Peptic Ulcers in St. Louis, MO

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A common gastric concern, peptic ulcers are open sores or ulcerations located in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or upper small intestine (also known as a duodenal ulcer) that often result in discomfort, bleeding, and pain. The cells that line the stomach are surrounded by a layer of mucus that helps reduce the risk of stomach damage. When this protective component within the stomach or small bowel is compromised, then the stomach acid leads to erosion of the tissue that sits behind the protective wall.

While anyone can experience peptic ulcers, some may carry a higher risk if they have a family history of peptic ulcers or are 50 years or older. The GI providers at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community offer specialized care for this type of medical condition. If you need treatment for peptic ulcers in St. Louis, MO, please reach out to one of our locations today to request a consultation.

As mentioned above, a peptic ulcer occurs when the tissue in the stomach or small bowel is exposed to pepsin, which is also called stomach acid. The stomach acid then erodes the tissue within the organ. There are two causative factors, however, behind why the stomach's protective lining becomes eroded.

H. pylori

Helicobacter pylori, frequently referred to as H. pylori, is a type of bacteria that can enter your system in several ways. Once the bacteria enters your body, it can harm the layer of mucus lining the stomach. This causes openings in that protective lining and can result in ulcerations. If H. pylori is detected, a provider may recommend antibiotics to help destroy the destructive bacteria.

Pain relievers

Specific pain relievers, for example, aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can block your body from producing a chemical that helps protect the inner walls of your small bowel and stomach.

Other variations of pain medications, for example, acetaminophen (Tylenol), do not lead to the formation of small intestine and stomach ulcers. This is among the reasons why physicians recommend utilizing pain relievers in controlled and small amounts.

Risk factors for peptic ulcers

Other risk factors for gastric or duodenal ulcers include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Regular use of NSAID pain relievers
  • Consuming foods that are spicy or acidic
  • Stress
  • Alcohol consumption

Our St. Louis, MO gastroenterologists can recognize the indications of peptic ulcers and help pinpoint what might be the cause of the GI condition.

Since peptic ulcers are basically open sores in the small intestine or stomach, people often feel discomfort and a burning sensation in the abdomen when this condition occurs. Further signs and symptoms of peptic ulcers include:

  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Nausea
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in the stool
  • Burping
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Appetite loss

If you are experiencing bloody stools, it is imperative that you contact your Specialists in Gastroenterology provider immediately. If you experience any combination of the symptoms listed above or use over-the-counter antacids that soothe your pain, but the pain returns, it may be time to be assessed by a specialist so you can get the medical treatment you require.

With proper care, peptic ulcers can be treated and can improve over time. Common treatments for peptic ulcers that our team may recommend for St. Louis, MO patients might include the following:

  • Antibiotics to kill H. pylori
  • Surgery
  • Cytoprotective agents (medication to protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine)
  • Endoscopy to cauterize bleeding arteries
  • Decrease the use of certain pain medications
  • Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
  • Acid-reducing medication (H-2 blockers)
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Our GI specialists provide peptic ulcer treatment to St. Louis, MO patients and aim to help you live your life without discomfort or pain. Get in touch with a Specialists in Gastroenterology location near you to discover your options for treatment and how we go above and beyond to help you.

Everyone provided good care.

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Dr.Root is awesome, he’s friendly and the office staff are even wonderful too. He’s definitely a doctor I would suggest. He’s patient and answers all your questions patiently.

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She is an excellent professional and very kind.

P.R. Google

Always excellent care. Staff and Dr Thyssen are wonderful. Highly recommend SIG.

G.L. Google

Dr. Weinstock and staff are wonderful. I’ve been going to this office for years, and I’ve never had a bad experience. Everyone is kind, helpful and professional.

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