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Are Painful Stomach Cramps And Tender Stomach Signs Of Stomach Ulcer?

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Posted on Mon, 25 Apr 2016
Question: I have cramping pains in my stomach that are sometimes severe. My stomach feels tender. This has lasted for five days. Is it a stomach ulcer and what must I do?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (41 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
peptic ulcer, gallbladder stones...

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I suppose that by "stomach" you mean the upper abdomen. I have to make sure we are talking about the same region because many individuals refer to the whole abdomen as stomach, which is wrong.

There are various conditions that may cause pain in the upper abdomen. I'll mention some of the most common ones.
- peptic ulcer: it usually causes burning pain. Depending on the location of the ulcer, the pain may start right after eating (gastric ulcer) or more than half an hour after eating (duodenal ulcer). Patients with duodenal ulcers usually need to eat something to achieve temporary relief.
- gallbladder stones: there are two possibilities, cholecystitis which causes constant pain (that is it won't get better without treatment) and gallbladder colic. Gallbladder colic is a pain that comes (usually 30-45 minutes after eating fatty food) and gets better in 15-60 minutes. It is usually located under the right rib cage but it can be felt on the middle upper abdomen.
- gastroenteritis: it can be caused by pathogens or their toxins. It usually also causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The characteristics of the pain may drive the diagnostic thoughts to one diagnosis or another. For example, a burning quality increases the chances of an ulcer. A colicky character increases the chances of gallbladder disease. etc...

The gallbladder can be easily assessed with an ultrasound scan. Ulcers are diagnosed with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Gastroenteritis is usually a clinical diagnosis.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (13 hours later)
Thank you for comments. I do mean the upper abdomen. I now have a tenderness in this area and occasional mild sharp pains. I have no diarrhoea but do have a sore throat and a headache. Did not have these symptoms before today. My stomach felt very swollen three days ago and then very sharp pain came. It lasted 24 hours then went away and came back three days later. I have felt slightly nauseous. I have no desire to eat and feel quite energy less.

I will have an early night and see if I feel better in the morning. I have thought if my symptoms persist I will see a doctor in two days time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
that would be good to do

Detailed Answer:
You're welcome!

I agree with you in your decision to see your doctor but I would recommend seeing the doctor sooner. Most cases of upper gastrointestinal discomfort are not very serious but since serious diagnoses are possible it would be better for you to clarify this issue as soon as possible.

The sore throat and headache COULD be related to your discomfort but since abdominal discomfort preceded the throat and head aches by 5 days (which is a lot of time), I don't really believe they ARE related.

My best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (23 hours later)
What is the treatment for a stomach ulcer?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
it depends...

Detailed Answer:
The treatment depends on whether Helicobacter pylori is present or not. If it's present then your doctor will prescribe appropriate treatment for the eradication of this pathogen. There are various regimens. The primary regimen consists of amoxicillin, clarithromycin, tinidazole and omeprazole. It's given for 10 days.

If there is no Helicobacter then omeprazole (or any other proton pump inhibitor) can be given for 4-8 weeks.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3803 Questions

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Are Painful Stomach Cramps And Tender Stomach Signs Of Stomach Ulcer?

Brief Answer: peptic ulcer, gallbladder stones... Detailed Answer: Hello, I suppose that by "stomach" you mean the upper abdomen. I have to make sure we are talking about the same region because many individuals refer to the whole abdomen as stomach, which is wrong. There are various conditions that may cause pain in the upper abdomen. I'll mention some of the most common ones. - peptic ulcer: it usually causes burning pain. Depending on the location of the ulcer, the pain may start right after eating (gastric ulcer) or more than half an hour after eating (duodenal ulcer). Patients with duodenal ulcers usually need to eat something to achieve temporary relief. - gallbladder stones: there are two possibilities, cholecystitis which causes constant pain (that is it won't get better without treatment) and gallbladder colic. Gallbladder colic is a pain that comes (usually 30-45 minutes after eating fatty food) and gets better in 15-60 minutes. It is usually located under the right rib cage but it can be felt on the middle upper abdomen. - gastroenteritis: it can be caused by pathogens or their toxins. It usually also causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The characteristics of the pain may drive the diagnostic thoughts to one diagnosis or another. For example, a burning quality increases the chances of an ulcer. A colicky character increases the chances of gallbladder disease. etc... The gallbladder can be easily assessed with an ultrasound scan. Ulcers are diagnosed with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Gastroenteritis is usually a clinical diagnosis. I hope you find my comments helpful! You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information. Kind Regards!