Peptic Ulcers in Houston, TX
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What are peptic ulcers?
Peptic ulcers are a common GI issue. They can form in the stomach (where they're called gastric ulcers) or upper small intestine (called duodenal ulcers), leading to bleeding, pain, and discomfort. The type of cells that make up the stomach lining are encased in a mucus layer that helps reduce the risk of stomach damage. When this protective lining within the stomach or small intestine becomes damaged, then the stomach acid damages the tissue behind the protective structure.
While any individual can experience peptic ulcers, some individuals may carry a higher risk if peptic ulcers run in their family or they are age 50 or older. The digestive health physicians at Gastroenterology Consultants offer skilled care for this type of medical condition. If you are seeking treatment for peptic ulcers in Houston, TX, please reach out to our facility right away to reserve a visit.
What causes peptic ulcers?
A peptic ulcer may form when the organ tissue of the small intestine or stomach is exposed to stomach acid (pepsin). This acid then erodes the tissue within the organ. There are two causative factors, however, behind why erosion of the stomach lining takes place.
Helicobacter pylori, often simply referred to as H. pylori, is a type of bacteria that can enter a person's body in several ways. But when it finds its way in, it can harm the layer of mucus lining the stomach. This produces openings in that lining and can create ulcers. If helicobacter pylori is present, your physician may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the destructive bacteria.
Some pain relievers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and aspirin, can inhibit your body from generating a chemical substance that functions to help protect the internal walls of your stomach and small bowel.
Other forms of pain relievers, for example Tylenol (acetaminophen), will not result in the development of small intestine and stomach ulcers. That is why doctors advise taking pain medication in controlled and small dosages.
Risk factors for peptic ulcers
Additional factors that increase the risk of ulcers in the stomach or small bowel are:
- Regular use of NSAID pain medication
- Alcohol consumption
- Consuming spicy and acidic foods
Our Houston, TX gastroenterologists are trained to identify the indications of peptic ulcers and help determine factors that might be causing the gastrointestinal condition.
What are common symptoms of peptic ulcers?
Individuals with peptic ulcers frequently report a burning sensation and discomfort where the ulcers have formed. Other symptoms of peptic ulcers involve:
- Heartburn and acid reflux
- Bloody stool
- Unwanted weight loss
- Fatty food intolerance
- Decreased appetite
If you have blood in your stool or if you vomit, it is important to call your physician without delay. If you notice any combination of the symptoms listed above or use over-the-counter antacids that ease your discomfort, but the pain comes back, arrange for a consultation with a GI physician at Gastroenterology Consultants as soon as possible.
What are the treatment options for peptic ulcers?
With adequate attention and treatment, peptic ulcers can heal over time. Treatment options for peptic ulcers can involve:
- Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine)
- Endoscopic procedures to cauterize bleeding arteries
- Medications to reduce acid production (H-2 blockers)
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
- Decrease the use of certain types of pain relievers
- Antibiotics to kill helicobacter pylori
Find care for peptic ulcers
Our gastrointestinal specialists are proud to offer peptic ulcer treatment for Houston, TX patients and strive to help all patients enjoy a more comfortable life. Contact Gastroenterology Consultants to explore your options for care and how we go above and beyond to help you. Request your consultation today.
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(Translated by Google) Excellent attention, as always. (Original) Excelente atención, como siempre.
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