What is a Bleeding Ulcer?
Ulcers, which are sores that are like craters, are a manifestation when there is erosion in the gastrointestinal system particularly in the upper digestive tract. Its size is generally within ¼ inch to ¾ inch in width or 1 to 2 inches in width. In this case the ulcers we are going to discuss are ulcers that can be found in the stomach, lower esophagus, or duodenum. When an ulcer occurs in the stomach, it is known as gastric ulcer.
When it occurs in the small intestines in the duodenum, it is called duodenal ulcers. When it occurs in the esophagus it is termed as esophageal ulcers and lastly when it occurs in both stomach and duodenum, it is referred to as peptic ulcer. Without medical intervention or treatment, the ulcers can enlarge and may lead to very severe and serious complications such as bleeding ulcers. There would be severe bleeding complications when the ulcer or lesion attacks and grows on blood vessels.
When you have a bleeding ulcer it can vary in degrees of bleeding from life threatening hemorrhage to slow chronic blood loss. Both of which are a clinical problem that needs to be medically intervened and it frequently requires hospital stay or hospitalization.
Symptoms and Signs
When a person has a condition called as bleeding ulcer, he or she will manifest the following signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Pallor or paleness of skin
- Light headedness
- Cramping Pain
- Intestinal upset
- Extreme Stomach discomfort
- Low blood pressure
- Vomiting Blood or Hematemesis
- Black colored stools or coffee ground looking stools or Melena
- Acid indigestion
Anyone who has ulcers has a high risk in developing a bleeding ulcer. A lot of this ulcer developed from an infection of the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori. Bleeding ulcer needs to be given a medical attention or else it will progress to the death of the person, in most severe cases. Some of the etiologies linked to having a bleeding ulcer are categorized into lifestyle habits and medications.
Drinking alcohol a lot will erode and irritate the mucous lining of the stomach and it will tend to increase the stomach acid level. Studies shows, that a person who drinks alcoholic beverage and take NSAIDs can lead to developing bleeding ulcers.
When one smoke, the nicotine found in cigarettes and tobacco will increase the concentration and volume of the acid found in the stomach. It also will slow down the recuperation of an ulcer.
Persons who take NSAIDs, blood thinners or oral anticoagulants all at the same time is a greater risk of having bleeding ulcer. The NSAIDs works as to inhibit the cyclooxygenase enzyme which produces prostaglandins. Prostaglandins will help in protecting the stomach from physical and chemical injury.
The physicians are the ones that are capable in diagnosing this disease condition. The first thing that the physician will do is to conduct thorough assessment by asking the patient’s medical history and doing a total physical examination. It will ask of any related symptoms of this disease. After that, diagnostic tests will be followed to confirm the assessment gathered. Such diagnostic procedures expected to be done in associated with this disease condition are as follows:
- Upper Endoscopy
- Barium X-Rays
The treatment of bleeding ulcer deals with the aim of minimizing bleeding and replacing fluids that was loss.
- With regards to the treatment of an acute or chronic bleeding ulcer, it usually goes hand in hand with the cause or etiology of how you have gotten the ulcer.
- If for example the cause of bleeding is due to too much alcohol consumption plus ingestion of gastric irritating medication, then to treat the bleeding, you must stop taking or consuming them.
- If for instance, the cause of the bleeding is cancer then to treat it would be through the usual course of treatment which is the removal of the tumor itself.
- And lastly, if the bleeding is due to peptic ulcer, the physician may prescribe medications in treatment of Helicobacter Pylori, recommendation of a change in diet and if possible a lifestyle change.
- Other medications that can be prescribed by a physician are proton pump inhibitors, which are used to decrease the acid in the stomach.
- While acid blockers decreases also the hydrochloric acid in the gastric system.
- Antacids which can also be prescribed, on the other hand, will neutralize the acid.
1) stay away from acid rich foods
In healing a person with bleeding ulcer, he or she must change his or her diet. It doesn’t have to be a permanent diet change. In this diet you need to stay away from acid rich foods since the ulcer are caused by damage from acid.
An acid rich food includes
- tomatoes and
- citrusy foods
2) No to alcoholic beverage consumption
You also need to have at least zeroed alcoholic beverage consumption.
3) Eliminate caffeine rich beverages
It is also advice that you must cut down or at least eliminate caffeine rich beverages. Caffeine rich beverages and products include
- mint and
There are six important tips in prevention of having a bleeding ulcer. These are as follows:
Watching your diet
Avoid foods that irritate your stomach and cause it to become upset. Such food includes consumption of spicy, greasy foods, or salt-rich processed goods.
Avoid Alcohol consumption
Alcohol tends to irritate your stomach lining and will further interfere in the production of the natural stomach secretions. It is best that you avoid alcohol.
Limit or reduce Caffeine intake
Caffeine found in tea, coffee, soda pop and chocolates should be taken in lesser content as it will irritate and weaken the lining of the stomach.
Smoking aggravates the bleeding ulcer condition and it slows the natural healing process of the body. It also delays the clotting of blood.
Avoid taking irritating medications such as NSAIDs
It is a big contributor with the development of ulcers. An example of NSAIDs is aspirin which thins the blood and leads to an increase bleeding.
Lower Stress levels
Stress will reduce and prevent the development of ulcer.