Could Your Stomachache Be Signaling an Ulcer?
You’ve just finished a great meal, but the burning pain in your stomach is keeping you from enjoying the evening. In fact, you’ve had a stomachache off and on for weeks. If you regularly experience abdominal pain, or other digestive symptoms like heartburn, nausea, or feelings of heaviness, you may have an ulcer.
Ulcers are a type of sore that develop in either the lining of the stomach or at the opening of the small intestine. The culprit is usually either a bacteria, called Helicobacter pylori, or regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, Motrin, Advil, or Aleve.
Listen to Your Body: Ulcer Signs
If you do have an ulcer, your body will let you know that it’s miserable. Telling signs of an ulcer include:
- Abdominal Pain – Pain from an ulcer is typically between the breastbone and belly button and often comes shortly after eating. The pain may come and go.
- Nausea – Mild to severe nausea can plague some people with an ulcer. An imbalance of digestive juices creates the nauseous feeling.
- A Feeling of Fullness – You may develop a feeling of heaviness or fullness in your stomach as an ulcer develops.
- Indigestion – Many ulcer patients suffer from heartburn right after a meal.
- Loss of Appetite – Stomach pains that accompany an ulcer may cause you to lose your appetite or be afraid to eat.
- Sudden Weight Loss – If you have a poor appetite, you may quickly drop pounds. You may also suffer from a sudden weight loss if your ulcer is causing you to vomit frequently after meals.
Treatment to Stop the Pain
Fortunately, most ulcers can be treated with medications. A gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in digestive disorders, can determine if you have an ulcer, diagnose the cause, and prescribe the best medication for you.
The LeBauer Gastroenterology team offers testing, including endoscopies, to help diagnose ulcers. The doctors can also provide effective treatment options tailored to your individual needs. To schedule an appointment with a LeBauer gastroenterologist at our Greensboro office, call 336-547-1745.