Stomach Ulcers 101; Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

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.You might be aware of the term ulcer. It is quite common and many people suffer from ulcers in various parts of their body. Stomach ulcers are the most common form of ulcers and simple stomach ulcer treatment options can prevent and cure them.

Stomach ulcers are sores in the stomach’s lining. These are also termed as gastric ulcers. These ulcers originate when the thick mucous layer protecting stomach tissues from gastric juices erode and gastric juices come into direct contact with gastric tissues. These juices eat away the tissues lining the stomach and create painful open sores.

You may think that stomach ulcers are painful but not much harmful but these can render you unable to take even a morsel of food. Stomach ulcer treatment is an absolute necessity even in the early stages to prevent any further damage and serious complications.

Causes of Stomach Ulcer

The following reasons can cause stomach ulcers:

  • An infection because of H-pylori
  • Continuous and long-term use of painkillers
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Poor lifestyle choices

Symptoms of Gastric Ulcer

Almost always the first symptom of having a stomach ulcer is a pain in the stomach or a burning sensation.

View detailed symptoms and doctor details regarding stomach ulcers.

Here are some other symptoms of gastric ulcers.

  • Heartburn
  • Pain in the stomach particularly in an area lying between the belly button and chest.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Acid reflux
  • Reduced appetite
  • Pain that gets better after eating or drinking and worsens on an empty stomach
  • Dark stools
  • Vomit that resembles coffee ground

Diagnosis of Stomach Ulcer

Various lab tests and investigations like family and medical history, medications are used for diagnosing stomach ulcers. A proper diagnosis can lead to proper stomach ulcer treatment.

Breath Test

To find if H.pylori caused the ulcer the practitioner may investigate a blood or stool sample. They also used a breath test for this. They will ask you to exhale in a sterile bag. The levels of carbon dioxide, if found to be usually high, will predict the presence of H.pylori.

Barium test

You will drink barium in liquid form which will coat your GIT and upper respiratory tract. Enabling the doctor to see your intestine and stomach clearly on X-ray.

Endoscopy

A light and camera on a thin wire are inserted via nose or mouth to view the small intestine, esophagus, and stomach. Any bleeding, sore, or abnormal-looking tissues can be diagnosed using this method.

Endoscopic biopsy

This method is used to take out a small piece of stomach tissue and analyze it in a laboratory.

Treatment of Stomach Ulcers

The treatment plan for stomach ulcers is different for every patient depending upon the severity of symptoms. Medicines like H2-receptor blockers can be used in combination with others. Using NSAIDs is prohibited as these may worsen stomach ulcers. Other measures include surgery, for cases where medications are not effective and stomach ulcers become recurrent. The treatment plan for stomach ulcers is devised by a gastroenterologist. To find and consult the best gastroenterologists in Pakistan use Marham.pk.

Stomach Ulcer Treatment Through Diet

It had long been believed that certain foods can cause ulcers but science has clarified this myth that ulcers cannot be due to food alone and there are several contributing factors in this regard. However, the effect of a healthy diet cannot be disregarded in aiding the treatment of ulcers. On the whole eating, a healthy diet can help sustain gut health and keep ulcers at bay. Foods that boost natural gut flora can keep H.pylori infections away. These foods include:

  • Probiotic-rich foods
  • Apples
  • Olive oil
  • Blueberries
  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli

Antibiotics

If you have an H pylori infection, antibiotics can help a lot. Your doctor will prescribe you a course of two antibiotics. The most common antibiotics used for this purpose are amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole. You may feel some mild side effects like feeling sick, diarrhea, and a metallic taste in your mouth.

According to the NHS guidelines, you will be retested after 4 weeks to check for any H pylori left in the stomach. If the infection persists a further course using different antibiotics will be carried out.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

These reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Acids in the stomach can cause further damage and irritate the ulcers. Your doctor will comment you PPIs for 4-8 weeks. These might show some side effects like

  • headaches
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • feeling sick
  • abdominal pain
  • dizziness
  • rashes

Omeprazole, pantoprazole, and lansoprazole are the most common protein pump inhibitors used to treat ulcers

H2-receptor antagonists

H2-receptor antagonists work by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces. The most widely used H2-receptor antagonist is Ranitidine. Side effects are uncommon, but you may feel headaches. rashes, dizziness, tiredness, or diarrhea.

Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with top gastroenterologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online appointment booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.

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Sehrish
She is pharmacist by profession and has worked with several health care setups.She began her career as health and lifestyle writer.She is adept in writing and editing informative articles for both consumer and scientific audiences,as well as patient education materials.

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