Peptic Ulcers in Hattiesburg, MS

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A common digestive health concern, peptic ulcers are open sores that develop in the stomach (known as a gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (known as a duodenal ulcer) that may result in discomfort, bleeding, and pain. The variation of cells that make up the stomach lining are surrounded by a mucus layer that helps minimize the risk of stomach damage. When this protective component within the small intestine or stomach is damaged, then the acid from the stomach damages the tissue located behind the protective structure.

Though anyone can develop peptic ulcers, some patients may carry a greater risk if peptic ulcers run in their family or they are age 50 or older. The digestive health specialists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC offer experienced care for this type of health issue. If you need treatment for peptic ulcers in Hattiesburg, MS, please contact our team right away to set up a visit.

As explained above, a peptic ulcer develops when the tissue in the small intestine or stomach comes into contact with pepsin, which is commonly called stomach acid. This acid then begins to damage the tissue within the organ. There are two main reasons, however, for why erosion of the stomach lining takes place.

H. pylori

Helicobacter pylori, frequently known simply as H. pylori, is a bacteria that can enter your body in a number of ways. When it finds its way in, it can harm the layer of mucus lining the stomach. This leads to openings in that lining, which can result in ulcerations. When H. pylori is present, a doctor may recommend antibiotics to help eliminate the harmful bacteria.

Pain relievers

There are certain pain relievers, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, that can block your body from generating a chemical that functions to help protect the internal walls of your stomach and small intestine.

Other forms of pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), do not result in the formation of stomach and small intestine ulcers. This is one of the reasons why healthcare practitioners advise taking pain medication in small and controlled quantities.

Risk factors for peptic ulcers

Additional risk factors for developing duodenal or gastric ulcers are as follows:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Stress
  • Eating spicy and acidic foods
  • Tobacco use
  • Regular use of NSAID pain relievers

Our Hattiesburg, MS gastroenterologists are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of peptic ulcers and help determine what might be causing the GI condition.

Since peptic ulcers are essentially open sores in the small intestine or stomach, patients will commonly have a burning sensation and discomfort in the abdominal region when this condition occurs. Other commonly experienced symptoms of peptic ulcers can include:

  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Blood in the stool
  • Belching
  • Vomiting

If you have bloody stool or are vomiting, please call your provider right away. If you have any combination of the symptoms mentioned above or are experiencing recurrent pain even after taking nonprescription antacids, arrange for a consultation with a GI physician at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC as soon as possible.

With proper care, peptic ulcers can be treated and can improve after some time. Treatment options for peptic ulcers could include the following:

  • Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
  • Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine)
  • Medications to reduce acid production (H-2 blockers)
  • Endoscopic procedures to cauterize bleeding arteries
  • Decrease the use of specific pain medications
  • Antibiotics to kill Helicobacter pylori
  • Surgery
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Our specialists provide peptic ulcer treatment to Hattiesburg, MS patients and endeavor to help you experience a life free of GI discomfort. Please call Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to discover your options for care and how we can help improve your quality of life. Request a consultation today.

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