Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are painful sores that can develop in the stomach lining. They are a type of peptic ulcer, which also includes esophageal and duodenal ulcers. Dr Arun Arora Understanding stomach ulcers can help with early detection, treatment, and prevention. Here are some essential things you should know about this condition.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers?
The most common cause of stomach ulcers is infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Dr Arun Arora Other causes can include long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, and less commonly, the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers might not always display symptoms. However, the most common symptom is a burning stomach pain, which can vary from mild to severe. Other symptoms might include bloating, heartburn, nausea, changes in appetite or weight, and bloody or tarry stools.
How Are Stomach Ulcers Diagnosed?
Medical professionals often utilize several methods to diagnose stomach ulcers, including medical history, physical examination, and specific tests such as an endoscopy or a urea breath test. They might also take a biopsy to test for H. pylori infection.
Treatment for stomach ulcers center around relieving pain, healing the ulcer, and preventing recurrence, says Dr Arun Arora Flushing NY. This can include medications to reduce stomach acid, antibiotics to treat H. pylori infection, and lifestyle modifications like avoiding NSAIDs, stress management, and dietary changes.
Prevention Of Stomach Ulcers
While not all stomach ulcers can be prevented, actions like reducing stress, avoiding prolonged use of NSAIDs, limiting alcohol, stopping smoking, and regular hand washing to prevent H. pylori infection, can significantly decrease the risk of developing ulcers.
If left untreated, stomach ulcers can lead to complications like internal bleeding, perforation (a hole in the wall of your stomach or small intestine), and gastric outlet obstruction, making it difficult for food to pass from the stomach into the small intestine.
In summary, early detection and appropriate medical treatment of stomach ulcers can help prevent severe complications. Always consult with a medical professional if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Pain should not be ignored, and quick interventions can significantly improve the quality of life for people with stomach ulcers.