About Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are also called gastric or peptic ulcers. These are painful sores formed in the lining of the stomach. Stomach ulcers affect the stomach and small intestines. It occurs when the digestive acids damage the tissues of the stomach lining. Imaging and lab tests are often performed to diagnose the ulcer. Stomach ulcers can be cured and treated, but they can be severe if proper treatment is not given.
Symptoms of stomach ulcers or peptic ulcers vary from person to person. But one of the most common symptoms of stomach ulcer is burning sensations in the middle of the abdominal area between the check and belly button. If you haven’t been eating, leaving your stomach empty and therefore feeling more pain than usual, it is also an indicator of an ulcer. Below are some common indicators or signs of stomach ulcers.
- Weight loss
- Acid reflux
- Feeling gassy and full
- Dull pain in the stomach
- Tarry stools
- Bloody vomit
Causes of stomach ulcer
Stomach ulcers occur when the mucus layer known to protect the stomach lining and small intestine against the acid is decreased. Thereby the amount of acid in the stomach is increased. Therefore, acids leave the stomach sore, and there might be blood due to the extreme pain. Common causes of stomach ulcers are:
- A bacterium. Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- Excessive use of certain pain relievers
- Smoking (in people with H.pylori)
- Alcohol (increased acid in the stomach)
- Excessive intake of spicy foods
It is essential to provide your doctor with your entire medical history and undergo a physical exam. Once the physical eczema is completed, a set of tests and procedures might be needed to help diagnose the exact cause of the stomach ulcers.
- Breath test: This is a simple test in which you are asked to eat or drink something which contains radioactive carbon. Further, the H. pylori bacteria breaks down in the system. The patient is then asked to blow inside a bag, which is later sealed and sent for diagnosis. If on opening the bag, the breath is filled with carbon dioxide instead of radioactive carbon. It will prove that you are infected with H. pylori.
- Endoscopy is a procedure only performed if the patient is old enough for the test. In this procedure, the doctor injects a tube attached to a camera and looks for ulcers.
- Biopsy: If the ulcer is detected, a sample is taken and sent for evaluation in the lab. This can help identify the bacteria in the stomach lining.
If H. pylori is detected in the digestive tract, the doctor recommends specific treatment options. Below are some treatments for stomach ulcer
- Antibiotic medication
- Medication to block acid in the stomach
- Antacids to relieve pain and neutralize stomach acid
- Cytoprotective agents protect the stomach tissues