A peptic ulcer occurs when you have sores in parts of your stomach. Also, it is the result of too much acid that damages the protective layer of your gut. You may feel discomfort or burning pain.
There are two types of this. It can be a gastric ulcer. The sore develops on the inside of the stomach. The other is a duodenal ulcer. Hence, it happens when sores form on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine.
The most common sign is discomfort and burning pain in your belly. These might happen more between meals or at night. The discomfort may stop for a while. It will then come back after eating. It may last for a few minutes up to a few hours. Other signs that you should look out for are:
- Lack of appetite
- Bloody or dark poop
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Vomiting (this may also include blood)
- Bloated feeling
It is essential not to disregard the symptoms. Call your doctor if you notice stomach ulcer pain or any of the signs. Not doing so may lead to more serious concerns. It can create a hole in parts of your stomach. Also, it will increase the chances of infection. They can also result in swelling. Therefore, it will block the movement of food in your gut. However, improper treatment may lead to internal bleeding.
Ulcers develop when acids damage the walls of the stomach or small intestine. If the protective layer gets too thin or produces too much stomach acid, you are likely to feel the signs. It is likely to happen with the following:
Pain relievers. Some medications that are taken often for a long time can cause this. They block your body from making chemicals that protect the inner walls of your gut.
Bacteria. There is a certain type (H. pylori) that can increase acid in the stomach. Also, it can damage protective layers and irritate your gut. You may get this through close contact as well as in unclean food and water.
4. Risk Factors
A peptic ulcer can happen to anyone. However, the chances increase once you get older. People who smoke and drink alcohol are also more prone to it.
Consult a doctor if you feel burning pain or discomfort in your tummy or your breastbone. They will ask about your symptoms and medical history. It includes data about your medicine intake. A physical diagnosis is mostly enough. Doctors will check for pain and bloating in the belly. However, there are procedures you can do. They may perform X-rays.
Specific tests are essential to know the truth. It may also include passing a thin tube down your throat and into your stomach and small intestine. Hence, it will help get a clear picture of your gut since the tube has a camera. Doctors can then easily identify if what you have is a gastric or duodenal ulcer. Doctors can also perform lab tests. They may take a sample of the lining of your gut. Identification of causes is through the help of samples of your stool, breath, or blood.
The treatment will depend on the type and cause of the ulcer. Doctors will prescribe you certain medications. Also, it may kill bacteria in your gut. You will have to take this as per your doctor’s instruction. Otherwise, it can only lead to resistance. Some medicines will block acid production and promote healing. Others can balance the acid in your stomach. Doctors can also recommend certain medicines that will protect the lining of organs in your tummy.
Some ulcers can heal on its own. However, some tend to come back, especially if you don’t treat them. The best treatment is prevention. Reduce your risk of having it and protect yourself from experiencing stomach ulcer pain. Be mindful of taking in medicine. Some medicine can cause stomach problems if not taken properly. Take them with meals. Call your doctor and work with them about the process of taking it. You can ask for the lowest dose possible without losing its effectiveness.
Furthermore, do not drink alcohol when you are taking medication. The combination of these two can cause an upset stomach. Practice proper hygiene. Additionally, it helps prevent infections. Make sure to wash your hands regularly. Remember to clean and cook your foods thoroughly.