Peptic Ulcers in Louisiana
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What is a peptic ulcer?
Common among a wide range of patients, peptic ulcers are open sores or ulcerations that occur in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (referred to as a duodenal ulcer) that often lead to bleeding, discomfort, and pain. The cells that make up the stomach lining are encased in a mucus layer that helps guard the stomach against damage. When this protective lining within the small bowel or stomach is compromised, then the stomach acid leads to erosion of the tissue found behind the protective lining.
While any individual can experience peptic ulcers, some may have an increased risk if they are age 50 or older, or if they have a family history of peptic ulcers. The GI doctors at GastroGroup & Endocenter offer specialized care for this type of issue. If you are seeking treatment for peptic ulcers in Louisiana, please get in touch with our location today to set up a consultation.
What are the causes of peptic ulcers?
As explained above, a peptic ulcer occurs when the small intestine or stomach's organ tissue comes into contact with pepsin, or the substance commonly referred to as stomach acid. Pepsin then begins to break down the organ’s tissue. There are two primary reasons, however, why the stomach's protective lining becomes eroded.
Helicobacter pylori, often known simply as H. pylori, is a type of bacteria that might enter your system in a number of routes, but when the bacteria finds its way in, it can damage the layer of mucus lining the stomach. This causes holes in that protective lining and can cause ulcers. If H. pylori is present, a provider could prescribe antibiotics to help destroy the harmful bacteria.
There are specific types of pain relievers, for example nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and aspirin, that can prohibit your body from making a chemical substance that works to help protect the inner walls of your stomach and small bowel.
Other variations of pain relievers, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), will not result in the development of small intestine and stomach ulcers. This is one of the reasons why healthcare providers recommend taking pain relievers in small and controlled quantities.
Risk factors for peptic ulcers
Additional factors that increase the risk of peptic ulcers are as follows:
- Alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
- Eating spicy and acidic foods
- Regular use of NSAID painkillers
Our Louisiana gastroenterologists can identify the symptoms of peptic ulcers and help ascertain what might be causing the GI condition.
What are the common symptoms of peptic ulcers?
Given that peptic ulcers are essentially open sores in the stomach or small bowel, individuals commonly report a burning sensation and discomfort in the abdomen when they have developed. Other signs of peptic ulcers may involve:
- Appetite loss
- Feeling bloated
- Intolerance of fatty foods
- Heartburn and acid reflux
- Unwanted weight loss
- Presence of blood in the stool
In the case that you have bloody stool or if you vomit, get in touch with your physician as soon as possible. If you notice any combination of the above symptoms or use over-the-counter antacids that ease your discomfort, but it returns, book a visit with a GI physician at GastroGroup & Endocenter at your earliest convenience.
What are the treatments for peptic ulcers?
Peptic ulcers can be treated and can heal in time. Treatment options for peptic ulcers can include the following:
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
- Medications to reduce acid production (H-2 blockers)
- Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine)
- Endoscopy to cauterize bleeding arteries
- Antibiotics to kill Helicobacter pylori
- Reducing the use of specific types of pain medications
Find treatment for peptic ulcers
Our GI doctors offer peptic ulcer treatment to Louisiana patients and want to help you live your life without pain or discomfort. Reach out to GastroGroup & Endocenter to discover your options and learn about the patient-centered care we provide. Request a visit today to get started.
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