If you are suffering from stomach conditions you may have an ulcer. Ulcers can be found in the digestive tract and are similar to a sore found in the inner lining of the stomach or in the upper portion of the small intestine. Because the stomach secretes very acidic fluids, it’s important that the stomach is capable of countering these substances in order to protect the stomach lining. When these protective mechanisms are compromised, ulcers can develop.
You may have an ulcer if you have abdominal or back pain, 1-3 hours following a meal. Other symptoms include bloating, nausea, vomiting, blood in stool, or weight loss. 30-80% of patients with ulcers report being woken up in the middle of the night due to abdominal pain, if this is you there are alternatives.
To treat ulcers, an endoscopy may be performed, or drugs may be used to help treat it. An endoscopy is a procedure where a tiny instrument is inserted through your mouth, into your stomach and intense heat is projected at the ulcer, forcing it to clot. Through a multi-drug treatment, ulcers can heal in 8-12 weeks, while the symptoms can go away in as little as a week.
Non-ulcer Stomach Pain
Non-ulcer stomach pain is described with conditions that have to do with the digestive tract when it is ruled out that you do not have an ulcer. This pain is common and can also be long lasting. The pain is found in your upper abdomen and can also result in bloating and nausea. The cause is often unknown and is not linked to a specific disease.
When to See A Doctor
- Vomit is bloody
- Shortness of breath
- Pain that goes out to your jaw, arm, and neck
- Dark, tarry stool
Treatments & Drugs For Issues
- Over the counter medications that are gas remedies
- Medications that reduce stomach acidity
- Medications that are proton pump inhibitors, meaning they block acidity production
- Antibiotics to fight any ulcer causing bacteria
- Avoid trigger foods such as spicy foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol
- Eat smaller portions and eat more often
- Having an empty stomach can create “non-ulcer” stomach pain
- Avoid large meals and overeating, but have small snacks nearby
- Chew your food slowly
- Daily exercise helps control symptoms
- Avoid exercising immediately after a meal
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