Peptic Ulcers in Indianapolis, IN

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A common GI condition, peptic ulcers are open sores that occur in the stomach (referred to as a gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (called a duodenal ulcer) that can cause discomfort, bleeding, and pain. The cells that comprise the stomach lining are encased in a mucus layer that helps reduce the risk of stomach damage. If this protective component within the stomach or small bowel is compromised, then the acid from the stomach erodes the tissue found behind the protective lining.

Although any individual can have peptic ulcers, some patients may carry an increased risk if they are age 50 or older or if they have a family history of peptic ulcers. The GI doctors at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology offer expert care for this type of health condition. If you are seeking treatment for peptic ulcers in Indianapolis, IN, please contact our facility right away to schedule a visit.

As explained above, a peptic ulcer develops when the small intestine or stomach's organ tissue comes into contact with pepsin, which is stomach acid. Pepsin then begins to break down the tissue within the organ. There are two causative factors, however, for why the erosion of the stomach lining occurs.

Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori, often simply referred to as H. pylori, is a type of bacteria that may enter a person's body in a variety of routes, but if it enters, it can invade the mucus layer in the stomach. This causes openings in that lining which can lead to ulcerations. If Helicobacter pylori is present, your physician could prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate the destructive bacteria.

Pain relievers

There are specific pain relievers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin, that can block your body from producing a chemical substance that functions to help protect the internal linings of your stomach and small bowel.

Other forms of pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®), do not cause the formation of ulcers in the small intestine and stomach. That is why physicians advise using pain medication in small and controlled dosages.

Risk factors for peptic ulcers

Further risk factors for developing duodenal or gastric ulcers are as follows:

  • Regular use of NSAID pain medication
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Consuming foods that are acidic or spicy
  • Tobacco use
  • Stress

Our Indianapolis, IN gastroenterologists are trained to recognize the indications of peptic ulcers and help pinpoint what might be behind the GI condition.

Due to the fact that peptic ulcers are essentially open sores in the small bowel or stomach, individuals often feel discomfort and a burning sensation in the abdominal region when they have developed. Additional signs of peptic ulcers can include:

  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Burping
  • Bloating
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Blood in the stool

If you experience bloody stool or if you vomit, it is important to contact your physician without delay. If you experience any combination of the symptoms listed above or take nonprescription antacids that soothe your discomfort, but the discomfort comes back, schedule a visit with a digestive health specialist at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology as soon as possible.

With the proper medical care, peptic ulcers can be treated and can subside in time. Common treatments for peptic ulcers might include:

  • Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine)
  • Decrease the use of specific pain medications
  • Surgery
  • Acid-reducing medication (H-2 blockers)
  • Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
  • Endoscopic procedures to cauterize bleeding arteries
  • Antibiotics to kill Helicobacter pylori
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Our digestive health specialists provide peptic ulcer treatment to Indianapolis, IN patients and aim to help you live your life without discomfort. Please call Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology to discover your options for care and hear more about our dedication to patient care. Arrange for a consultation today.

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