Open sores on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper region of your small intestine are known as peptic ulcers. Stomach discomfort is the most prevalent sign of a peptic ulcer. The following are examples of peptic ulcers:
The ulcers on the inside of the stomach are known as gastric ulcers
These are ulcers that form on the interior of your small intestine's upper part (duodenum)
The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can be sometimes be the causes of peptic ulcers.
Symptoms of Ulcer
- Burning stomach pain
- Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching
- Intolerance to fatty foods
The most typical sign of a peptic ulcer is burning stomach discomfort. Stomach acid, as well as having an empty stomach, aggravates the pain. Eat some meals that buffer stomach acid or take an acid-reducing medication to alleviate the pain, but it may return. It's possible that the discomfort will be worse between meals and at night.
Many persons with peptic ulcers have no symptoms at all. Ulcers can also generate severe indications and symptoms, such as:
- Vomiting or vomiting blood (which can be red or black in color)
- Feces with dark blood, or stools that are black or tarry
- Breathing problems
- Feeling dizzy
- Vomiting or nausea
- Weight loss that isn't explained
- Appetite shifts
When to see a doctor?
If you have any of the above-mentioned serious indications or symptoms, you should see a doctor. Get the best treatment for ulcers from the top Gastroenterologists in India at Medicover Hospitals.
Causes of Ulcer
The acid in the digestive tract irritates and corrodes the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine, causing peptic ulcers. The acid might cause an open sore that is uncomfortable and may bleed.
A mucous layer coats your digestive tract, which generally protects it from acid. However, if the amount of acid produced increases or the amount of mucus produced decreases, an ulcer may form.
Among the most common causes are:
Helicobacter pylori bacteria are typically found in the mucous layer that covers and protects the stomach and small intestine tissues. The H. pylori bacterium usually causes no problems, but it can create ulcers by inflaming the stomach's inner layer. The exact mechanism by which H. pylori infection spreads is unknown. It can be passed from one person to the next through close contacts. H. pylori can also be contracted by food and drink.
Use of some pain medicines on a regular basis
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin and other over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers, can irritate or inflame the lining of the stomach and small intestine. Ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, ketoprofen, and other medicines are among them. They are devoid of acetaminophen.
Other drugs are available
Other drugs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, alendronate, and risedronate, when taken with NSAIDs, might dramatically increase the risk of ulcers.
In addition to the hazards associated with using NSAIDs, you may be at a higher risk of developing peptic ulcers if you:
In patients infected with H. pylori, smoking may increase the risk of peptic ulcers.
Consume alcoholic beverages
Alcohol can irritate and dissolve your stomach's mucous lining, as well as increase the amount of stomach acid produced.
Have stress that is not being addressed.
Eat Spicy food
If you consume too spicy meals.
These variables do not create ulcers on their own, but they can aggravate them and make them more difficult to heal.
Person who is at higher risk for developing an ulcer should follow some precautions to reduce the risk of developing a peptic ulcer such as -
- Eating foods that have been fully cooked.
- When it comes to pain medicines, be cautious. Take actions to limit your risk of stomach troubles if you regularly use pain medicines that increase your chance of peptic ulcer.
- Do not smoke, it harms stomach and all parts of the body
- Limit alcoholic beverages, and not mix alcohol with medications.
- To avoid infections, wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen usage should be limited (Aleve)
- Take your medications with food.
- Avoid foods that irritate your stomach.
- Don't take an overdose on iron supplements.
- Don't take over-the-counter medications.
Diagnosis of Ulcer
Following are the tests suggested for diagnosing an ulcer:
If the symptoms are severe, the doctor may suggest an upper endoscopy to see if you have an ulcer. The doctor uses an endoscope (a short, illuminated tube with a tiny camera) to examine for abnormalities in your throat and stomach during this treatment.
H. pylori tests
These are now commonly available, and your doctor will design a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms while also killing the bacteria. The quickest way to find out if you have H. pylori is to do a breath test. A blood or stool test, or a sample taken during an upper endoscopy, can also be used to check for it.
Imaging techniques such as X-rays and CT scans are utilized to detect ulcers. You must consume a special liquid that covers the digestive tract and allows the imaging devices to see ulcers more clearly.
Treatment for Ulcer
- Peptic ulcer treatment is determined by the cause of the ulcer. Typically, treatment involves destroying the H. pylori bacterium if it is present, lowering or eliminating the use of NSAIDs if possible, and aiding the healing of your ulcer using medication.
- Antibiotic medicines are used to kill H. pylori. If H. pylori are discovered in your stomach, your doctor may prescribe a combination of medications to destroy the bacteria. Amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, tinidazole, tetracycline, and levofloxacin are examples of antibiotics.
- Medications that reduce the generation of acid. Acid blockers, also known as histamine (H-2) blockers, work by lowering the amount of stomach acid released into the digestive tract, reducing ulcer discomfort and promoting healing.
- Acid blockers include famotidine (Pepcid AC), cimetidine (Tagamet HB), and nizatidine, which are available by prescription or over-the-counter (Axid AR).
- Antacids are stomach acid neutralizers. Your doctor may prescribe an antacid as part of your treatment plan. Antacids neutralize stomach acid and can provide pain relief quickly. Depending on the major constituents, side effects may include constipation or diarrhea.
- Antacids can help with symptom alleviation, but they aren't usually used to treat ulcers.
- Medications that protect the stomach and small intestine lining. Your doctor may prescribe cytoprotective medicines, which assist protect the tissues that lining your stomach and small intestine in specific circumstances.
Dos and Don’ts
The symptoms of ulcer respond quickly to what you consume. This necessitates following a set of do’s and don’ts to manage it and related symptoms. Lifestyle changes, dietary modifications and healthy discipline is needed to counter this condition.
|Eat light foods.||Eat half-cooked food, meat, etc.|
|Wash your hands very frequently.||Take over-the-counter medications.|
|Limit certain medicines that may aggravate symptoms.||Do smoking.|
|Take medications after food.||Eat foods that irritate the stomach.|
|Limit soft drink beverages or alcoholic beverages.||Take an overdose on iron supplements.|
Following the healthy guidelines and following up with your doctor is crucial to cure ulcers. Regular monitoring of this condition is also required to check for the effectiveness of the treatment. Remember, if left untreated, the consequences can be serious, as the ulcer will spread causing a lot of discomfort. So, take care of yourself, follow the guidelines and seek treatment as advised.
Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis of Ulcers, based on which a dedicated treatment plan is designed. We have an excellent team of gastroenterologists who diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision that brings successful treatment outcomes.