Stomach Ulcers – Everything You Need to Know
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- Olivia Grande
- April 12, 2023
Stomach ulcers are a common digestive issue that can cause pain, inflammation and bleeding within the lining of your stomach and small intestines.
Ulcers are usually cause by an infection call Helicobacter pylori. Other risks include smoking and alcohol.
Stomach ulcers are most often cause by infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria. This bacteria causes mucus that lines your stomach and small intestine to erode away, leading to erosion and the development of ulcers.
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can also lead to ulcers by irritating or inflaming your stomach lining. Other potential irritants include smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Ulcers may be temporarily resolve by changing your diet, decreasing NSAID use or other factors; however, it may take time for the ulcer to heal completely.
If you have a stomach ulcer, your doctor will work to identify the source and treat it accordingly. Treatment may involve medicines to reduce stomach acid and antibiotics if there is an H. pylori infection present. Other methods of management could include changing up diet to limit NSAIDs or replacing them with acetaminophen (Tylenol), as well as avoiding certain foods from your diet.
Stomach ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach or duodenum, which may cause pain and indigestion. They also obstruct food passage through your digestive system and may bleed or split if left untreated.
Most ulcers are cause by an infection with H. pylori, which is found in about half of people worldwide and usually begins during the early stages of ulcer development with no visible symptoms; however, if left untreated it can lead to chronic inflammation of your stomach or duodenum lining.
Treatment for a stomach ulcer involves killing the infection with antibiotics and acid-blocking drugs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be used to relieve symptoms of a stomach ulcer; however, these carry risks of further damage to your stomach or duodenum lining.
Other potential complications of peptic ulcers include internal bleeding, perforation in the stomach or duodenum and obstruction. Shock from blood loss – which requires immediate medical attention – is another serious complication associated with ulcers.
Peptic ulcers are typically treat with a course of drugs that reduce stomach acid production and help heal the lining. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection that typically leads to these ulcers.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history and lifestyle habits (like smoking or using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)) Like Mucaine Gel. They may also perform an endoscopic gastroduodenogram (EGD), which uses a flexible camera to view inside of the stomach and duodenum).
Most people experience relief from symptoms after treatment. It’s important to avoid taking NSAIDs or other heartburn medications that could reopen an ulcer.
If you have an ulcer, it is essential to be aware of the potential complications that could arise. Some of these could even be life-threatening.
Internal bleeding, perforation and gastric outlet obstruction are all serious consequences of stomach ulcers. These complications may cause a drop in blood pressure as well as symptoms like dizziness, weakness, pale skin and rapid heartbeat.
An ulcer that penetrates through the upper lining of the stomach may spread throughout the intestines and lead to peritonitis (a severe infection of the peritoneum). If left untreated, this infection has the potential to spread into the bloodstream (septicemia), a potentially lethal condition.
Treatment usually consists of two antibiotics and an acid-suppressing medicine, known as “triple therapy.” Generally speaking, this combination has proven successful; however, some people don’t respond well to this treatment and may need additional medication. To make sure their treatment is working effectively, those patients is test periodically for signs of recurrence.