Home Health Topics Stomach Ulcers and What You Can Do About Them

Stomach Ulcers and What You Can Do About Them

by Gauri Kolhe

What is Stomach Ulcer?

 Stomach ulcers are painful sores that develop on the lining of stomach and also known as gastric ulcers. Stomach ulcers are kind of peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are not different from the stomach ulcers they just occur in the area of esophagus, stomach or small intestine.

The inner linings of the stomach are designed to secrete mucus that work as protective barrier and block the contact of inner lining to whatever we eat, gastric juices or acid present in the stomach. When thick layer of mucus disappear or inner lining fails to secrete the mucus stomach ulcers appears.

Stomach ulcers may be easily treatable but leaving them untreated cause severe medical conditions.

Causes of Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers cause discomfort in daily life. They can be causes by various reasons.

The first cause of stomach ulcers is the infection causes by helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori). Another reason of stomach ulcers is the long term use of the nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen or paracetamol.  

A medical condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome which is very rare can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing production of acid inside the boy. Less than 1 % of peptic ulcers believed to cause by this syndrome.

Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers

There are numbers of symptoms is associated with stomach ulcers and severity symptoms determine the severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.

Sometimes you feel some burning sensation or pain in middle of the abdomen. This one is the primary symptom of the stomach ulcers. This pain is intense when your stomach is empty and can last for few minutes to several hours.

Despite the pain there are other symptoms related to stomach ulcers are as follows.

  • Dull pain in the stomach
  • Burping or acid reflux
  • nausea or vomiting
  • Burning sensation in the chest which is called as heartburn
  •  bloating
  • Weight loss
  • No desire to eat because of pain
  • Feeling easily full
  • 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 that’s bloody or looks like coffee grounds

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms than don’t ignore just go to your doctor and discuss this with doctor and get a proper treatment. Non-treated ulcers leads worsen the condition even bleeding ulcers can become life threatening.              

Diagnosis of Stomach Ulcers

Diagnosis and treatment of the stomach ulcer depends on the symptoms and severity of ulcer. You doctor will diagnose by reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and prescription you were taking.

A blood test, stool test or breath test may be recommended by the doctor in order to determine.

Here are some diagnosis tests and their procedures are given below.

 To detect H. pylori infection blood, stool and breathing test recommend. In breathing test person instructed to drink a clear liquid and breath into the bag then this bag sealed. He breath simply contain higher amount of carbon dioxide in case of having H.pylori infection. .

Endoscopy (EGD) is sophisticated technique to detect the stomach ulcers. In this technique a thin lighted tube inserted into mouth and go  through the esophagus to stomach  and first part of intestine. That lighted tube has a camera that shows what happening inside the stomach on the monitor.

Barium swallowing is another method used to diagnose stomach ulcers. In this test you need to swallow barium liquid that make a coating on upper gastrointestinal tract and doctor see the whole stomach and intestines with the help of x-ray.

Endoscopic biopsy is associated with taking a sample of stomach tissue by separating the tissue followed by the analysis of tissue in the laboratory.

Treatment Stomach Ulcers

Similar to the symptoms Treatment of the ulcers will vary depending on the cause and severity of your ulcer. Most of the stomach ulcers can be treated simply by the medicines that your doctor prescribed. In rare cases surgery will be required.

Treatment of ulcers is very important to avoid further complications. Go to your doctor talk to him and get a treatment plan. In case of severe bleeding you’ll likely have to hospitalize for intensive treatment by getting endoscopy and IV ulcer medications.  

Nonsurgical Treatment of the Ulcers

If the test result out as H.pylori infection than you just need to take antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPI) drugs prescribed by your doctor. PPIs drugs show their effect on ulcers by blocking the production of acid in stomach.

In addition doctor may also recommend:

  • H2 receptor blockers (drugs that also block acid production)
  • Stopping the use of all NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen etc.
  • Follow-up endoscopy
  • Consuming probiotic that are useful bacteria and play an important role in destruction of H. Pylori bacteria.  
  • They recommend you having some bismuth supplements

With proper treatment Symptoms of an ulcer may subside quickly but you should continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor after appearing the symptoms until he tells you to stop taking medication.  

Medications used to treat stomach ulcers can cause Side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

The side effects of medications are typically temporary. If any of above side effects cause extreme discomfort than don’t take it easy just go to your doctor and ask changing the medication.

Surgical Treatment of Stomach Ulcers

Surgical treatment of stomach ulcers needed in very rare cases of complications in ulcers. These cases could be:

  • If ulcers continue to return again and again
  • If they don’t heal properly
  • If there is a bleeding in the ulcers
  • tear through the stomach
  • keep food from flowing out of the stomach into the small intestine

Surgery may have results as below:

  • removal of the entire ulcer
  • cutting off the nerve supply to the stomach to reduce the production of stomach acid
  • taking tissue from another part of the intestines and patching it over the ulcer site
  • tying off a bleeding artery

Healthy Diet

Healthy diets are helpful in the ulcers. According to health experts some food plays a role in healing the ulcers and help fight against H.pylroi infection.   

  • broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and radishes
  • leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
  • probiotic-rich foods, such as sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, yogurt (especially with lactobacillus and Sacharomyces)
  • apples
  • blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries
  • olive oil

Since ulcers may have accompanying the acid reflux disease so it is good to avoid junk food, spicy food and oily food.  

Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcers

With eating healthy food having some probiotics, honey and food sources glutamine of that include chicken, cabbage, eggs and spinach etc are work as home remedies to treat stomach ulcers. However these supplements are not recommended to replace medications

When should you consult a doctor?

If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to call you doctor right away:

  • cutting off the nerve supply to the stomach to reduce the production of stomach acid
  • cutting off the nerve supply to the stomach to reduce the production of stomach acid
  • weakness
  • trouble breathing

Prevention of Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers can be prevented by simply making hygiene, wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Thoroughly clean your utensils in the kitchen and fruits and vegetables you eat. Stop using NSAIDs to prevent stomach ulcers.

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