Peptic Ulcers in San Antonio, TX
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What are peptic ulcers?
A common GI issue, peptic ulcers are open sores or ulcerations located in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (duodenal ulcer) that may cause discomfort, bleeding, and pain. The variation of cells that form the stomach lining is encased in a layer of mucus that helps reduce the risk of stomach damage. When this protective structure within the stomach or small bowel is compromised, stomach acid erodes the tissue behind the protective wall.
Though anyone can develop peptic ulcers, some individuals may have a higher risk if they are 50 years of age or older or have a family history of peptic ulcers. The digestive health physicians at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates offer skilled care for this type of health concern. If you require treatment for peptic ulcers in San Antonio, TX, please reach out to our team right away to request a consultation.
What causes peptic ulcers?
A peptic ulcer develops when the tissue in the stomach or small bowel is exposed to pepsin, which is commonly called stomach acid. The stomach acid then starts to erode the organ’s tissue. There are two primary reasons, however, for this erosion occurs.
Helicobacter pylori, frequently known as H. pylori, is a variation of bacteria that may enter your system in a few different ways, but if the bacteria finds its way in, it can harm the protective mucus layer in the stomach. This leads to holes in the stomach lining which can create ulcers. If H. pylori is present, a provider may prescribe antibiotics to help destroy the harmful bacteria.
Specific types of pain relievers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), can prevent your body from generating a chemical that works to help protect the inner linings of your small bowel and stomach.
Other variations of pain medications, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), will not lead to the development of stomach and small intestine ulcers. This is one of the reasons why healthcare providers advise using pain medication in small and controlled amounts.
Risk factors for peptic ulcers
Additional factors that elevate the risk of developing peptic ulcers include the following:
- Consuming acidic or spicy foods
- Alcohol consumption
- Regular use of NSAIDs
Our San Antonio, TX gastroenterologists are trained to recognize the indications of peptic ulcers and determine what might be causing the GI condition.
What are the symptoms of peptic ulcers?
Because peptic ulcers are essentially open sores in the stomach or small intestine, individuals commonly feel discomfort and a burning sensation in the abdomen when they occur. Other symptoms of peptic ulcers can involve:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Blood in the stool
- Fatty food intolerance
- Acid reflux and heartburn
Should you notice blood in your stool or if you vomit, please get in touch with your provider promptly. If you have any combination of the symptoms mentioned above or take nonprescription antacids that reduce your discomfort, but the discomfort persists, request a consultation with a gastroenterologist at your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location as soon as you can.
What are the treatments for peptic ulcers?
With proper care, peptic ulcers can be addressed and subside after some time. Treatments for peptic ulcers include the following:
- Medications to reduce acid production (H-2 blockers)
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori
- Endoscopic procedures to cauterize bleeding arteries
- Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine)
- Reduce the use of certain types of pain relievers
Find care for peptic ulcers
Our GI specialists provide peptic ulcer treatment to San Antonio, TX patients and aim to help you live a more comfortable life. Please call a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you to learn more about your treatment options. Request a consultation with one of our talented GI providers today.
Dr Johnson and his staff are great always taken care my problem❤️
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All the staff is extremely patient and supportive. It was my first time at clinic and will recommend family and friends to go there when they need to. They follow up with you after going home and that’s caring of them.
My entire has been seeing Dr Otero for over 30 years. He is so great.
Very professional, thoroughly knowledgeable. I was well taken care of by Dr Johnson and his staff.