What is a stomach ulcer?
Gastric ulcers also referred to as stomach ulcers, are abrasive sores on the stomach lining. Peptic ulcer disease includes stomach ulcers as a subtype. Any ulcer that affects the stomach and small intestines is referred to as a peptic and stomach ulcer treatment.
When the thick layer of mucus that shields your stomach from digestive juices is thinner than usual, stomach ulcers develop. This makes it possible for the stomach’s lining tissues to become eroded by the digestive acids, leading to an ulcer. Although stomach ulcers are usually treatable, if left untreated, they can worsen.
Why do stomach ulcers develop?
One of the following factors almost always results in stomach ulcers:
usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for an extended period of time, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen
In rare cases, the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which causes the body to produce more acid, can result in stomach and intestinal ulcers. Less than 1% of all peptic ulcers may be brought on by this syndrome.
How common are stomach ulcers?
The prevalence of stomach ulcers is unknown. Since the 1988s, they have become much less common as a result of much more successful treatments. As a result, patients with stomach ulcers now typically recover much faster.
Peptic ulcers are referred to as ulcers brought on by an excess of stomach acid. This includes ulcers in the stomach as well as ulcers in the duodenum, the first segment of the small intestine. Duodenal ulcers are more frequent than stomach ulcer treatment.
What causes stomach ulcers?
Acid is typically produce by your stomach to aid in food digestion and to kill bacteria (bacteria). Because this acid is corrosive, certain cells on the inner lining of the stomach and the duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine, produce a natural mucous barrier. This guards the duodenal and stomach lining.
The amount of acid you produce and the mucous defense barrier are typically in balance. If there is a change in this equilibrium, an ulcer may form, allowing the acid to harm the lining of the duodenum or for stomach ulcer treatment.
Symptoms of stomach ulcers
Stomach ulcers have a variety of symptoms. The severity of the ulcer determines how bad the symptoms are.
The most typical symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen, between your chest and belly button. The discomfort can last for a few minutes to several hours and is typically worse when your stomach is empty.
Other typical ulcer warning signs and symptoms include:
- stomach ache that is persistent
- slim down
- pain preventing you from wanting to eat
- being easily satisfied
- Pain that may subside after eating, drinking, or taking antacids
- Anemia, whose signs include fatigue, breathlessness, and paler skin
- tarry, dark stools
- vomit that has blood in it or that resembles coffee grounds
If you experience any stomach ulcer symptoms, consult your doctor right away. Even though pain may only be mild, ulcers can get worse if left untreated. Ulcers that bleed can become seriously dangerous.
How to treat stomach ulcers
If an H. pylori infection leads to an ulcer, antibiotics will be use in your treatment. Eliminating the bacteria should stop the ulcer from returning.
If NSAIDs were the cause of your ulcer, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) will be use in your treatment. These will be prescribe by your doctor, who will also go over whether you should continue taking NSAIDs. It might be advise to use paracetamol as an NSAID substitute.
After treatment, most stomach ulcers take a few months to heal. After treatment, stomach ulcers can return, but this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is treated.
How are stomach ulcers diagnosed?
The most frequent method of diagnosing stomach ulcers is endoscopy, which involves inserting a flexible tube into the mouth and down to the stomach to view the ulcer with a tiny camera. Under general anesthesia, this procedure is carried out.
A stool test, an x-ray, or blood tests may also be prescribe by your doctor. Tests to look for Helicobacter pylori infection are also probably to be perform on you. This typically entails a breath test or an endoscopic stomach ulcer treatment lining test.
Dietary modifications can aid in preventing the emergence of stomach ulcers.
- Those who are susceptible to stomach ulcers should consume more of the following nutrients:
- Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential for maintaining a healthy lining of the digestive tract. These foods have cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, are high in antioxidants, inhibit acid secretion, and are rich in antioxidants. These are all crucial elements for preventing and treating ulcers, according to a 2017 study.
- Diets rich in soluble dietary fiber lower the risk of stomach ulcers developing. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infections can be lessened by eating foods with live bacteria, such as probiotic yogurt. Probiotics have been demonstrate to marginally lessen the effects of antibiotic side effects and indigestion symptoms.
- Vitamin C: When consumed in small doses over an extended period of time, this potent antioxidant may be helpful in eradicating H. pylori. Vitamin C is abundant in vegetables, fruits, and legumes like oranges and tomatoes.
Avoiding substances that increase gastric acid production, such as alcohol and caffeine, can also help lower the risk. This in turn can lead to stomach ulcers.
When to consult a physician
A doctor should be consulted by anyone who suspects they may have a stomach ulcer. Any stomach symptoms that persist for more than a few days or keep occurring require assessment and care.
An ulcer that is slowly bleeding may be indicate by anemia symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath. People may vomit up blood or have stools that are black and sticky, which indicates more serious bleeding
Another emergency is perforation. Stomach wall infections are possible if prompt treatment is not received. Any signs of being extremely ill with infection require immediate treatment, and sudden, worsening stomach pain may be an indication of a perforation.
Prevention of stomach ulcers
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to stop the spread of bacteria that could result in a stomach ulcer. Make sure to thoroughly clean all of your food as well as cook it as necessary.
Stop using these drugs (if it’s possible) or use them sparingly to prevent the ulcers that NSAIDs can cause. If you must take NSAIDs, be sure to take the dosage as directed and abstain from alcohol while taking these drugs. Moreover, you should always take these medications with food and enough liquids.