Peptic Ulcers in Dallas, TX
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What is a peptic ulcer?
Peptic ulcers are open sores or ulcerations that occur in the stomach (known as a gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (duodenal ulcer) that often result in discomfort, pain, and bleeding. The type of cells that comprise the stomach lining are covered by a layer of mucus that helps reduce the risk of stomach damage. When this protective component within the stomach or small intestine is damaged, then the acid from the stomach erodes the tissue that sits behind the protective lining.
Although any person can have peptic ulcers, some people may carry a higher risk if they are 50 or older or if peptic ulcers run in their family. The GI physicians at Digestive Health Associates of Texas offer specialized care for this type of condition. If you are seeking treatment for peptic ulcers in Dallas, TX, please contact our facility today to arrange an appointment.
What causes peptic ulcers?
As discussed above, a peptic ulcer occurs when the tissue in the stomach or small bowel is exposed to pepsin, which is stomach acid. Pepsin then erodes the tissue within the organ. There are two primary reasons, however, behind why erosion of the stomach lining occurs.
Helicobacter pylori, often simply referred to as H. pylori, is a bacteria that may enter your system in a number of ways. When it enters, it can attack the protective layer of mucus lining the stomach. This causes holes in that protective lining, which can result in ulcerations. When helicobacter pylori is present, a provider could recommend antibiotics to help destroy the destructive bacteria.
Specific types of pain relievers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin, can block your body from making a chemical that functions to help protect the inner walls of your stomach and small intestine.
Other types of pain relievers, like Tylenol (acetaminophen), do not result in the formation of small intestine and stomach ulcers. That is why healthcare providers recommend utilizing pain relievers in controlled and small amounts.
Risk factors for peptic ulcers
Additional factors that elevate the risk of duodenal or gastric ulcers are as follows:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Regular use of NSAID painkillers
- Consuming foods that are spicy or acidic
Our Dallas, TX gastroenterologists can recognize the signs and symptoms of peptic ulcers and help discern what might be creating the gastrointestinal condition.
What are common symptoms of peptic ulcers?
Because peptic ulcers are really open sores in the small intestine or stomach, individuals often report a burning sensation and discomfort in the abdomen when they occur. Other commonly experienced symptoms of peptic ulcers may involve:
- Heartburn and acid reflux
- Feeling bloated
- Loss of appetite
- Fatty food intolerance
- Bloody stool
- Unexplained weight loss
If you experience bloody stool or unexplained vomiting, get in touch with your provider without delay. If you have any combination of the above symptoms or use over-the-counter antacids that soothe your pain, but the pain comes back, arrange for a visit with a GI doctor at Digestive Health Associates of Texas as soon as you can.
What are the treatments for peptic ulcers?
With the proper medical attention, peptic ulcers can be addressed and can heal after some time. Treatments for peptic ulcers might involve:
- Medications to reduce acid production (H-2 blockers)
- Endoscopy to cauterize bleeding arteries
- Antibiotics to kill helicobacter pylori
- Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the small intestine and stomach)
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
- Decreasing the use of certain types of pain relievers
Find treatment for peptic ulcers
Our gastrointestinal physicians provide peptic ulcer treatment to Dallas, TX patients and wish to help you enjoy your life in the absence of pain. Reach out to Digestive Health Associates of Texas so that you can learn more about your options for treatment and how we go above and beyond to assist our patients. Arrange for a visit today.
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