full, according to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. This discomfort can be mild or intense, persistent or intermittent.

With that said, women are more likely to experience lesser known symptoms of a heart attack, like shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and pain that radiates into the back, shoulders, and jaw. If youre experiencing any of these, go to the emergency room or call 911.

This is especially important if youre more prone to heart attacks due to being over 55 or having other heart attack risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a family history of this health issue.

You can think of the stroke symptoms to watch for with the acronym FAST, the Mayo Clinic says:

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Older Woman With Skin Changes

Q: What are some common causes of skin changes in woman in their 70s or 80s?

A: If the patient is an older woman in her 70’s or 80’s and she also has irregular heart beat with skin changes, then I would start to think it’s something vascular. In other words, I would be thinking about things like venous ischemia or Ischemic Colitis.

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Iv Fluids Pain Treatment Blood Tests & Imaging Tests

Typically in the ER, you’ll get an IV. We’ll put an IV in, which is giving you medications. So if you’re having severe pain we’ll give you a pain medication. If you’re having nausea we’ll treat that. Often times we’re giving fluid for dehydration, especially if a person has been vomiting a lot, “I’ve had a lot of diarrhea.” And then I’m thinking about testing. What do I need to do to figure this out?

In some cases someone may come in, I may push on their abdomen and in doing that I pretty much have an idea of what’s going on, but those cases are rare. A lot of times with abdominal pain we are sending tests and so typically there I’m doing blood work, looking at their white blood cell count, that’s going to show me signs of infection.

Also, looking at their liver function test to see if there’s anything there that suggests a liver problem. Look at something called the lipase, which is something that they have an issue in the pancreas. I’m going to see things that are abnormal there. Looking at the kidneys, electrolytes. So all sorts of different blood tests.

And then beyond that I may do an ultrasound, an ultrasound to look at the gallbladder. Maybe we end up getting a CT scan to look at the appendix or the other organs in the abdomen. So it’s going to be more testing guided by where this person hurts.

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When Is Stomach Pain Is And Is Not An Emergency

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These emergencies usually cause very noticeable and often intolerable signs and symptoms. Your stomach pain is probably a sign of an urgent medical problem if: Your pain started within a week of having abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure

It can be mild, due to harmless conditions such as bloating or constipation, or it can be severe and due to medical conditions that require urgent interventions such as appendicitis. In most cases, you can visit an urgent care for your stomach pain.

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How Are Ulcers Diagnosed

The first step to finding relief is to properly diagnose the symptoms that you are experiencing. The team at Prima Medicine employ a variety of methods to determine if you have an ulcer, and, if so, whats causing it.

A doctor or nurse practitioner starts by performing a thorough medical exam and gathering a complete medical history. They will probably order tests of your stool, breath, and/or blood to look for signs of h. pylori infection.

In some cases, an endoscopy will be necessary. An endoscopy is a procedure where a flexible tube is inserted through the throat and down the esophagus into the stomach to collect tissue samples and to take pictures.

First Thoughts Of A Patient With Abdominal Pain

Q: What do you think about first when a patient walks in with abdominal pain?

A: First it depends on who the patient is. My first thoughts are what’s the patient’s age, and gender and where is the abdominal pain? These are the sorts of things that start to shape my suspicion on what’s likely going on.

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