Peptic ulcers are sores that develop on the inner lining of your stomach and in the upper part of your small intestine. The sores form when the acid in the stomach is in excess and the condition requires medical treatment, which helps decrease the acid production in the stomach.
1. What are the types of peptic ulcers?
There are two types of peptic ulcers, as given below:
- Gastric ulcers
These occur inside the stomach.
- Duodenal ulcers
These occur on the inside of the upper part of the small intestines, which are also known as the duodenum.
2. What are the symptoms of peptic ulcers?
Here are some of the most common symptoms that can be noticed in a person when they have a peptic ulcer:
- Intolerance to fatty foods
- Pain in the stomach
- Feeling bloated and full
The acid in the stomach increases the pain, especially on an empty stomach, making it important for one to not skip meals or anything of the sort.
3. What are the tests done to diagnose stomach ulcers?
To detect the ulcer, the doctor may want to know your medical history first and then move on to the physical exam. Certain diagnostic tests, such as the ones given below, are performed:
- Laboratory tests including blood, breath and stool tests
- Endoscopy is performed to examine the digestive tract
- Upper gastrointestinal series where an X-ray is taken
4. What are the causes of peptic ulcers?
The most common cause for peptic ulcers is infection due to the bacteria H.pylori or long-term use of certain medications. Eating spicy food and stress are not known as causes of this infection, but can make the symptoms worse.
5. What are the foods that can help soothe ulcers?
Studies have shown that foods that have flavonoids can be effective in treating stomach ulcers. Here are some of the foods you can include in your diet:
- Red grapes
- Red grapes
6. What are the treatments for stomach ulcers?
Here are some of the best natural treatments that can cure stomach ulcers:
- Colorful fruits
- Aloe vera
If home treatments do not help, a doctor may advise you to take medications to fight the bacteria.
7. What are the risk factors for peptic ulcers?
Certain factors can increase the chances of you have peptic ulcers, including:
- Untreated stress for a long duration
- Consuming spicy foods regularly
- Smoking frequently
- High amounts of alcohol consumption
While these factors do not directly lead to peptic ulcers, they make the condition worse.
8. What happens if peptic ulcers are left untreated?
If left untreated, there are several dangers that the person might face, such as:
- Internal bleeding can occur and even lead to anemia. The patient might have to be hospitalized and need a blood transfer. Vomiting blood and blood in the stools can be expected.
- Infection can occur as the ulcers perforate through the walls of the stomach if not treated in time.
- Obstruction of food from passing through the digestive tract leads to weight loss and vomiting.
9. How long does a stomach ulcer take to heal?
If you are taking antibiotics along with medications that suppress acid in the stomach, a peptic ulcer can be healed in two weeks. You are expected to continue taking the acid suppressants for the following 4-8 weeks as well. Gastric ulcers take longer than duodenal ulcers. In some cases, it may even take 2-3 months to heal completely.
10. When should you consult a doctor for a peptic ulcer?
If your symptoms get worse even after 10-14 days, you must consult a doctor without delay. Other reasons are:
- Losing weight naturally, for no reason
- Pain in the stomach that does not stop.