How do I recognize a stomach ulcer?

A stomach ulcer and heartburn can cause you a lot of discomfort, stomach bleeding and a lot of pain. How do you recognize a stomach ulcer? You can do this based on certain signs and symptoms. There are a number of signs of this condition that you should not ignore and you usually notice them a few hours after you have eaten. A stomach ulcer is caused by an imbalance, due to inflammation or irritation of the stomach mucosa, whereby the inner lining of the stomach, intestines or esophagus is further damaged by the stomach acid present. Helicobacter pylori is often the instigator of the damage. A number of preventive lifestyle rules can reduce the risk of a stomach ulcer, but what do you do if you have a stomach ulcer?

Signs and complaints that indicate a stomach ulcer

A number of warning signs indicate that you have a stomach ulcer. The best-known points of recognition are:

  • Heartburn coming up.
  • Severe abdominal pain, pressing pain.
  • You suffer from belching, heartburn and belching of food.
  • You have pain in the stomach area.
  • You feel nauseous and vomit, possibly coughing up blood.
  • You will see blood in your feces that is often black in color.
  • You lose more weight than is normal for you.
  • You will soon have the feeling that your stomach is full and that you have eaten enough.

Now everyone can sometimes suffer from acid reflux, heartburn or feel less well after eating fatty foods, but if this happens to you more often, it is a good idea to go to the doctor.

What does the doctor do about a stomach ulcer?

First of all, it is not yet certain that you have a stomach ulcer. That is why the doctor will do a breath test, test your blood for antibodies and have your stool examined. The GP can also refer you for a visual examination, a gastroscopic examination. Initially, they are looking for Helicobacter pylori bacteria that are transmitted from person to person through feces or vomiting. If that bacteria is found, that is actually a positive point because we know how to treat you and how to best combat the bacteria:

  • You will receive a one-week course of an antacid.
  • You will receive a course of two types of antibiotics: amoxicillin and metronidazole.

The antacid serves to reduce the aforementioned complaints and protect the mucous membrane wall. The treatment ensures that the bacteria are effectively combated. The use of an antacid should be continued for some time, even after the bacteria have been sufficiently expelled. The antacid pump inhibitor is slowly reduced in intensity, so that you can continue without medication. You will often have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. Quitting smoking and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption are part of this new lifestyle. Ask your doctor and dietitian what you should eat from now on and avoid fatty meals and cabbage. By the way, a stomach ulcer can also be caused by certain medications, and by that I mean certain painkillers.

The danger of a stomach ulcer

A stomach ulcer develops over time, can cause stomach bleeding and even worse, it can cause a perforation (a hole) in the stomach and intestines. Ultimately, a stomach ulcer can also become malignant and cause stomach cancer. We all want to prevent that. In order to do this, it is essential that you recognize the signals and go to the doctor on time. Then an upcoming stomach ulcer can be properly treated. If the ulcer matures, surgery is necessary. This may be limited to cutting a few nerve pathways, which reduces acid production, but may also involve removing part of the stomach. If there is gastric bleeding, emergency surgery may be necessary, and certainly in the case of gastric perforation.

Conclusion Do I have a stomach ulcer?

As soon as you suspect a stomach ulcer or the development of a stomach ulcer, it is advisable to visit your doctor as soon as possible. This condition is easy to treat, but the worse the condition, the more serious the procedure will be.