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.
Is It Safe To Take 1000 Iu Of Vitamin B12 Daily
Though doses of up to 2,000 mcg of vitamin B12 are considered safe, its best to speak to a doctor to find out whether taking a supplement is necessary. Most people can fill their B12 needs through a healthy diet. Some, such as older adults or those with certain dietary restrictions, should supplement.
How Is The Diagnosis Of Diverticulosis Made
Because most people do not have symptoms, diverticulosis is often found incidentally during evaluation for another condition or during a screening exam for polyps. Gastroenterologists can directly visualize the diverticula in the colon during a procedure that uses a small camera attached to a lighted, flexible tube inserted through the rectum. One of these procedures is a sigmoidoscopy, which uses a short tube to examine only the rectum and lower part of the colon. A colonoscopy uses a longer tube to examine the entire colon. Diverticulosis can also be seen using other imaging tests, for example by computed tomography scan or barium x-ray.
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What Causes Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers form when digestive juices damage the walls of the stomach or small intestine. If the mucus layer gets too thin or your stomach makes too much acid, your gut will feel it. The two major causes are:
- Bacteria. Itâs called Helicobacter pylori , and as many as half of us carry it. Most people infected with H. pylori do not get ulcers. But in others, it can raise the amount of acid, break down the protective mucus layer, and irritate the digestive tract. Experts arenât sure how H. pylori infection spreads. They think it may pass from person to person through close contact, like kissing. You may also get it from unclean food and water.
- Certain pain relievers. If youâve been taking aspirin often and for a long time, youâre more likely to get a peptic ulcer. The same is true for other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . They include ibuprofen and naproxen. NSAIDs block your body from making a chemical that helps protect the inner walls of your stomach and small intestine from stomach acid. Other types of pain meds, such as acetaminophen, wonât lead to peptic ulcers.
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol also can make you more likely to get ulcers. Stress and eating a lot of spicy food donât cause ulcers, as experts once thought. But they can make ulcers worse and harder to treat.
How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated
With treatment, most stomach ulcers will heal within a month or two. The treatment recommended for you will depend on what caused the ulcer.
Most people will be prescribed a medication called a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid their stomach produces and allow the ulcer to heal naturally.
If an H. pylori infection is responsible for the ulcers, antibiotics will also be used to kill the bacteria, which should prevent the ulcer coming back.
If the ulcers are caused by the use of NSAIDs, PPIs are usually prescribed and your doctor will discuss whether you should keep using NSAIDs.
Alternative medication to NSAIDs, such as paracetamol, may be recommended.
Stomach ulcers can come back after treatment, although this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is addressed.
Read more about treating stomach ulcers.
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What Tests Diagnose A Peptic Ulcer
To confirm a person has an ulcer a diagnostic imaging test will usually be ordered. The two most widely used tests are:
- Upper GI series : This is a type of X-ray. The patient is given a chalky liquid to drink that increases the contrast on the X-ray, making certain features easier to see. Because this liquid contains barium, this test is sometimes called a barium swallow.
- Endoscopy : An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end. The patient is given a mild sedative, and then the tube is passed through the mouth into the stomach. The doctor can see the lining of the stomach to diagnose a peptic ulcer. Tiny samples of the tissue will be taken , which are examined under a microscope.
If a diagnostic imaging test reveals an ulcer, the patient will most likely have a test to see if H pylori bacteria are present.
- It is important to be certain about this, because treatment of the H pylori is likely to heal the ulcer.
- Ulcers caused by H pylori are treated differently than ulcers caused by medications.
Three types of tests are available to detect H pylori.
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.
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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.
Can H Pylori Change The Look Of Your Poop
H. pylori is an infection of the stomach ) .
H. pylori is a prevalent disease. Approximately two-thirds of the world population is infected with h. pylori .
The prevalence is higher in developing countries than in developed ones.
For example, H. pylori affect about 38% of the population in the USA and more than 90% of the Nigerian people
In most cases, H. pylori infection doesnt change the look of your poop. However, when h. pylori cause a bleeding stomach ulcer your poop may turn black or coffee-ground in color.
Less commonly, H. pylori may result in changes in bowel movements . The link between h. pylori and constipation or diarrhea are discussed in detail later in this article.
When you have an H. pylori infection, you cannot rely on the look of your poop to diagnose it. Stool changes with H. pylori seldom occur. Moreover, the research is not well established because of the link between H. pylori and bowel habit changes .
The most significant H. pylori-related disease is chronic gastritis and Peptic ulcer disease. These diseases often present with upper-middle pain in your stomach and indigestion . Poop changes are not typical with gastritis, but they can happen.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider/go To The Hospital
You may feel relief with an antacid, but you should not ignore symptoms of a peptic ulcer. If you have persistent symptoms for longer than a week, it is best to see your healthcare provider. He or she will determine whether you need prescription medications and whether you have complications, such as bleeding or anemia.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have:
- Pain that radiates to the back
- Pain that doesn’t go away when you take medication
- Unintended weight loss
- Vomiting blood
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdominal area
- Loss of consciousness
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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Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection
If your stomach ulcer’s caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, you’ll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer’s caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
Why Does My Stomach Hurt
Tummy troubles are a common cause for a visit to the doctors office. Whenpatients complain of stomach pain, they are sometimes describing painthat is throughout the abdomen area and may not actually be directlyrelated to the organ known as the stomach.
Doctors first try to determine if a patients abdominal pain is caused by astructural or functional problem.
Sometimes the digestive tract does not function properly due to anabnormality with the structure of an organ. Medical imaging will show thatthe organ does not look normal and is not working properly.
Functional problems, also called motility disorders, are conditions thatresult from poor nerve and muscle function in the digestive tract. Organsthat are part of the gastrointestinal tract will usually look normal onmedical images, such asCT scansorMRI scans, but the organs do not work like they should.
The gastrointestinal system has its own nervous system to control themuscle contractions that digest the food you eat, saysDr. Linda Lee. Functional disorders can be difficult to diagnose, because we cannoteasily see problems with the nerves or muscles in the gastrointestinaltract.
Some of the conditions that could cause abdominal pain are:
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What To Do If You Have Stomach Cancer Or Ulcer Symptoms
- If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Don’t assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
- If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
- Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
- Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.
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.
Colon Cancer Or Other Serious Condition
While most instances of blood-containing stool aren’t life-threatening, its necessary to have an evaluation. Bloody stool can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colon cancer. Let us know if you experience bleeding along with a sudden change in bowel habits. This may signal a more extensive problem elsewhere in the digestive tract.
Its important to find out the cause of blood in your stool and rule out serious digestive conditions. Left untreated, bloody stool could lead to dangerous complications. If you have any digestive complaints, call our office in Annapolis to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
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What Is The Treatment For Diverticulosis
Once diverticula form, they do not disappear by themselves. Fortunately, most patients with diverticulosis do not have symptoms and, therefore, do not need treatment.
When diverticulosis is accompanied by abdominal pain, bloating or constipation, your doctor may recommend a high-fiber diet to help make stools softer and easier to pass. While it is recommended that we consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily, most people only get about half that amount. The easiest way to increase fiber intake is to eat more fruits, vegetables and grains. Apples, pears, broccoli, carrots, squash, baked beans, kidney beans, and lima beans are a few examples of high-fiber foods. As an alternative, your doctor may recommend a supplemental fiber product such as psyllium, methylcellulose, or poly-carbophil. These products come in various forms including pills, powders and wafers. Supplemental fiber products help to bulk up and soften the stool, which makes bowel movements easier to pass. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help relax spasms in the colon that cause abdominal cramping or discomfort.
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Bleeding Ulcers Symptoms And Causes
Bleeding ulcers are a big deal. Often having endoscopy is diagnostic and therapeutic. A gastroenterologist can use a fiberoptic camera to view the inside of the stomach and duodenum, searching for a source of bleeding.
Symptoms of a bleeding ulcer include:
- Abdominal discomfort after eating
- Upper abdominal burning or hunger pain 1 to 3 hours after eating or in the middle of the night
Diagnosing H Pylori Infection
If your doctor thinks that your symptoms may be due to an H. pylori infection , you may need to have one of several possible further tests. These are described below.
- A urea breath test you will be given a special drink that contains a chemical that is digested by H. pylori. Analysis of your breath after having the drink indicates whether or not you have an H. pylori infection.
- A stool antigen test a pea-sized stool sample will be tested.
- A blood test a sample of your blood will be tested for antibodies to the H. pylori bacteria. Antibodies are proteins that are produced naturally in your blood and help fight infection.
If you test positive for H. pylori, you will need treatment to clear the infection. This can heal the ulcer and, even more importantly, prevent it from coming back.
Read more about treating stomach ulcers.
Antibodies and immunoglobins are proteins in the blood. They are produced by the immune system to fight against bacteria, viruses and disease.
A biopsy is a test that involves taking a small sample of tissue from the body so it can be examined.
Blood supplies oxygen to the body and removes carbon dioxide. It is pumped around the body by the heart.
During a blood test, a sample of blood is taken from a vein using a needle, so it can be examined in a laboratory.
Stool is the solid waste matter that is passed from the body as a bowel movement.
An ulcer is a sore break in the skin, or on the inside lining of the body.
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Most Common Causes Symptoms And Home Remedies Of Stomach Ulcers That Require Immediate Attention
The formation of sores inside the lining of the stomach is called stomach ulcers. These arise when there is a deficiency in the defensive mucus that lines the stomach.
To help digest food and protect against bacteria, the stomach produces and secretes a strong acid. It also secretes a thick layer of mucus to shield the bodys tissues from this acid. If the mucus layer is rubbed off and stops working properly, the acid in the stomach starts damaging the tissue causing an ulcer.
An approximate one in ten people in Western countries at some point in their lives will have an ulcer in the stomach or small intestine. Stomach ulcers are pretty easy to cure, but if left untreated, they can cause major gut complications and other health problems.
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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