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How to Treat a Bleeding Ulcer

medical illustration showing stomach ulcers | GI NorthGastric ulcers are open sores located in your stomach. Duodenal ulcers are found in the upper section of your small intestine. Both types of ulcers can cause heartburn and stomach pain, but they can become more dangerous if they begin to bleed.

Causes of Bleeding Ulcer

A bleeding ulcer can be the result of inflammation of the stomach lining caused by H. pylori, a bacterial infection. You can also suffer from this type of ulcer if you take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on a regular basis. NSAIDs can be hard on your stomach because they make it more difficult to protect that area and your small intestine from stomach acids. Other medications, such as steroids, anticoagulants, and low-dose aspirins can also increase your chances of developing ulcers. Factors that can affect the development of a bleeding ulcer include smoking, excessive drinking, excess stomach acid production, and radiation therapy.

Treatment for a Bleeding Ulcer

The underlying cause of an ulcer will determine the treatment methods for your condition. If you have untreated ulcers that have worsened over time, serious health complications can arise, such as a bleeding ulcer. A bleeding ulcer is causing an internal loss of blood that can become significant.

If H. pylori tests come back positive for that infection, your physician may prescribe a combination of antibiotics for the infection and proton pump inhibitors to lessen the amount of acids in the stomach, allowing your ulcer to heal.

An upper endoscopy procedure can be conducted to diagnose and treat a bleeding ulcer. Surgery may be necessary if a bleeding ulcer has caused a hole in the stomach lining or if the bleeding cannot be stopped with an endoscope.

Listen To Your Body

If you are concerned about bleeding in the digestive tract or have any other digestive system concerns, please call the staff at GI North, conveniently located in Cumming, Georgia, to make an appointment with one of our specialists. Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano are highly experienced gastroenterologists who specialize in diagnosing and treating digestive issues.

Dr. Cofrancesco is a board certified gastroenterologist who founded GI North in 2011. Dr. Quijano is double board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and he speaks fluent Spanish. Both physicians at GI North are pleased to be able to serve the residents of Cumming in addition to the surrounding areas of Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee.

The information in this article is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice. Please make an appointment with your physician or call us at GI North for more information.

© 2017 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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