Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Gastric Ulcers Treatment?
At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, treating gastric ulcers goes hand in hand with comforting and advising our patients. Our general surgeons are well-trained, professional, and exceptionally empathetic. Treatment is adapted to the specific case of each patient and aims to provide both immediate- and long-term relief and solutions.
Gastric ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach caused by an acid imbalance due to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. They can also be the result of alcohol use, smoking, stress, or certain anti-inflammatory medications. With gastric ulcers, patients generally feel immediate pain and discomfort in the upper abdominal area when they are hungry or immediately after they eat. Consequently, gastric ulcers occur periodically, alternating between painless and painful intervals. They can appear seasonally, being more pronounced in spring and fall. Gastric ulcers, also known as stomach ulcers, are very serious conditions and should be treated immediately.
Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital provides a full range of medical and surgical treatments meant to stop the pain, heal the ulcer, and prevent its recurrence. The treatment approach chosen for gastric ulcers depends mainly on the cause.
Surgical Procedures Performed at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Gastric Ulcers
The skillful medical specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital provide a wide range of non-invasive and surgical treatments for gastric ulcers. Depending on the underlying cause of your condition, we will employ the most effective treatment approach, which is bound to alleviate any distressing symptoms you might be experiencing and also prevent a recurrence.
By virtue of their vast practice experience, our surgeons can successfully treat any type of gastric ulcer, regardless of the complexity it may entail. Whether your gastric ulcer is causing severe bleeding or has already led to complications such as stenosis, the medical professionals at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will promptly find the most efficient and low-risk treatment for you. Surgery is generally recommended in the following cases:
- the gastric ulcer is suspected to have caused malignant lesions
- the gastric ulcer failed to decrease in size by at least 60% following non-invasive treatment such as medication
- the gastric ulcer did not improve after the patient underwent endoscopy twice
Drugs and Other Treatments Needed for Gastric Ulcers
Below are some common drugs and treatments for gastric ulcers:
Histamine H2 antagonists »
Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) »
There are 5 types of gastric ulcers:
Giant Gastric Ulcers »
Multiple Ulcers of the Stomach »
Proximal Gastroesophageal Ulcer »
True Gastric Ulcers »
Combined Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers »
Symptoms of Gastric Ulcers
The first symptoms of stomach ulcers are:
- Pain, associated with a state of discomfort
- Stomach burns suddenly appear and disappear for no apparent reason
- Pain associated with mealtime which appears either before or after the ingestion of food
- Bloating, accompanied by a feeling of fullness and loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and lethargy
Usually, the first signs of ulcers are not taken seriously, as they can be mistaken by a wide range of common, less severe conditions.
Without treatment, the ulcer will expand and the following symptoms will set in:
- Hematemesis, or vomiting of black or red blood
- Hematochezia, or blood in the stool
- Weight loss as a consequence of feeling bloated or nauseous
- Persistent pain and burning sensations that cannot be alleviated with medications
Diagnosis of Gastric Ulcers
Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital offers a series of effective and professional procedures to diagnose and provide pain relief for all types of gastric ulcers:
- An endoscopic biopsy: This procedure can be used to take a sample of tissue which will be examined under a microscope in order to identify the presence of the H. pylori bacteria, and to determine whether the gastric ulcer is benign or malignant.
- Gastric ulcer imaging: A barium swallow test may be done to highlight any abnormalities in the upper gastrointestinal tract. This helps determine the severity and size of the ulcer, which sometimes cannot be fully observed during endoscopy.
Risk Factors for Gastric Ulcers
Some of the possible risk factors for gastric ulcers are:
- Alcohol: In large quantities, alcohol stimulates the secretion of gastrin and hydrochloric acid, so it is possible to have a direct effect on disease occurrence.
- Caffeine: Many of the patients who developed ulcers admitted having consumed large amounts of coffee. It is strongly recommended, especially for people who already have symptoms of gastrointestinal ulcers, to reduce coffee intake as much as possible.
- Other important risk factors are: stress, diet, smoking, genetic factors, substance abuse, anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, when administered orally or in suppository form, but not when applied in the form of creams, ointments, gels).
Causes of Gastric Ulcers
Two of the most common causes of gastric ulcers are infections with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and the abuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin.
A rare cause of peptic ulcers is Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. In this case, the stomach produces an excessive amount of hydrochloric acid, which affects the gastric mucosa.
Alternative medicine and treatments can help prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms associated with gastric ulcers. However, you should always consult with your doctor first. Some common alternative medicines and treatments are:
Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese technique can be helpful in treating gastric ulcers as it takes into consideration all the key elements of the disease:
- The imbalance in the basic functions of the stomach
- The acid-aggression factor
- Decreased resistance and diminished capacity for regeneration in the stomach tissues
Homeopathy: Homeopathic remedies relieve symptoms and strengthen the body against the H. pylori bacteria. The treatment aims to restore health quickly and permanently, without further complications using logical principles and adapting them to the patient's condition. In some cases of gastric ulcers, these remedies can help relieve the pain in the chest, and the bloating in the upper abdomen. In addition, homeopathic treatments can reduce the incidence of acid reflux, heartburn, and nausea.
Natural remedies: Although these remedies have not been officially confirmed as beneficial, some of the symptoms commonly found in patients who suffer from a form of ulcers, can be alleviated by using the following natural remedies:
- Flavonoids: recent studies have shown that flavonoids, or bioflavonoids, found in many fruits and vegetables such as soybeans, kale, broccoli, berries, and legumes can be effective when treating stomach ulcers. However, flavonoids are also present in foods and drinks that should be avoided when dealing with a stomach problem such as citrus fruits products or red wines.
- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice: Plain licorice, not sweetened, might help treat ulcers by blocking the growth of the H. Pylori bacteria. However, consuming too much licorice can have a negative impact on one’s health, especially for people with heart conditions or high blood pressure.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are a certain type of living bacteria that help restore digestive balance and activity. They can be found in certain fermented foods such as yogurts or buttermilk.
- Honey: This ancient nutritious sweetener is not only delicious but also extremely healthy. Honey is well-known for its antioxidant properties and is recommended when treating ulcers as it can inhibit the growth of the H. Pylori bacteria and is also a powerful antibacterial.
You can prevent gastric ulcers by making these simple, yet effective, lifestyle choices:
- Avoid eating fried foods and foods high in fat
- Consume more alkaline foods, like rice or boiled potatoes
- Drink tea on a regular basis
- Use aspirin and/or NSAIDs with caution
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Avoid drinking milk when dealing with gastric ulcers symptoms, as milk can actually make things worse causing your stomach to produce more acid
- Wash hands regularly
- Do not ignore any of the symptoms previously mentioned
Do you suspect you might have any symptoms of gastric ulcers? You can always learn more about gastric problems and how to treat them by getting in touch with our highly-skilled specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.