How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
It’s not known exactly how common stomach ulcers are. They have become much less common since the 1980s because of much more effective treatments. So people with stomach ulcers now usually get better much more quickly.
The term ‘peptic ulcer’ is used to describe ulcers that are caused by too much acid in the stomach. This includes stomach ulcers and also ulcers in the first part of the gut known as the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are less common than duodenal ulcers.
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.
How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers
This article was medically reviewed by Roy Nattiv, MD. Dr. Roy Nattiv is a board-certified Pediatric Gastroenterologist in Los Angeles, California. who specializes in a broad range of pediatric gastrointestinal and nutritional illnesses such as constipation, diarrhea, reflux, food allergies, poor weight gain, SIBO, IBD, and IBS. Dr. Nattiv received his undergrad degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel. He completed his pediatric residency at the Childrens Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and his fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco . While at UCSF, he was a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine fellowship trainee and was awarded the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Fellow to Faculty Award in Pediatric IBD Research. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Nattiv is active in the research community and has been published in several high-impact medical journals.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 23 testimonials and 80% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,718,506 times.
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How Are Esophageal Ulcers Caused
The main causes of esophageal ulcers are:
Exposure to stomach acid: This causes chronic inflammation and irritation of the esophagus, allowing ulcers to develop. Stomach acid exposure most often occurs in people with other gastrointestinal conditions. These can include hiatal hernias and GERD, or gastrointestinal reflux disease, more commonly referred to, as severe heartburn.
Caustic injury: Esophageal ulcers may be caused by ingesting a corrosive substance. This type of injury mostly affects children, but it can also occur in adults who experience psychosis, suicidal tendencies, or who are abusing alcohol.
Certain types of gastric surgery or foreign bodies can also cause esophageal ulcers.
Early intervention is key to preventing complications from esophageal ulcers.
In cases of acid reflux, treatment may include:
- Medication, such as antacids, H-2-receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors .
- Dietary and lifestyle changes, to aid digestion.
- Surgery, for severe cases. Types of surgeries include to tighten the LES valve near the top of the stomach or to insert a magnetic device to help the LES valve function.
Burning Pain In Your Abdomen
This may seem like a no-brainer but the most common sign that people experience when they have a stomach ulcer is a persistent burning pain in their abdomen. This sensation occurs when juices in the stomach used for digestion come into contact with the open sore. For the most part, the pain is felt from the breastbone to navel and is often worse at night than during the day. On the other hand, if you are someone who frequently skips meals, you may find that you experience this pain much throughout the daytime.
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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.
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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Peptic Ulcer Facts And Picture
- Peptic ulcer are sores in the lining of the esophagus, stomach or duodenum.
- The main symptom of a stomach or duodenal ulcer is upper abdominal pain, which can be dull, sharp, or burning .
- Other associated symptoms may include:
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Feeling satiated when eating
How Can I Tell If I Have A Peptic Ulcer
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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Do Stomach Ulcers Go Away
Treatment Overview Left untreated, many ulcers eventually heal. But ulcers often recur if the cause of the ulcer is not eliminated or treated. If ulcers keep coming back, you have an increased risk of developing a serious complication, such as bleeding or a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine.
How To Treat Stomach Ulcers
It is important to get treatment for a stomach ulcer because they can worsen if ignored. Peptic ulcers can lead to internal bleeding, a perforation in your stomach, an obstruction in your digestive tract, or even stomach cancer.
If you experience sharp, sudden stomach pain that doesnt go away trouble breathing unexplained weight loss bloody, dark, or tarry stools or are vomiting blood or what looks like coffee grounds, you should see a doctor immediately. Any of these symptoms could indicate that the ulcer has caused a more serious problem.
A gastroenterologist at Digestive Health Centers can help diagnose and treat peptic ulcers. They can use endoscopic equipment to confirm a diagnosis of peptic ulcers and to determine your best course of treatment. While performing an upper endoscopy, your physician can see irregularities in the lining of your stomach and even take samples to test for H. pylori infection.
Heliobacter pylori can be successfully treated with antibiotics, and an acid reducer may also be prescribed to allow the ulcers to heal. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever that can be used in place of NSAIDs if your ulcers are caused by an overuse of pain relievers.
If you choose to seek treatment at Digestive Health Centers, a board certified, fellowship-trained gastroenterologist can help you repair your stomach and ease the pain caused by ulcers. Contact us today to begin your recovery!
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What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
Thegood news, the open sore is curable. Some effective treatments are available toget rid of the problem without leaving after effects.
Treatmentplan depends on the underlying cause of the open sore. If it has to do with H.pylori infection, the use of antibiotics is a must. And you have to completethe course of these antibiotics to make sure that the infection is healedcompletely.
Sincestomach acid also has an effect on healing process a higher, uncontrolledacid can make the open sore take longer to heal treatments to reduce or blockacid production are also necessary. These include proton pump inhibitors and histamine blockers.
Alongwith a few modifications of lifestyle , treatments are oftensuccessful to carry a cure for most patients. Surgery is now rarely used!
Thekey is to take treatment as early as possible. Because once the problem becomesadvanced, its relatively more difficult to treat and likely to causecomplications such as internal bleeding, blockage , or even alife-threatening perforation .
Soknowing any related signs and symptoms of stomach ulcer are important so youcan seek medical help immediately when you have to!
Your Appetite Went Mia
For many patients with ulcers, the condition can actually result in a loss of appetite. This drop in food intake, combined with occasional vomiting, may lead to unexpected weight loss. Some ulcer patients report eating their normal amount of food, yet still lose weight, so the ulcer itself may cause a drop on the scale, too.
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Peptic Ulcer Disease Vs Angina
Usually, it’s not particularly difficult for a healthcare provider to distinguish chest pain caused by peptic ulcer disease from angina caused by coronary artery disease . The characteristics of the two types of pain are usually quite different.
Peptic ulcer pain is not induced by exercise and relieved by rest . The gnawing pain accompanied by bloating and nausea is quite different from that of typical angina.
Nonetheless, because angina itself can have a noncardiac presentation, it may become important to do confirmatory tests to pin down the diagnosis.
Endoscopy is the favored method of diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease, especially in people who have evidence of bleeding or have had severe symptoms.
Testing for the presence of Helicobacter pylori may also be helpful. X-rays of the upper digestive system may also be recommended.
If your healthcare provider is concerned about the possibility of CAD, a stress test may be helpful in distinguishing between these two problems.
What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.
The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Less common ulcer symptoms may include:
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Bloody or black stool
- Vomiting blood
Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
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What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feels Like
Stomach ulcer pain usually begins in the upper middle part of the abdomen, above the belly button and below the breastbone. The pain may feel like burning or gnawing that may go through to the back. The onset of the pain may occur several hours after a meal when the stomach is empty. Patients have reported paint to be worse at night as opposed to the morning. Pain duration may vary from a few minutes to several hours. Pain may be relieved by foods, antacids or vomiting.
Stomach Ulcer Risk Factors
A few risk factors can make it more likely that a peptic ulcer will develop.
- Smoking especially in people who are already infected with H. pylori
- Drinking alcohol
- Having a family history of ulcers
Additionally, people who take NSAIDs are more likely to develop an ulcer if they:
- Are over 70 years of age
- Take high doses of NSAIDs
- Are female
- Have a personal history of ulcer disease
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Stomach Ulcer Burning Pain What Does It Feel Like
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.
The Common Culprits To Blame
Yourstomach has thick layer of mucus to protect its soft lining. An open sore mayform in the stomach lining when this mucus coating is diminished.
Withimproper functioning of the layer, the soft lining is more vulnerable to getdamaged from irritating things like extreme stomach acid when the stomachdigests food. The digestive acid may eat away at the soft tissue of thestomach, resulting in an ulcer.
There are several causes to blame. But youre probably surprised to know that bacterial infection and pain relievers are the most common culprits behind the problem.
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Other Causes And Factors
Other causes are rare. For example, some viral infections can cause a stomach ulcer. Crohn’s disease may cause a stomach ulcer in addition to other problems of the gut.
Stomach cancer may at first look similar to an ulcer. Stomach cancer is uncommon but may need to be ‘ruled out’ if you are found to have a stomach ulcer.
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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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.
Antacids And H2 Blockers
Antacids neutralize existing acid in the stomach. Antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, and Amphojel are safe and effective treatments. However, the neutralizing action of these agents is short-lived, and frequent dosing is required. Magnesium containing antacids, such as Maalox and Mylanta, can cause diarrhea, while aluminum containing agents like Amphojel can cause constipation. Ulcers frequently return when antacids are discontinued.
Studies have shown that a protein released in the stomach called histamine stimulates gastric acid secretion. Histamine antagonists are drugs designed to block the action of histamine on gastric cells and reduce the production of acid. Examples of H2 blockers are cimetidine , nizatidine , and famotidine . While H2 blockers are effective in ulcer healing, they have a limited role in eradicating H. pylori without antibiotics. Therefore, ulcers frequently return when H2 blockers are stopped.
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