Peptic Ulcers and H. Pylori
What is it?
Ulcer: A sore in the stomach or duodenum (beginning of small intestine)
H. Pylori: A bacteria that causes ulcers. Many people have this but do not get ulcers.
Symptoms (Some people may not have any symptoms or very mild symptoms.)
Discomfort in the abdomen
• A dull ache in your belly
• The ache comes and goes
• The ache comes 2-3 hours after eating
• The ache comes in the middle of the night
• The ache goes away when you eat
• The ache goes away when you take an antacid like Tums
• Weight loss
• You don’t feel like eating
• H. Pylori bacteria
• Using aspirin or ibuprofen for a long time
• Stress, alcohol, or spicy foods do NOT cause ulcers but can make them worse.
Diagnosing H. Pylori
• Breath test
• Blood test
• Stool test
• Tissue sample when an upper endoscopy is done
• A prescription for drugs that will kill the bacteria and reduce acid in the stomach. After treatment, a stool test will be ordered to make sure the bacteria is gone.
• If the ulcer is caused by aspirin or ibuprofen , you will be asked to stop taking these medicines.
Emergency Symptoms: Call your doctor or go to the Emergency Room
• Sudden, severe stomach pain
• Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
• Bloody or black bowel movements