Peptic Ulcers in Little Rock, AR
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What is a peptic ulcer?
Common among a wide range of patients, peptic ulcers are open sores or ulcerations that occur in the stomach (referred to as a gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (known as a duodenal ulcer) that can result in discomfort, bleeding, and pain. The type of cells that line the stomach are encased in a mucus layer that helps guard the stomach against damage. When the protective structure within the small bowel or stomach becomes damaged, then the acid from the stomach erodes and damages the tissue found behind the protective lining.
Even though anyone can develop 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 specialists at GastroArkansas offer expert care for this type of health concern. If you are seeking treatment for peptic ulcers in Little Rock, AR, please contact our team right away to schedule a consultation.
What are the causes of peptic ulcers?
As mentioned above, a peptic ulcer occurs when the tissue in the small bowel or stomach comes into contact with pepsin, or the substance commonly referred to as stomach acid. The stomach acid then erodes the tissue within the organ. There are two causative factors, however, for why the protective lining in the stomach becomes eroded.
Helicobacter pylori, often referred to as H. pylori, is a type of bacteria that might enter the body in a variety of ways, but when the bacteria enters, it can harm the mucus layer in the stomach. This leads to openings in that lining which can lead to ulcers. If helicobacter pylori is detected, a provider may recommend antibiotics to help eliminate the destructive bacteria.
There are some types of pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs medications, and aspirin, that can keep your body from making a chemical substance that works to help protect the internal linings of your small bowel and stomach.
Other forms of pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), do not cause the development of ulcers in the small intestine and stomach. This is one of the reasons why medical practitioners advise taking pain relievers in small and controlled amounts.
Risk factors for peptic ulcers
Further risk factors for experiencing gastric or duodenal ulcers are as follows:
- Regular use of NSAID painkillers
- Consuming foods that are acidic or spicy
- Alcohol use
- Tobacco use
Our Little Rock, AR gastroenterologists are trained to identify the indications of peptic ulcers and help ascertain what might be creating the gastrointestinal condition.
What are the common symptoms of peptic ulcers?
Due to the fact that peptic ulcers are really open sores in the stomach or small bowel, patients will commonly feel discomfort and a burning pain in the abdomen when this condition occurs. Other signs of peptic ulcers can include:
- Acid reflux and heartburn
- Intolerance to fatty food
- Unwanted weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Feeling bloated
- Bloody stool
If you have bloody stool or if you vomit, please get in touch with your physician promptly. If you notice any combination of the symptoms mentioned above or take nonprescription antacids that reduce your discomfort, but the pain comes back, schedule an appointment with a GI specialist at GastroArkansas at your earliest convenience.
What are the treatment options for peptic ulcers?
With the proper medical attention, peptic ulcers can be treated and can improve after some time. Treatment options for peptic ulcers may include the following:
- Antibiotics to kill Helicobacter pylori
- Endoscopic procedures to cauterize bleeding arteries
- Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the small intestine and stomach)
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
- Medications to reduce acid production (H-2 blockers)
- Reduce the use of specific pain relievers
Find care for peptic ulcers
Our GI doctors offer peptic ulcer treatment to Little Rock, AR patients, and look forward to helping you enjoy your life in the absence of discomfort or pain. Get in touch with GastroArkansas to explore your treatment options and hear more about our dedication to patient care. Book a consultation today.
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Dr. Jeff Robertson and his staff are always pleasant, punctual and professional. Dr. Robertson is extremely efficient, thorough and forthcoming. When talking to him, I feel comfortable to share my most inner concerns about my gastro woes without feeling embarrassed. I value his opinions and feel at ease knowing that I am in good hands. I strongly recommend Dr. Jeff Robertson to anyone experiencing upper and/or lower GI issues. He's by far The Best! 🤩
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Well I thought it was awesome since I had my appointment time wrong but they still worked me in. Very pleasant the doctor I spoke with. Very very thorough. Looking forward to seeing Dr Pennington.
I have been with Dr. Davis for many years. He and his staff have been very professional. He listens and understands medical issues, which he always finds a remedy. He is kind, personable and I highly recommend Dr. Davis!