Stomach Ulcers Signs And Symptoms
Learn about stomach ulcer signs and symptoms so that you can recognize and treat the problem effectively. Learn about some of the habits that contribute to the problem so you can change your diet or lifestyle. An ulcer is often an open sore found on skin or the lining of the stomach. Ulcers are known to affect about five million people each year.
- Symptoms of ulcers. Some of the symptoms to look for when you have a stomach ulcer is burping, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss and feeling tired frequently. Another common symptom is burning in the abdomen that occurs between meals or early in the morning.
- Infection and Bacteria. Most ulcers are caused by bacteria. Bacteria weakens the stomach's protective lining and makes the body more vulnerable to the harmful effects of acid and pepsin. That is why the ulcer develops as acid wears down the stomach lining. The bacteria is called Helicobacter pylori.
- Use of pain killers. If you take aspirin or other medication for pain on a regular basis this can contribute to the problem. Some of these medications are aspirin, Motrin, and Advil that contribute to ulcers. This is more common in older adults than younger. A good tip is to take pain relievers with meals.
- Smoking. Another factor that increases risk of ulcers is smoking too much. The nicotine in cigarettes causes the stomach to produce more acid. So trying to not smoke or cutting down on the amount is a good practice.
- Drinking too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can wear down the lining of the stomach. Moderation when drinking wine or beer with a meal is the key to controlling this problem.
- Stress and caffeine. Physical and emotional stress will contribute to an ulcer. Finding ways to reduce stress through exercise or meditation can help. Too much caffeine can increase the amount of stomach acid. Reducing the amount of caffeine in beverages can help control the problem.
- Types of ulcers. There are several different types of ulcers. One is the peptic ulcer often found in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. If a peptic ulcer is in your stomach, it is a gastric ulcer. When a peptic ulcer is in the duodenum it is called a duodenum ulcer. This is located in the small intestine.
- Tests. Tests of the blood, stool, and breath are used to diagnose peptic ulcers. They may scope your digestive tract and get a small sample to test. Another technique is an X-ray of the upper digestive tract.
- Medications after diagnosis. The doctor may prescribe medication when an ulcer is diagnosed. An antibiotic is used to kill the bacteria in your body. Proton pump inhibitors block the body's production of acid. Doctors prescribe other medications that stop acid production.
- Lifestyle change. Changes that help to heal ulcers are a healthy diet, eliminating pain killers, and reducing stress.