A stomach ulcer (also called a gastric ulcer) is a cratered lesion or sore located in the wall of the stomach. The same type of ulcer can also occur in the upper part of the small intestine, where it’s called a duodenal ulcer.
Collectively, these types of ulcers are known as peptic ulcer disease, which affects about 4 million Americans each year.
They sometimes heal on their own, but if not, they can cause serious problems, including bleeding, a perforation or hole that develops in the wall of the stomach, and swelling or scarring that can cause blockages.
People can also develop ulcers in their lower esophagus due to reflux disease (GERD). These are often incorrectly called stomach ulcers, but are actually esophageal ulcers.
In this blog, Dr. Anthony Borcich will explain where you can find the best stomach ulcer treatment in NYC.
What causes a stomach ulcer?
The stomach and small intestine are normally protected against stomach acid by a thin layer of mucus. However, when this layer breaks down, acids can cause an ulcer.
The process can begin in several different ways, including the following:
- An infection caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). The presence of this bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll develop an ulcer, but most people with stomach ulcers have H. pylori.
- Long-term of frequent use of Nonsteroidal prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including naproxen (Aleve and others), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others), and aspirin.
- Less common causes include excess acid in the stomach, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, the use of certain medications, and radiation treatment in the stomach area.
- Tumors of the stomach are a less common but serious cause of ulcers.
What are the symptoms of stomach ulcers?
The symptoms of a stomach ulcer can be similar to those found with gastritis (stomach inflammation). Stomach ulcers may cause symptoms that include the following:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- A recurrent upset stomach
- A burning feeling in the stomach at night or between meals
- Loss of appetite
- Dark or black stool
- Vomiting blood (which can look like coffee grounds)
- Weight loss
In some cases, gastritis or a stomach ulcer may cause no symptoms.
A proper evaluation with a top Manhattan GI doctor (a specialist in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract) is critical for making a diagnosis and determining your treatment options.
Where can I find the best stomach ulcer treatment in NYC?
The first step to learning about your gastritis and stomach ulcer treatment in New York City is an examination with an NYC gastroenterologist. Dr. Borcich will conduct a thorough evaluation, which includes going over your medical history and your symptoms with you. He’ll also review any medications (prescription as well as over-the-counter) you take.
If necessary, he’ll order tests to confirm or rule out a stomach ulcer or other condition. These may include tests to evaluate your blood, stool, or breath for the presence of H. pylori. In some cases, an upper endoscopy may be recommended to make a precise diagnosis. This procedure will allow Dr. Borcich to view the stomach and duodenum in great detail in order to visually confirm the presence of an ulcer or other issue. It will also allow him to take a tissue sample (biopsy) to test for H. pylori as well as the presence of cancerous cells.
If you’re experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of gastritis or an ulcer, an evaluation with an experienced Manhattan gastroenterologist who specializes in stomach inflammation and stomach ulcer treatment is the first step to finding relief.
Anthony Borcich, M.D., has more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating gastritis and stomach ulcers and is known for combining the highest level of expertise with a compassionate, personalized approach.
Schedule an appointment today by contacting our office or filling out the schedule appointment form on this page.