A stomach ulcer means you have a wound in the wall of your stomach, or in the wall of your duodenum. The wound will usually be in the duodenum. But this will still be referred to as a stomach ulcer. This wound exposes the nerves in the connective tissue layer. The stomach acid coming into contact with the exposed nerves can result in a great deal of pain. The most common cause of stomach ulcers is the helicobacter pylori bacteria. The use of aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory painkillers also increases the risk of developing a stomach ulcer.Overzicht gezondheidsklachten
A stomach ulcer may result in you suffering from:
- Pain in the stomach area. If the wound is in the stomach wall, the pain is often worse after eating. A wound in the wall of the duodenum causes more pain on an empty stomach and at night.
- A reduced appetite.
- Acid reflux.
- Feeling bloated.
- A bleed. This may occur in some cases and can be seen in either blood in your stools or if you vomit blood.
We recommend the following if you have a stomach ulcer:
- Eat a healthy, varied and fibre-rich diet. Do this at regular times and eat small portions.
- Chew your food well.
- Drink alcohol and caffeine in moderation.
- Don’t eat too much greasy food and avoid spicy foods.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can affect the development of a stomach ulcer.
- Regularly participate with sports activities or exercise. For example, walk for half an hour every day. It’s important for you to take regular short breaks to get some exercise if you do a lot of sedentary work.
- Take enough rest and plan enough relaxation moments in your week. A great deal of stress promotes the development of a stomach ulcer.
- Don’t eat before going to sleep.
Do you suspect you may have a stomach ulcer? Then it would be a good idea to establish contact with your GP. He or she can prescribe medication which will remedy the symptoms. If the ulcer was caused by a bacteria, then your GP will establish whether you still have the bacteria. This will be done through a stool or breath test. If the bacteria is still there, you will again be prescribed medication (usually amoxicillin and clarithromycin) and antacids (usually esomeprazole). Isn’t this the case? Then you’ll only be prescribed antacids.
You will also need a visual examination after 8 weeks if you have an ulcer in the stomach wall. This will allow your GP to see whether your stomach’s mucous membrane has recovered. This is not done with a duodenal ulcer.
You should immediately call the emergency department if you have a stomach ulcer and one or more of the following symptoms:
- Black and sticky stools.
- You’re vomiting blood.
- Drowsiness and feeling like you’re going to faint.
- Unbearable and persistent abdominal pain.
- Pain which worsens when you laugh or cough.
- Pain which worsens when touching or releasing your abdomen.
- Pain which worsens when you move.
Make a new appointment with your GP if:
- Your symptoms don’t go away or worsen while you’re taking or have taken medication.
- You experience side effects caused by the medication you’re taking.