What’s stomach ulcer?
Stomach ulcers are also called gastric ulcers; it’s a sore that is painful in the lining of the stomach. A stomach ulcer is a type of diseases known as a peptic ulcer. These peptic ulcers are referred to any ulcers which affect the small intestines and the stomach together,
When there is a reduction of the thick layers of the mucus the one that has your stomach protected from the digestive juices then stomach ulcer would occur. This will enable the acids to be able to eat up the tissues that line our stomach giving way for the ulcer to occur.
If it isn’t given a protective treatment it can be severe because it may be cured easily.
What are the causes of stomach ulcers?
The stomach ulcers are caused mostly by this:
- When there is a long-term usage of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin
- Having a bacterium infection called Helicobacter pylori
There is a condition which is called Zollinger-Ellison, it’s a syndrome that rarely leads to intestinal or stomach ulcers by having the production of acid increased in the body. This syndrome is said to lead to less than one perfect of the peptic ulcers altogether.
What are stomach ulcers symptoms?
There are various symptoms which are associated with a stomach ulcer. The symptoms severity is dependable on how severe the ulcer is.
The symptom that is very common is the pain which is at the middle of the abdomen and it’s going to be between your belly button and your chest or the burning sensation. Typically, when the stomach is empty, the pain will become very intense and it might go on for a few minutes or even several hours.
Other signs and symptoms which are common in ulcers include:
- Weight loss
- Vomiting or having nausea
- Acid reflux or burping
- Having a dull pain inside your stomach
- Can’t be able to eat
- Getting full easily
- Having heartburn, having a burning sensation inside your chest
- When you drink, eat, or have antacids taken the pain might improve
- Tarry and dark stools
- Bloody vomits or it might look like a coffee ground
- Anemia, which its symptoms can be having breath shortness, paler skin, tiredness
Have a discussion with your physician in case you notice any of the stomach ulcer symptoms. You might feel the discomfort a bit mild though, they can get worse if they are left untreated. When it’s a bleeding ulcer it can be a life-threatening issue.
How can they diagnose stomach ulcers?
The treatment and the diagnosis majorly would be according to your symptoms and how severe is your ulcer. To have a stomach ulcer diagnosed, your physician will have your history in medicals reviewed along also your symptoms with also the prescription you were taking or the medications you got over-the-counter.
To have the H. pylori infection ruled out, a stool, breath test, or blood might get ordered. If it’s the breath test, you would be made to have a drink of a liquid that is clear and a bag would be given for you to breather inside, and then sealed. If there is a presence of H. pylori, there will be high levels of the carbon dioxide which would be above the normal level.
Other procedures and test which can be used for diagnosing stomach ulcers are:
- Endoscopy (EGD): a thin tube which is light would get inserted inside the stomach and also your small intestine first part via your mouth. This procedure is being used to check for bleeding, ulcers, with tissues that are looking abnormal.
- Endoscopic biopsy: a piece from the stomach tissue would be cut out in order to check it in the lab.
- Barium swallow: barium which is a white liquid and its thick would be given to you to drink, it will have your gastrointestinal tract which is up coated in order to assist your physician to take a look at your small intestine and stomach through X-rays.
Have the interactive 3D diagram explored for you to understand more on stomach ulcers?
Having stomach ulcers treated
The treatment will vary on the different causes of the ulcers. Majority of the ulcers can get treated through a doctor prescription, but in cases that are rare, it might require surgery.
It’s very crucial to have the stomach ulcer treated very fast. Have a discussion with your physician to have a treatment plan discussed. If it’s a bleeding ulcer you have you might be hospitalized likely for treatment that would be intensive using the IV ulcer or endoscopy medications. A blood transfusion might also be required.
If its H. pylori infections that resulted in your ulcer there will be a need for drugs and antibiotics which are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The cells in the stomach which produces acid would be blocked by PPIs.
In addition to the above treatments, your physician can recommend also:
- That all NSAIDs usage should be stopped
- Have endoscopy follow up
- H2 blockers receptor ( the drugs which have the production of acid blocked)
- Bismuth supplement
- Probiotics ( a bacteria that is useful and can play a role when it comes having pylori killed)
The stomach ulcers symptoms can quickly get subside with treatment. Even though, the symptoms disappear, the medication which was prescribed by the physician should be taken continuously. This is very crucial most especially if it’s the H. pylori infections in order to allow all the bacteria to be eliminated.
Some of the side effects of the medications being used for stomach ulcers treatment include:
- Abdominal pain
These are temporary side effects. If you notice any of them causing you discomfort extremely, have a discussion with your physician on having your medication changed.