Your Burning Stomach Pain Can Be a Sign of An Ulcer
You may be asking yourself why you have continued burning pain in the stomach week after week. Perhaps you have talked with family about it and have taken over-the-counter antacids to no avail. After researching stomach pain or Signs of an Ulcer on the Internet you are now more confused than ever. There are just too many possible causes to diagnose your own condition.
Physicians at Digestive Medicine Associates have diagnosed gastrointestinal conditions long enough to accurately discover your problem. Our doctors’ training, procedures, and equipment are state-of-the art. If you are experiencing these symptoms frequently you may have an ulcer:
- Burning stomach pain
- Bloating or belching
- Certain food intolerance
Burning stomach pain is the most common peptic ulcer symptom.
A Stomach Ulcer Defined
A stomach ulcer (peptic ulcer) is a sore or break in the lining of the stomach, also called a gastric ulcer. It occurs when the lining is corroded by the digestive juices which are acidic in nature. This condition can cause inflammation that may lead to bleeding in the tissues involved.
The digestive tract is protected by a mucous layer. If the amount of mucus decreases or stomach acid increases, you can develop an ulcer. Digestive acids and an empty stomach make the pain worse. It may hurt more at night or between meals.
Less Frequent Symptoms
It is ironic because most people with stomach ulcers don’t show symptoms. To a lesser extent ulcers may cause other severe signs such as:
- Dark blood in stools
- Vomiting or nausea
- Vomiting blood
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling faint
- Appetite changes
- Unexpected weight loss
It’s time to see your doctor when any of these severe symptoms occur. Let the doctor know if over-the-counter medications temporarily help relive the pain.
Underlying Causes of Peptic Ulcers
This condition can be caused by bacterium and medications. Bacteria are found naturally in the stomach and small intestine. They can become inflamed and infected which can lead to an ulcer. Aspirin and other pain medications taken often can irritate or inflame the stomach or intestine lining. Ask your doctor about other types of medications you need to avoid. They may also produce peptic ulcers.
Risks and Complications of Stomach Ulcers
Certain lifestyle habits can increase the risk of stomach ulcers. Smoking, drinking alcohol, eating spicy foods, and untreated heavy stress are major ones. Although these factors alone do not cause ulcers, they can make them worse. Prolonged use can make ulcers more difficult to heal.
Do not leave stomach ulcers untreated because you may suffer severe consequences such as heavy internal bleeding, blockage of the food tract, and infection of the abdominal cavity. Contacting one of our specialists at Digestive Medicine Associates for treatment is the best way to keep these conditions under control.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To correctly diagnose a stomach ulcer our specialists will typically take these steps:
- Take your medical history
- Give a physical exam
- Tests for H. pylori bacterium
- Examine digestive system with an endoscopy
- Take a series of X-rays
After the diagnosis, we will treat your ulcer with medications that kill the harmful bacterium, help control stomach acid, or protect the lining of your stomach.
After the initial treatment we will monitor the healing of the ulcer and recommend a healthy diet. If symptoms are severe or persist, another endoscopy will be used to determine other causes. Keep in mind that some ulcers make take a long time to heal. Your best chances of healing the ulcer are following your doctor’s recommendations.
Our Commitment to Quality
Digestive Medicine Associates’ team is committed to excellence in patient care and the development of lifelong relationships with the residents and visitors of South Florida. We believe in promoting both the highest level and quality of care with the greatest degree of compassion. Our facilities and offices use state-of-the-art equipment. They are designed to help us provide our patients with the best service possible. Most of our physicians have more than 25 years of experience delivering consistent and high quality care.
Schedule an Appointment with One of Our Specialists
We are excited to help you with stomach ulcers. Start by contacting your primary care physician for a referral or call to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to diagnose and begin your program. We are here to serve your health needs and look forward to building a long-term relationship.