Tests To Detect H Pylori
Simple blood, breath, and stool tests can detect H pylori with a fairly high degree of accuracy.
Experts recommend testing for H pylori in all patients with peptic ulcer, because it is such a common cause of this condition.
Smokers and those who experience regular and persistent pain on an empty stomach may also be good candidates for screening tests.
Some doctors argue that testing for H pylori may be beneficial for patients with dyspepsia who are regular NSAID users.
Given the possible risk for stomach cancer in H pylori-infected people with dyspepsia, some experts now recommend that any patient with dyspepsia lasting longer than 4 weeks should have a blood test for H pylori. However, this is a subject of considerable debate.
Tests for Diagnosing H pylori
The following tests are used to diagnose H pylori infection. Testing may also be done after treatment to ensure that the bacteria have been completely eliminated.
Can You Prevent A Peptic Ulcer
While stress and spicy foods can make symptoms of a peptic ulcer worse, they donât seem to make you more likely to have one. But a few other things can raise your chances.
Be careful when you take pain relievers. Some people who have arthritis or other conditions that cause chronic pain take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for weeks or months at a time to ease pain and swelling. These medicines can affect the mucus that protects your stomach against acid and make you more likely to have peptic ulcers.
These pain relievers include:
You’re more likely to get an ulcer while taking one of these if you:
- Are over age 65
- Are infected with H. pylori bacteria
- Take more than one NSAID at a time
- Have had a peptic ulcer in the past
- Also take a steroid drug or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
To lower your chances for peptic ulcers while you take NSAIDs:
- Use the lowest possible dose to control your symptoms, and stop taking them as soon as you no longer need them.
- Take your medicine with food.
- Don’t drink alcohol while youâre taking these medicines.
While you’re on NSAIDs, you can take medicine to lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. Drugs that can do that include:
- Dairy products that have live cultures, like yogurt, kefir, and aged cheeses
What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
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What Treatments Are There For Ulcers
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your ulcer. For example, if our tests indicate that an infection caused by helicobacter pylori is what created your ulcer, well give you antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria.
Regardless of the cause, medications that help reduce the level of acid in your stomach can help the ulcer heal. And different lifestyle changes can accelerate healing as well, such as eliminating certain foods, abstaining from alcohol, and practicing stress management.
In severe cases, surgery may be required. Your provider at Prima Medicine will work with you to create a treatment plan for your situation.
If you have a stomach ulcer or want to see if you do, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.
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Treatment Approach To Patients Who Are Not Taking Nsaids
If an endoscopy is performed soon after the patient first visits a doctor for symptoms, treatment is based on the results of the endoscopy:
- If an ulcer is seen and the patient is infected with H pylori, treatment for the infection is started, followed by 4 to 8 weeks of treatment with a proton pump inhibitor . Most patients will improve with this treatment.
- If an ulcer is seen but H pylori are not present, patients are usually treated with PPIs for 8 weeks.
- If no ulcer is seen and the patient is not infected with H pylori, the first treatment attempt will usually be with PPIs. These patients do not need antibiotics to treat H pylori. Other possible causes of their symptoms should also be considered.
Most patients who do not have risk factors for complications are treated without first having an endoscopy. The type of treatment is decided based on a patient’s symptoms, and on the results of H pylori blood or breath tests.
Patients who are not infected with H pylori are given a diagnosis of functional dyspepsia. These patients are most commonly given 4 to 8 weeks of a PPI. If this dose is not effective, doubling the dose will occasionally relieve symptoms. If there is still no symptom relief, patients may have an endoscopy. However, it is unlikely that an ulcer is present. In this group of patients, symptoms may not fully improve.
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How Do H Pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer And Peptic Ulcer Disease
H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause peptic ulcer disease by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Once H. pylori have damaged the mucous coating, powerful stomach acid can get through to the sensitive lining. Together, the stomach acid and H. pylori irritate the lining of the stomach or duodenum and cause a peptic ulcer.
How Do Nonsteroidal Anti
NSAIDS are a type of medication used often for headaches, period pains, and other pains. They can also help reduce fever and inflammation. Examples include aspirin and ibuprofen. Many NSAIDs are available without a prescription.
They lower the stomachs ability to make a protective layer of mucus. This it more susceptible to damage by stomach acid. NSAIDs can also affect the flow of blood to the stomach, reducing the bodys ability to repair cells.
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Does Stomach Ulcer Cause Nausea Gas Back Pain Headache
In most cases of stomach ulcer, abdominal pain is the most common symptom. However, not all patients experience the pain in the early stages of the disease. The pain may flare up with other symptoms and discomforts. How about nausea, headache, gas , and back pain? Does the disease also cause these symptoms? If so, how and why?
What are the common symptoms?
After abdominal pain many patients report that they also experience bloating, nausea & vomiting, and heartburn .
And in severe cases, the disease may cause the following problems :
The link between stomach ulcer and nausea
Its normal for you to feel nausea at some time in life, such as when getting mild fever or other mild illnesses. But nausea may signal problems affecting your digestive system spastic colon and stomach ulcer.
Ulcer of the stomach or upper part of small intestine is characterized by the inflammation or open sore that occurs in the lining of stomach or duodenum. This inflammation can affect the mechanisms in digestive system, which may result in nausea.
Nausea and vomiting without the presence of other stomach ulcer symptoms are less likely associated with stomach ulcers. For accurate diagnosis, see a doctor!
Does the disease cause gas ?
How about headache?
When To Seek Medical Advice
You should visit your GP if you think you may have a stomach ulcer.
Contact your GP or NHS 111 immediately if:
- you are passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
- you have a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse
Go to your nearest accident and emergency department or call 999 if:
- you are vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds
These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.
The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Less common ulcer symptoms may include:
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Bloody or black stool
Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
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What Does A Stress Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours. Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include: dull pain in the stomach.
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What Causes Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers occur when the layer protecting the stomach lining from stomach acid breaks down. This allows the stomach lining to become damaged.
This is usually caused by:
- an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or aspirin particularly if theyre taken for a long time or at high doses
Theres little evidence that stress or certain foods causes stomach ulcers.
More about the causes of stomach ulcers
What Is The Treatment For Peptic Ulcers
The choice of treatment depends on whether or not the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori. Correct diagnosis is key to whether a treatment works or not. If the bacteria are the cause, treatment focuses on killing the infection. Regardless of whether the bacteria are the cause, reducing acid in the stomach is another important focus of treatment.
The following treatments are recommended for ulcers:
- Lifestyle changes: Quit smoking, avoid alcohol, aspirin, and NSAIDs
- Acid-blocking medications
- Medications that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum
- Triple-therapy or dual-therapy regimens for ulcers caused by H pylori
No single medication works to get rid of H pylori infection. Two combinations have been found that work well in most people.
These treatments are generally given for two weeks.
Once H pylori bacteria are eradicated from a persons digestive tract, usually it will not come back. The ulcers usually heal completely and do not return.
Treatment for bleeding ulcers depends on the severity of blood loss and includes:
It is important to remember that treatment may not work if the diagnosis is not correct. If the doctor diagnoses an ulcer, it is important to determine whether the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori.
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What Is The Treatment For Ulcers
If you have ulcer symptoms, see your doctor. Prompt treatment can prevent excessive bleeding and other complications.
Ulcers are usually diagnosed after an upper GI endoscopy . An endoscope is a long flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. The tube is inserted into your throat, then to the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Learn how to prepare for an endoscopy here.
Generally performed as an outpatient procedure, it allows the doctor to locate and identify problems in the stomach and upper intestine.
Bleeding ulcers must be addressed quickly, and treatment can start during the initial endoscopy. If bleeding from ulcers is found during the endoscopy, the doctor can:
- inject medication directly
- cauterize the ulcer to stop the bleeding
- clamp off the bleeding vessel
If you have an ulcer, youll be tested for H. pylori. This can be done using a tissue sample taken during the endoscopy. It can also be accomplished with noninvasive tests such as a stool sample or breath test.
If you have the infection, antibiotics and other drugs can help fight the bacteria and ease symptoms. To be certain you get rid of it, you must finish taking the medication as directed, even if your symptoms stop.
If your ulcers are the result of taking too many NSAIDs, work with your doctor to find another medication to treat pain.
Over-the-counter antacids sometimes relieve symptoms. Ask your doctor if its okay to take antacids.
Causes And Risk Factors
- In most cases, peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection with Helicobacter pylori , and not by stress or spicy foods. Between 10% and 20% of those infected with H pylori will have a peptic ulcer during their lifetime.
- Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is the second most common cause of ulcers. Women and older adults seem to be more susceptible.
- Compared to other NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors may pose less risk for bleeding, but still increase the risk of bleeding compared with no NSAID use at all.
- Alcohol and smoking are also common risk factors for peptic ulcer.
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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, whether you take NSAIDs and other drugs, and medical history. Theyâll also check you for bloating in the belly and pain. That may be enough to make a diagnosis.
The only way your doctor can tell for sure if you have an ulcer is to look. They may use a series of X-rays or a test called an endoscopy. This test allows them to pass a thin, bendy tube down your throat and into your stomach and small intestine. The tube has a camera at the end so they can check the lining for ulcers. They may also take a small piece of the lining to test for H. pylori. Blood, breath, and stool sample tests also can screen for the bacteria.
How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are very common in Western countries. In the United States, there are about 4 million cases per year. Some estimates say that 1 in 10 people will have one at some point in their lives. Thats because many of the causes that contribute to stomach ulcers are common in Western life. Fortunately, these causes are usually easy to trace and to reverse, giving ulcers a chance to heal and your stomach lining a chance to repair.
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How Are Peptic Ulcers Treated
Treatment will depend on the type of ulcer you have. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on what is causing your ulcer.
Treatment can include making lifestyle changes, taking medicines, or in some cases having surgery.
Lifestyle changes may include:
- Not eating certain foods. Avoid any foods that make your symptoms worse.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking can keep your ulcer from healing. It is also linked to ulcers coming back after treatment.
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine. They can make your symptoms worse.
- Not using NSAIDs . These include aspirin and ibuprofen.
Medicines to treat ulcers may include:
- Antibiotics. These bacteria-fighting medicines are used to kill the H. pylori bacteria. Often a mix of antibiotics and other medicines is used to cure the ulcer and get rid of the infection.
- H2-blockers . These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These lower stomach acid levels and protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum.
- Mucosal protective agents. These medicines protect the stomachs mucus lining from acid damage so that it can heal.
- Antacids. These quickly weaken or neutralize stomach acid to ease your symptoms.
In most cases, medicines can heal ulcers quickly. Once the H. pylori bacteria is removed, most ulcers do not come back.
What Is The Treatment For Gastritis
Gastritis treatment will depend on the cause of the condition. If it was caused by anti-inflammatory drugs or alcohol, it can be relieved by stopping use of the substance. If medication is required to treat the condition, you may be prescribed antibiotics to kill H. pylori bacteria. You may also need an acid blocker to reduce acid production, proton pump inhibitors to promote healing, antacids to neutralize stomach acid, or a combination of these medications.
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How Do I Know If I Have An Ulcer
Describing your symptoms may lead your doctor to suspect that you have a peptic ulcer, but it wonÃ¢t likely help determine the type, because the symptoms of stomach and duodenal ulcers are so similar. The doctor will do tests like these to figure out which specific type of ulcer you have:
- Endoscopy. This is the most accurate diagnostic test to diagnose a peptic ulcer. The doctor puts a flexible tube down your throat to see inside your esophagus , stomach, and duodenum. This allows the doctor to see the cause of bleeding and test for any bacterial infection. During this exam, your doctor may also do a biopsy to check for cancer.
- Barium swallow. If you cant have an endoscopy, this test, also called an upper GI series of X-rays, can help your doctor identify and locate the ulcer and determine its type and severity. The test requires you to drink a barium milkshake, which has a liquid that will show up on an X-ray. They may ask you to eat only bland, easy-to-digest foods for 2-3 days before the test. After drinking the chalky liquid, you lie down on a tilting exam table. This evenly spreads the barium around your upper digestive tract and lets the X-ray take pictures at different angles.