What Causes Gastritis Ulcers?
A stomach ache every now and then is usually nothing to worry about. But, if you’re experiencing a constant gnawing or burning sensation in your stomach, you might have a condition known as gastritis, and you should make an appointment with your gastroenterologist for a thorough exam and possible gastritis ulcer treatment.
What Is Gastritis?
The term gastritis covers several different conditions that share a common factor – inflammation of the stomach lining. The illness is mainly caused by a specific bacterium that is also responsible for causing stomach ulcers. Yet, things like taking too many NSAID pain relievers and excessive alcohol use can also cause the disorder.
Gastritis can be acute (sudden onset) or can slowly get worse with time (chronic). Untreated gastritis can result in the occurrence of stomach ulcers and contributes to a higher chance of developing stomach cancer. Most patients suffer with mild forms of the condition and improve rapidly with gastritis ulcer treatment.
Main Causes of Gastritis Ulcers
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – This bacterium enters the body and takes hold in the digestive tract. It can live there for years without causing any problems. However, in some people, the bacterium breaks down the stomach lining, leading to painful ulcers forming anywhere in the upper GI tract.
- Bile Reflux – This condition occurs when digestive fluid made in the liver backwashes up into the stomach and lower esophagus, which irritates the stomach lining.
- Infections – Many bacterial, viral, and fungal infections can cause gastritis ulcers.
Other Causes of Gastritis
- Pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disease)
- Crohn’s disease
Symptoms of Gastritis and Ulcers
Gastritis and ulcer symptoms are often quite alike. Ulcers occur when the stomach’s own acid eats away at its protective lining, leaving a raw, irritated sore.
Symptoms can include:
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Recurring stomach ache
- Gnawing or burning in the stomach in the evening and between meals
- Lack of appetite
- Feeling of indigestion
- Black stools
Visit your gastroenterologist for gastritis ulcer treatment if you experience any of the above symptoms for more than a week. Although everyone is prone to dealing with some of these symptoms occasionally, persistent abdominal pain is not normal and should be evaluated.
Treatment for Gastritis Ulcers:
After a thorough examination that includes compiling your entire medical history, evaluating all medications you’re taking, and administering necessary blood and stool tests, you doctor will prescribe a gastritis ulcer treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and if you test positive for H. pylori, your doctor may prescribe the following for your gastritis ulcer treatment:
- Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antacids
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori bacteria
- Prescription medication to reduce the production of stomach acid
- B12 shots for pernicious anemia
- Eliminating food triggers (spicy food, lactose and gluten)
- Using acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead of NSAIDs for pain relief
If you think you’re experiencing the symptoms of gastritis, make an appointment today with Dr. Phani Krishna Ravula . Dr. Phani Krishna is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and has more than 10 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of gastritis and other diseases of the digestive tract. Dr. Phani Krishna effectively and compassionately treats patients in the Hyderabad City area and will tailor a gastritis ulcer treatment plan especially for you.
Gall stones –Frequently asked questions and misconceptions
What causes gallstones?
Gallstone formation occurs secondary to obesity, sedentary lifestyle, fattyfood consumption and constipation. People form some parts of india such as cowbelt (UP Bihr and West Bengal )area have an especially high incidence of stones. Mutiple pregnancies can predispose to gallstones as well.
What problems do gallstone cause?
Gallstones cause sudden onset severe pain in the upper abdomen or right half of abdomen which starts after food intake or in the night /early morning hours. Pain radiates to right shoulder or back, it is moderate to severe and stops within ½ hr to 6 hrs. If pain lasts more than 24 hrs complications of gallstones such as gallbladder infection (acute cholecystitis) pancreatitis/ bile duct-liver infection (cholangitis) / gangrene or perforation are to be suspected.
Do all gallstones need treatment?What size stones are to be treated?
Unlike in kidney stonesthe treatment of gallstones is not decided by the size and no. of stones. Only the presence of stones and associated symptoms decide treatment. If a patient has symptoms even a singlestone needsremoval irrespective of size .Likewise, if patient has no symptoms and gallstones are detected during general health checkup patient can simply followed up even if he has multiple stones.
Can we just remove the stones and leave the gallbladder alone?
Unlike in kidney stones where the kidneys are healthy. In patients with gallstones the gallbladder is diseased. Treatment was attempted in the early 20th century to dissolve / remove gallstones and leave the gallbladder intact. All such treatments the stones recurred within 3 to 6 months now we understand that gallbladder is the problem more than the stones and standard treatment of gallstones the world over is cholecystectomy (removal of complete gallbladder with stones)
What are digestive / health problems caused by gallbladder removal?
The gallbladder does produce any digestive juices. Its primary fucnction is bile storage in between meals. After cholecystectomy the canal system of the liver (intrahepatic biliary radicles) and common bile duct enlarge in size to accommodate and store bile. So, there is no digestive problems or need to change food habits after gall stone surgery.This is well documented as gallbladder surgery is one of the commonest surgeries done worldwide and there is a huge amount of scientific data to support this.
Can I leave my gallstones untreated? Can I try Native medicine (Unani/Homeo?Ayurveda)
There is no scientific data to support that allopathic or non-allopathic medicines cure gallstones. If one is asymptomatic we may follow up and operate once there is pain. Once you are symptomatic you are at 4-8 % per year at risk of serious complications such as acute cholecystitis/ Pancreatitis/ Jaundice/ cholangitis /gangrene. Patients with gallstones are at risk for these life-threatening complications over the next 10 years. Therefore, cholecystectomy is mandatory in patients with symptoms.
Why are some people unhappy about gallstone surgery?
Gallstones only cause severe abdominal pain and the complications listed above. Symptoms such as abdominal tightness, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, constipation and increased frequency of stools are very common in the general population and are not related to gallstones. Mostly when the patients / treating doctors try to correlate these symptoms with gallstones it leads to unhappiness as these symptoms may not get relieved by a cholecystectomy.
What are the symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?
Your pancreas gland is responsible for helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. When you have a pancreatic disease, it can result in serious health problems.
Types of Pancreatic Diseases
Pancreatic diseases include pancreatic cancer and acute or chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatic cancer develops when abnormal cells in the pancreas multiply and form malignant tumors. Pancreatitis refers to inflammation of the pancreas.
Causes of Pancreatic Diseases
The cause of pancreatic cancer has not yet been found. However there are several risk factors that can increase your risk of having the disease. These include:
- Leading a lethargic lifestyle with little to no exercise
- Poor diet
- Diabetes or liver damage
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Family history of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatitis occurs when the digestive enzymes are active in your pancreas. The risk factors for this inflammatory condition include:
- Family history of pancreatitis
- Certain medications
- Elevated calcium levels in your blood
- High triglyceride levels
Symptoms of Pancreatic Diseases
When you have pancreatic cancer, symptoms usually do not appear until the disease is in an advanced stage. When symptoms do show up, you might have the following:
- Appetite loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blood clots
- Lower back pain or stomach pain
When you have chronic pancreatitis, you might have the following symptoms:
- Pain in your upper abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
- Stools that are oily and have a foul odor
Acute pancreatitis, which requires prompt medical care, can cause any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in your upper abdomen that might move to your back or become worse after you eat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tenderness in your abdomen
- Rapid pulse
Treatment for Pancreatic Diseases
The treatment options for pancreatic cancer depends on how advanced it is and whether or not it has spread to other parts of your body. Treatment in general focuses on destroying cancerous cells and stopping cancer from spreading. Pancreatic cancer treatment options include surgery to remove tumors, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. You might be a good candidate for surgery if you have tumors that are in your pancreas and have not spread to other areas. If cancer has spread to other areas, you might need radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy destroys cancerous cells, while chemotherapy lowers the risk of having more cancerous cells grow.
If you have acute pancreatitis, you will need to prompt care at the hospital to reduce inflammation and allow your pancreas to recover. Treatment usually includes fasting, pain medications and intravenous fluids. You might also need treatment for the underlying cause of pancreatitis. If you have chronic pancreatitis, treatment options depend on the underlying cause. Some options that are available include surgery to remove bile duct obstructions, gallbladder surgery and pancreas surgery. You might also benefit from endoscopic ultrasound to ease chronic abdominal pain, dietary changes, and enzyme supplements.
Pancreatic Disease Prevention
You can’t completely prevent pancreatic diseases, but you can lower your risk of them. A few ways to lower your risk include:
- Stop smoking
- A well balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
If you have symptoms of pancreatic disease, please contact Dr. Phani Krishna to schedule an appointment. Dr. Phani Krishna will conduct an evaluation to determine what is causing your symptoms.
When Should I See a Stomach Doctor ?
A stomach doctor – also called a gastroenterologist – handles ailments of the digestive system, including everything from esophageal problems to liver disease.
In this blog, Dr. Phani Krishna Ravula explains the symptoms as well as the need for screenings that should prompt you to make an appointment with a stomach doctor.
What is a stomach doctor?
A gastroenterologist specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. This includes the stomach, intestines, esophagus, liver, pancreas, colon, and rectum.
This type of specialist has advanced training and education beyond medical school that encompasses internal medicine as well as gastroenterology.
When should you see a stomach doctor?
A gastroenterologist’s advanced training and education makes this type of doctor very well qualified to diagnose and treat stomach disorders and to conduct and interpret screenings.
Any of the following can be a good reason to see a gastroenterologist:
- Rectal bleeding
- Bowel leakage
- Change in bowel movements
- Black, tarry stools
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain
- Indigestion in mid- to late life that previously didn’t exist
- Difficulty swallowing
- Esophageal pain
- Belching or flatulence
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of energy
What are some common conditions treated by stomach doctors?
Conditions frequently treated by stomach doctors include the following:
- Heartburn/GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Inflammatory bowel disease – such as Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac disease – makes your body unable to process gluten
What types of screenings do stomach doctors conduct?
- Colonoscopy – This test allows your doctor to use a long, flexible lighted tube with a tiny video camera on the end to see inside your colon. Your doctor can spot polyps and if needed, remove them or take a small tissue sample to use for a biopsy.
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (EGD) – This procedure allows your doctor to use a fiberoptic scope to view your esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of your small intestine. It can be used to help relieve certain swallowing problems, remove polyps, and check for signs of ulcers, celiac disease, inflammation, and more.
- Endoscopic ultrasound – High-frequency sound waves are used to produce images of your digestive tract and nearby organs. This allows your doctor to check for disorders of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, and more.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms related to your gastrointestinal tract, make an appointment today with Dr. Phani Krishna Ravula. He is trained gastroenterologist with more than a decade of experience. Dr. Phani Krishna Ravula will diagnose the cause of your symptoms and provide the most effective treatments possible to help you get relief.