Stomach Ulcer Symptoms and Causes
Stomach ulcers and the symptoms that go along with it are an unpleasant experience but the sooner you recognise the symptoms and begin the appropriate treatment the better. In order to do this you should be aware of stomach ulcer symptoms, the causes and of course the available treatments. The pain caused by stomach acid irritating the stomach ulcer is the major stomach ulcer symptom and feels like a burning sensation. This pain is most likely to occur on an empty stomach when there is a lack of food in the stomach causing a more concentrated level of acid. Therefore these pains commonly occur in the early morning. Stomach ulcer symptoms tend to come and ago depending on your diet and amount of acid present in the stomach. Other symptoms, which can occur, include blood in the stool, fatigue, weakness, weight loss, nausea and vomiting blood. A stomach ulcer can easily be confused for other diseases such as cancer, gastritis and a hiatal hernia as the symptoms can be similar. Therefore only a gastroenterologist should confirm the diagnosis after the proper testing. Tests may include an endoscopy, where a small camera enters the stomach looking for ulcers, or an x-ray, from which ulcers can be identified. A test looking for the presence of the H Pylori bacteria may also be performed, as it is believed to be the cause of a high percentage of ulcers. In younger patients, in particular this test will be one of the first options used as it far less intrusive and cheaper than an endoscopy. The advantage of an endoscopy however is that it is able to detect even very small ulcers and also take a biopsy of it.
Stomach ulcers, medically known as peptic ulcers are most commonly caused by the infectious bacteria, Helicobacter pylori (H Pylori) with around 20% of Americans infected. Another cause of the stomach ulcer symptoms can be the over-use of anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
The treatment offered for both stomach ulcers and H Pylori are basically the same. A popular treatment is series of medication that can be prescribed by your doctor and is known as triple therapy although there are other options available. All possibilities available to effectively treat a peptic ulcer are only available by prescription so it is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as you begin experiencing stomach ulcer symptoms.
Once you are undergoing the appropriate treatment there are some things you can do from home to encourage a safe and speedy recovery. Make sure to inform your doctor of every medication or over the counter supplements you are currently taking as they could interfere with stomach ulcer medication and potentially cause complications. Your diet can also have an effect on stomach ulcer symptoms and the speed of recovery, so ask your doctor for advice on which foods are best to eat and what should be avoided. The important thing to remember is that the earlier a stomach ulcer is detected and diagnosed the easier it is to treat.
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