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Types of Ulcers and Their Treatment
Man Holding Stomach | Ulcer | Gastroenterologist Atlanta

GI North in Cumming, GA can help you with your ulcer, call us today!

For millions of people around the world, ulcers are a torment. Once thought to be caused by stress or spicy or overly hot foods, people now know that an ulcer can be caused by a bacteria called h. pylori. Interestingly, though most people have this bacteria in their gut doctors aren’t quite sure why some people will develop an ulcer while other people won’t. Other causes are the overuse of NSAIDs like aspirin. Aside from the pain and discomfort they cause, some types of ulcers increase the sufferer’s risk for stomach cancer.

The Types of Ulcers

An ulcer can be gastric or peptic. A peptic ulcer is found on the duodenum, which is the juncture between the stomach and the small intestine. It can also develop at the juncture between the esophagus and the stomach, but this is uncommon.

A gastric ulcer is one that develops in the stomach and a duodenal ulcer is in the duodenum. A person can suffer from more than one type of ulcer at a time, and a peptic ulcer can return.

Treatment Options for Ulcers

Treatment has also changed over time. Doctors used to recommend everything from a bland diet to antacids to sitz baths. Now, an ulcer that’s caused by the h. pylori bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Doctors need to be careful as to what antibiotic is chosen, because some are no longer effective in killing the bacteria. Other drugs that can ease an ulcer are proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. Doctors can also prescribe histamine receptor blockers, or H2 blockers. These medications reduce the acid that’s produced naturally by the stomach and help the ulcer to heal.

Other substances like bismuth subsalicylate can coat the ulcer and protect it from the irritation of the gastric acid. Bismuth subsalicylate, also known as Pepto-Bismol, is usually taken with antibiotics. Doctors in the United States, including the doctors at GI North, employ a triple therapy that uses clarithromycin, an antibiotic, a proton pump inhibitor and another antibiotic like metronidazole or amoxicillin for about a fortnight. Other therapies include Pepto-Bismol, tetracycline and metronidazole and a PPI taken for a similar amount of time. After about four weeks of the treatments, the doctor will give the patient a test to see if the bacterial infection has been cured.

Dr. Simon Cofrancesco of GI North is pleased to treat patients in the Atlanta areas of Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton and Suwanee, Georgia and beyond who are troubled by an ulcer. For a consultation, don’t hesitate to call (404) 446-0600.

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