Stomach Ulcer – Condition

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Overview

Stomach ulcers, sometimes referred to as gastric ulcers, are painful sores that develop on the stomach’s lining over time and cause discomfort. Peptic ulcer disease, which includes stomach ulcers, is a kind of digestive disorder. Peptic ulcers are stomach and small intestine ulcers that may cause harm to both the stomach and the small intestine if left untreated. Ulcers may also form in the small intestine, which is situated immediately after the stomach and is responsible for digestion. Duodenal ulcers are the medical term for this condition.

A reduction in the thickness of the mucus layer that shields your stomach from digestive fluids is believed to be the cause of stomach ulcer. Because of this, the digestive acids may eat away at the stomach’s lining tissues over time, resulting in the formation of an ulcer in the stomach wall.

If not treated properly, they may progress to a more serious state. In certain circumstances, the complications may be very serious, even life threatening in some instances. Infection at the location of the ulcer is one of the most often seen consequences. Another complication is rupture of the stomach lining at the location of the ulcer, which is referred to as gastric blockage in medical terms. Third, gastric blockage may occur as a result of the ulcer preventing food from passing through the digestive tract.

Causes

Stomach ulcers are most often caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), although they may also be caused by long-term use of NSAIDs. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is an uncommon disease that may cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by boosting the body’s production of acid in the stomach and intestines.

H. pylori attaches to the digestive system’s mucus layer and causes inflammation (irritation), which may result in the disintegration of this protective covering. This breakdown is problematic since your stomach has a high concentration of acid, which is intended to aid in the correct digestion of your food. If a protective mucus covering does not protect the stomach tissue, the acid may eat away at it. In this way, it causes ulcers.

NSAIDs may weaken and degrade the mucus layer in the digestive tract.

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome results in an accumulation of acid-producing cells in the digestive system. Tumors of this kind may be malignant in nature. The cells secrete excessive quantities of acid, which causes stomach tissue to deteriorate.

Symptoms

Stomach ulcer is accompanied by a variety of symptoms. The intensity of the ulcer’s symptoms is determined by the severity of these symptoms.

It is most often characterized by an unpleasant burning sensation or discomfort in the middle of your abdomen, between your chest and belly button, which is the most common symptom of this condition. When your stomach is empty, the pain will be more intense, and it may last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours on average. Stomach ulcer is most often characterized by a burning or gnawing feeling in the middle of the stomach (abdomen).

Stomach ulcers are not always painful, and some people may have other symptoms as well, such as heartburn, indigestion, and an overall feeling of being unwell, because of their condition.

Other frequent signs and symptoms of this condition are as follows:

·bloating

·feeling easily full

·burping

·acid reflux

·burning sensation in the chest

·stomach pain

·fatigue

·shortness of breath

·paler skin

·bloody stools

·vomiting

·anemia

Diagnosis

The symptoms of a stomach ulcer and the severity of the ulcer assist in determining the diagnosis and therapy of the ulcer. In order to determine whether or not you have a stomach ulcer, your doctor will examine your medical history, current symptoms, and any medications  that you are currently using.

A stool, blood, or breath test may be performed to rule out the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection. For a breath test, you will be asked to consume a clear liquid and breathe into a sealed bag for the duration of the test. Because of the presence of Helicobacter pylori, the breath sample will include much more carbon dioxide than is normal.

In addition to the above tests and procedures, the following are also used for stomach ulcer diagnosis:

Barium swallow: The individual is giving a thick white liquid (barium) in a procedure. It covers the upper gastrointestinal system and allows the doctor to view the stomach and small intestine on an X-ray.

Endoscopy: During a procedure, a tiny tube is inserted via the mouth and into the stomach of the patient. Ulcers, bleeding, and any tissue that seems abnormal during the inspection are all checked for during this procedure.

Biopsy: During an endoscopic biopsy, a sample of stomach tissue is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Treatment

The kind of treatment you get depends on the cause of your ulcer. The majority of ulcers may be managed with medication prescribed by your doctor, but in rare instances, surgery may be necessary.

It is critical to treat an ulcer as soon as possible. Consult with your doctor to develop a treatment strategy. If you have an actively bleeding ulcer, you will almost certainly be admitted to the hospital for extensive treatment that will include endoscopy and intravenous ulcer medicines. It is possible that you will need a blood transfusion as well.

If you have a stomach ulcer caused by the bacteria, you will require antibiotics as well as medicines known as “proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).” They work by inhibiting the production of acid by the stomach cells.

Probiotics are also recommended for the stomach ulcer treatment.

In addition, your doctor may prescribe antacids to fight stomach acid or medicines to decrease the quantity of acid generated by your body, depending on your situation.

The symptoms of an ulcer may diminish rapidly if the condition is treated promptly. Although your symptoms may subside, you should continue to take any medicine recommended by your doctor even if your symptoms vanish. This is particularly essential in the case of H. pylori infections, since it ensures that all germs are removed from the stomach.

When to see a doctor

If you think that you may have a stomach ulcer, you should see a physician.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the passage of black, sticky, tar-like feces, while suffering with a severe stomach pain that worsens over time.  These symptoms may indicate a more serious issue, such as internal bleeding, and should be addressed carefully in order to avoid any further complication.