Peptic Ulcer is an ulcer or open sore that develops in the stomach or duodenal wall and extends to the deeper layers of the wall. Two major causes of Peptic ulcers are Helicobacter pylori infection which is a bacterial infection and use of NSAIDs or Non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleeve,or Naproxen.
Epigastric pain is the most common symptom. Almost 80 percent of the endoscopically diagnosed ulcers have epigastric pain. The discomfort may be at the Right or left upper side of your abdomen and might radiate to the back. Ulcers located in the stomach is called gastric ulcers and ulcers located in the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers . Classic pain of duodenal ulcer occurs two to five hours after a meal when acid is secreted in the absence of food buffer at night (between 11 pm and 2 am). Patients with peptic ulcers may have food provoked symptoms. Symptoms include epigastric pain that worsens with eating , post prandial belching and epigastric fullness, early satiety, fatty food intolerance , nausea and occasional vomiting.
If there is a slow bleed from the ulcers, you might notice dark and tarry stools, and if the blood loss is significant, you might develop weakness, fatigue, dizzyness , drop in blood pressure or even pass out. Immediate medical attention is required if any of these symptoms occurs.
Complications of Peptic ulcers include, bleeding, gastric outlet obstruction, penetration and perforation
Blood tests might indicate Iron deficiency anemia which is due to slow blood loss. An Upper Endoscopy is the most accurate diagnostic testing for Peptic ulcer disease. During the upper endoscopy , biopsy can be done which can be tested for H. pylori infection. If it comes positive for Helicobacterial Pylori then you might need to be treated with antibiotics.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you might need to be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
Do you need treatment for Peptic Ulcer? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!