A stomach ulcer, also called a gastric ulcer, is a break in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). It may occur when stomach acids come into contact with the unprotected lining of the stomach or small intestine. This may happen when there is a decrease in the production of mucus, which normally protects these tissues.
Well, in this article we are discussing peptic ulcer in detail so that there will be no confusion at all and one can figure out the symptoms and reach the doctor as well. Let’s have a look!
Symptoms of stomach ulcers:
The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of the abdomen. The pain is often described as a sharp, cramping, or aching sensation and is usually worse when the stomach is empty. Other symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Blood in the stool
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor so that they can rule out other potential causes and start you on the appropriate treatment. Left untreated, stomach ulcers can lead to serious complications, such as:
- Increased Risk Of Stomach Cancer
Read More: What are the stomach cramps in men?
Causes of stomach ulcers:
Most stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). H. pylori infection is common and occurs when the bacterium infects your stomach. This can happen after you eat contaminated food or water, or have close contact with someone who has the infection.
H.pylori infection can cause inflammation and sometimes damage the lining of your stomach or small intestine. This can lead to a peptic ulcer.
Other possible causes of stomach ulcers include:
- Long-term use of certain pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. This is more likely to happen if you take these medications on an empty stomach.
- Long-term use of steroids, such as prednisone.
- Cancer, such as gastric cancer.
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.
- Radiation therapy.
- Bile reflux is the backflow of bile from the small intestine into the stomach.
- Viruses, such as the Helicobacter pylori virus.
Diagnosis of stomach ulcers:
For the diagnosis of ulcers, there are a variety of tests that doctors consider and these are as follows:
- Laboratory tests for bacteria.
- Upper gastrointestinal series
Treatment of stomach ulcers:
The treatment options for stomach ulcers are:
Medications are the mainstay of ulcer treatment. Most people with ulcers heal with a combination of an acid-suppressing medicine and an antibiotic.
These medicines reduce the production of stomach acid. Having less stomach acid means that the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is less likely to be disrupted, and ulcers are less likely to form. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine blockers (H2 blockers) are the two main types of acid-suppressing medicines.
You’ll need to take these for a week or two to kill the H. pylori bacteria if it’s present. If you have an ulcer caused by NSAIDs, you won’t need antibiotics.
If medications don’t heal your ulcer, or if you have bleeding or perforation, you may need surgery. One type of surgery is called partial gastrectomy. This is also known as a hemigastrectomy or surgery to remove half of the stomach.
Visit Dr. Shankar Dhaka for treatment!
Dr. Shankar Dhaka is a world-renowned gastroenterologist in Jaipur who has been practicing for years. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of digestive disorders and is widely considered to be the best gastroenterologist in Jaipur. Dr. Dhaka’s patients receive the highest quality of care and attention, and he always takes the time to thoroughly explain all treatment options. His aim is to provide each patient with the best possible outcome, and he has an excellent success rate. If you are suffering from any gut-related problems, then you should definitely consult with Dr. Dhaka.
Q.1 Is a peptic ulcer serious?
Yes, a peptic ulcer can be a very serious condition. If left untreated, a peptic ulcer can lead to serious health complications, such as bleeding, perforation, or obstruction of the stomach or intestine. If you suspect that you may have a peptic ulcer, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Q.2 How long can peptic ulcer disease last?
Peptic ulcer disease can last for a long time, especially if it is not treated properly. The symptoms, such as pain and burning in the stomach, can come and go and may be worse when you are under stress. If the ulcer is not treated, it can damage the lining of your stomach or duodenum and lead to bleeding.
Q.3 Can a peptic ulcer be cancerous?
Peptic ulcers can be very painful, and they are a common cause of abdominal pain. Though most peptic ulcers are not cancerous, a small minority of them can develop into cancer. This is more likely to happen if the ulcer is large, if it bleeds, or if it does not heal with treatment.
Q.4 How long do stomach ulcers last?
The length of time that stomach ulcers last can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the ulcer. Some ulcers may clear up within a week or two, while others may last for months or even years. Chronic ulcers may need long-term treatment to heal and prevent them from recurring.
Q.5 Can an ulcer recover by itself?
It is possible for an ulcer to heal on its own if the underlying cause is addressed. For example, if the ulcer is due to an infection, the infection will need to be treated before the ulcer can heal. If the ulcer is due to a medication, the medication will need to be changed. If the ulcer is due to stress, the stress will need to be managed. In some cases, an ulcer can reoccur if the underlying cause is not addressed.
Q.6 Is milk good for ulcers?
There are mixed opinions on whether milk is good for ulcers. Some say that milk can help coat the stomach and protect it from further irritation. Others believe that milk can actually increase stomach acid and make ulcers worse. Some experts recommend avoiding milk altogether if you have an ulcer. The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor or dietitian to see if milk is right for you.
Q.7 Can stress cause ulcers?
It’s a common question, and the answer isn’t simple. While stress may not directly cause ulcers, it can contribute to other underlying factors that can lead to ulcers, such as excess stomach acid production and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. Additionally, stress can worsen ulcer symptoms and make them more difficult to treat.