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  Peptic ulcer

Peptic ulcer disease refers to painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

Peptic ulcer
Peptic ulcer


What Causes Ulcers?
No single cause has been found for ulcers. However, it is now clear that an ulcer is the end result of an imbalance between digestive fluids in the stomach and duodenum.

Ulcers can be caused by:

* Infection with a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
* Use of painkillers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, and others), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Midol, and others), and many others available by prescription. Even aspirin coated with a special substance can still cause ulcers.
* Excess acid production from tumors of the acid producing cells of the stomach that increases acid output, which occurs with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

What Are the Symptoms?

An ulcer may or may not have symptoms. When symptoms occur, they include:

* A burning pain in the middle or upper stomach between meals or at night
* Bloating
* Heartburn
* Nausea or vomiting

In severe cases, symptoms can include:

* Dark or black stool (due to bleeding)
* Vomiting blood (can have a "coffee-grounds" appearance)
* Weight loss
* Severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen

How Serious Is this Condition?

If not properly treated, ulcers can lead to serious health problems, including:

* Bleeding
* Perforation (a hole through the wall of the stomach)
* Gastric outlet obstruction from swelling or scarring that blocks the passageway leading from the stomach to the small intestine.

Taking NSAIDs can cause any of the above without warning. The risk is especially concerning for the elderly and for those with a prior history of having peptic ulcer disease.

Who Is More Likely to Get Ulcers?

People are most likely to develop ulcers if they:

* Are infected with the H. pylori bacterium
* Take NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and many others
* Have a family history of ulcers
* Have another illness, such as liver, kidney or lung disease
* Drink alcohol regularly
* Are 50 years older

How Are Ulcers Diagnosed?
A doctor my prescribe a series of PPIs or proton pump inhibitors to determine if the symptoms decrease.

If needed, your doctor may recommend a procedure called an upper endoscopy. It involves inserting a small, lighted tube (endoscope) through the throat and into the stomach to look for abnormalities.

Most doctors will now test for H. pylori and will treat specifically for that in addition to giving medications to reduce the symptoms.

How Are Ulcers Treated?
Though ulcers often heal on their own, don’t ignore their warning signs. If not properly treated, ulcers can lead to serious health problems.

There are several ways in which ulcers can be treated, including making lifestyle changes, taking medication and/or undergoing surgery.

Lifestyle changes:
To treat an ulcer, first eliminate substances that can be causing the ulcers. If you smoke or drink alcohol, stop. If the ulcer is believed to be caused by the use of NSAIDs (non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs), they need to be stopped.

Medications:

* Proton pump medications (PPI). Proton pump inhibitors reduce acid levels and allow the ulcer to heal. They include Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix, and Nexium. Some are available over the counter and some are available by prescription only.
* Antibiotics. If the ulcer is caused by an H. pylori infection, then antibiotics are used. There are multiple combinations of antibiotics that are taken for one to two weeks along with a PPI. Some doctors also recommend taking Pepto-Bismol.
* Upper Endoscopy. Bleeding ulcers are a medical emergency and require immediate attention. Some bleeding ulcers can be treated through the endoscope, while most require surgery.
* Surgery. Sometimes an operation is needed if the ulcer has created a hole in the wall of the stomach or if there is serious bleeding.

The best treatment is always prevention. To prevent ulcers:

* Don't smoke.
* Avoid over consumption of alcohol.
* Don't overuse NSAID (non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs).

If you have symptoms of an ulcer, contact your doctor or a gastroenterologist.

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Nexium capsules

Nexium

Nexium, called Esomeprazole, is used to treat duodenal ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esophagus. It also reduces the chance of gastric ulcers in patients who more...

Esomeprazole pill

Esomeprazole

Esomeprazole belong to a class of drug known as proton pump inhibitor that works by decreasing the amount of hydrochloric acid produced by the parietal cells in the stomach. Indications: treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and erosive more...

Prevacid tablets

Prevacid

Prevacid, or Lansoprazole, is used to treat conditions in which there is too much acid in the stomach, like duodenal and gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esopha more...

Lansoprazole pills

Lansoprazole

Lansoprazole belong to a class of drug known as proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Lansoprazole is used to treat and prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers, erosive esophagitis (damage to the e more...

Prilosec tablets

Prilosec

Prilosec, or Omeprazole, is used to treat conditions in which there is too much acid in the stomach, like duodenal and gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esophagu more...

Omeprazole

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Omeprazole belong to a class of drug known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI). It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It is indicated for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess more...

Protonix tablet

Protonix

Protonix, or Pantoprazole, is used to treat certain conditions in which there is too much acid in the stomach. It is used to treat duodenal and gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes more...

Pantoprazole pill

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Pantoprazole is used to treat damage to the esophagus associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions involving excessive stomach acid production (e.g. Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome). The most important information about panto more...

Aciphex tablets

Aciphex

Aciphex, also known as Rabeprazole is a Gastric Acid Pump Inhibitor and Antiulcer Agent and is used to treat too much acid in the stomach. This can be caused by duodenal ulcers, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Rabeprazole c more...

Rabeprazole pill

Rabeprazole

Rabeprazole decreases the amount of acid produced in your stomach. It belongs to the class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) which works antagonistically on the pump that is involved in final step of hydrochloric acid (HCl) secretion in the more...


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