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 Peptic or Gastric Ulcers, have you had either? Care to share your experience?
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  3:22:59 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am not seeking medical advice but I am curious to hear about experiences others have had with ulcers and their treatment and/or cure.

I believe I have an ulcer and my family physician is attempting treatment. I had a sonogram to rule out problems in the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and kidneys. I have had the H.pylori test done to rule out that infection.

He is treating me with AciPhex and I am using Pepto Bismol. I am also on a bland diet. I will give it two months and, if the ulcer is not clearly on the mend, I will see a different doctor for an endoscopy.

Anyway, I have had unusual symptoms. Mine first started about six months ago as an "itching" on the skin just below the breast from the center of the chest and slightly to the left. The itching would be intense and I tried creams to no avail. Only putting ice on the spot would kill the itch. Then I started getting a "pins and needles" type feeling in addition to the itch. This progressed to a feeling of bloating in that area, still with the itch and pins and needles. None of this was actually painful, mostly irritating.

Then I began having more discomfort and sometimes a slight burning sensation. Certain foods began to give me a lot of trouble. But I couldn't understand why junk food (like cheeseburgers) would not bother me but I could not eat salads, or steamed vegetables. I found an ulcer diet and discovered that foods that would normally be good for you are not so good for ulcers. The diet said that spices are ground up fiber and act like ground glass in your food. Corn on the cob looks like a hand grenade to an ulcer. But fast food is okay because it has no fiber. Some of the worst things are vinegar and citrus fruits. Sure enough, if I stay away from the bad items, I have a lot less trouble.

I am on my 5th week of the AciPhex and the bland diet. I am having fewer episodes but now have some times when I feel a sharp pain. I don't know if the ulcer is better or not though because I am on such a bland diet. If I go back to some of the foods I was eating, I might have just as much trouble.

I have a feeling I will be ending up with the endoscopy but please share your experiences with me.

I searched for a similar topic and could not find one so I hope this is not a repeat.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.

Carrie711
Valued Contributor

Citrus County, Florida
USA
154 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  3:36:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Juanita,

I have never heard of itching as a symptom of an ulcer and I have been a registered nurse for almost 50 years.

For some good info, you can look up symptoms, causes, treatments and advice at: www.mayoclinic.com/
I use it frequently when I do medical research for some local physicians.

Hope you feel better soon

Carrie
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  3:47:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Carrie, the itching is an unusual symptom but I did find info online about itching on people who have gall stones (itching is on the right side). The itching is definitely related to the other symptoms of the pain and pins and needles, etc, because I have it all together.

I have read that itching is actually pain, but just not bad pain. When you scratch yourself, you incur pain that is just worse than the pain from the itch, thereby making the itch feel better. The scratching is just a counter-irritant.

When this is all said and done, if I discover what caused the itching, I will post it.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JanJojo
Star Contributor

West Virginia
USA
42759 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  4:27:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Before I had a Shingle breakout in 2001 I had really obnoxious
itching on the left side about a week before the Shingles reared
their ugly heads. I have gall stones,but so far have not experienced
any unusual itching on the right side.
My dad had a duodenal ulcer for many years. He could not eat popcorn,
peanuts or any other ulcer irritating foods. He quit smoking and the
ulcer healed up. Now he can eat what he wants and isn't bothered at all.

Janette Johnson
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  5:08:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have not had an ulcer, but have had an endoscopy--also referred to by some folk as an "upper GI." It is not comfortable, but not painful. I wish I had been knocked out, as it really made me gag, but the camera on a wire showed some really interesting video on the monitor. I did like that distraction.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2010 :  5:36:37 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne, I have had 5 endoscopies when I participated in medical studies for GERD (acid reflux). I was knocked out each time. I don't think I could do it awake, I would gag. The last one was about 3 years ago.

So I don't mind going in for one. It's just a bit of a hassle having to have someone go with me to drive me home, etc. But I won't wait too long for some substantial results from my present treatment before seeking help from the specialist.

JoJo, as for shingles, I don't think this is a prelude to that. I never had chicken pox. I gave up smoking a 24 years ago.

I think what brought on the ulcer was ibuprophen. I was taking 3 tablets every day. I used to have problems from taking aspirin. I think the problems from ibruprophen are worse.

I was taking statin drugs to lower my cholesterol. These caused severe pain in my legs so I took pain killers. The pain killers I believe have caused the ulcer. It's just a vicious circle.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2010 :  08:32:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Update: I have been treating this ulcer for 8 weeks with AciPhex and also using Pepto Bismol. It is about 80% healed as far as I can tell from my symptoms.

The intense itching that I had is subsiding along with the pain. I now have minimal pain, and slight itching. I am seeing a different doctor in a few weeks and will ask him what he thinks about the "itching."

After 12 weeks on AciPhex, if the ulcer is not 100% healed, I will go in for an endoscopy. Even though I have not had an endoscopy since this started, I am about 100% sure it is an ulcer because it responds almost immediately to Pepto Bismol and reacts to certain foods. Foods that irritate ulcers also irritate me and foods that are soothing to ulcers do not bother me.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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.KimSVision
Star Contributor

Orange County, CA
USA
1383 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2010 :  4:32:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I had an ulcer in the mid 70's, and even had my doctor give me a shot of Morphine a few hours before my high school graduation, after I had an attack. I spent about 8 months eating cottage cheese, and baby food, and drinking lukewarm water. Then Tagamet was invented. It was a lifesaver, even though it was a new prescription that was not yet covered by insurance. I was paying $50 a week for a month, and then I was cured!

God Bless Tagamet, and whoever invented it!

I hope you find your cure! I've been pain-free for about 35 years!
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2010 :  4:48:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Kim, I have used a lot of different drugs that control acid, but I have never tried Tagamet. I have been in numerous medical studies on GERD. The one that worked the best for me was AciPhex. It was like a miracle when I first took it. I had GERD so bad that every swallow produced extreme pain. The acid reflux in the evening caused real suffering. The first day I tried AciPhex, the acid reflux was gone. I could eat anything and nothing bothered me.

I had red circles all over my stomach with dark purple dots (petechia) and those disappeared in weeks.

So far I am impressed with the way it is curing the ulcer. I'm glad you found something that works well for you.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 12/17/2011 :  12:50:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It took until March of 2011 for my ulcer to heal completely. I was on Aciphex and Pepto Bismol (which is bismuth subsalicylate and recommended for ulcers). Up until then I would have mild flare-ups. I still take Aciphex daily to keep the acid reflex under control.

The itching that I experienced across my stomach while I had the ulcer was an unusual symptom. The itching was intense and I would sometimes scratch until I drew blood. I used bottles and bottles of Calamine lotion which helped some. As the ulcer healed, the itching subsided. When I was still having small flares, the itching would return and was in the same severity as the pain from the ulcer.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2015 :  5:31:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My granddaughter had suffered from stomach pain, nausea, etc, for about six years. The doctor she went to when she was 17 diagnosed it as irritable bowel syndrome. He never looked into her stomach with an endoscopy and only examined a small section of her colon (in which there was nothing in the way of polyps or other problems). This was the only doctor who would treat someone of her age with a condition like this so her mother was hindered in finding her any more help. What he prescribed for her (assuming it was IBS) did her no good.

When I first started having problems with ulcers, GERD, etc, my doctor also said it was not my stomach, but maybe my liver or gall bladder but never did any real tests to find out for sure. I finally got help many years later when I joined a research study for the stomach.

Recently, a new doctor examined my granddaughter with not only the colonoscopy but an endoscopy. Lo and behold, not only is the problem her stomach (not the colon), and not only does she have an ulcer, she has 15 ulcers.

Now, after six years she is finally getting help from a doctor who didn't just jump the gun and assume he knew what it was regardless of her complaints. She is actually getting treatment for the stomach ulcers and doing much better.

I cannot help but wonder how many people might be being treated for something they don't actually have and the real problem is going undiagnosed.

Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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