This Morning: Dr Helen gives advice on mixing painkillers
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Commonly used anti-inflammatory medicines, known as NSAIDs, include: ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and diclofenac. While most people have no side effects, for some, a stomach ulcer can develop. The NHS explained that a stomach ulcer, otherwise called a gastric ulcer, is a sore in the lining of the stomach. A “burning” sensation within the stomach might appear soon after eating.
This feeling can last anywhere from a few minutes, making it barely noticeable, to a few hours.
For some people, the pain can be so intense that it wakes them up at night.
While taking indigestion medication, such as antacids, may relieve the pain, it will keep on returning as the stomach ulcer is not treated.
Another sensation you might feel if you have a stomach ulcer is nausea.
This may or may not be accompanied by physically vomiting when you feel sick.
A stomach ulcer can also lead to a loss of appetite, especially if you experience pain after every time you eat.
Consequently, it is not unusual for a person with a stomach ulcer to lose weight.
In regards to sensations, one might experience heartburn or feelings of indigestion.
Five sensations of a stomach ulcer
- Burning stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling and being sick.
A formal diagnosis of a stomach ulcer requires medical oversight.
First, if you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, you must make an appointment with your doctor.
A hospital appointment might be arranged for a gastroscopy to look inside the stomach.
The NHS explained: “This is a test to look inside your stomach directly and see whether you have a stomach ulcer.
“It involves passing a thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) with a camera through into your stomach and the 1st section of the small intestine (duodenum).”
The diagnostic tool only does not involve an overnight stay at the hospital.
If a stomach ulcer is diagnosed, especially if it’s caused by taking NSAIDs, you will be given a course of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid that the stomach produces, preventing further damage to the ulcer.
An alternative medication might be H2-receptor antagonists, as well as antacids to help relieve symptoms.
A repeat gastroscopy might be required to check if the stomach ulcer has healed.
It can take up to six weeks for a stomach ulcer to heal; the recovery process can be encouraged by:
- Avoiding stress
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding spicy foods
- Avoiding smoking.
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