During times of stress, no abdominal pain or other abdominal symptoms are uncommon. Although psychological factors can cause abdominal discomfort, these symptoms are also characteristic of ulcer disease. After evaluating your symptoms, your doctor can provide a treatment to decrease or completely alleviate your discomfort, and antacids such as Maalox can be part of this treatment.
After taking the medical history and performing a physical examination, your doctor will probably ask a specialist for help with your evaluation. The specialist can be a surgeon or a gastroenterologist expert in diagnostic evaluation. The specialist may perform a breath or blood test for Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium commonly associated with ulcer disease and stomach cancer. Usually, this is followed by a gastroscopy, also known as an endoscopy. Under mild sedation, the doctor will insert a small camera into your mouth and pass it to your stomach, looking for an ulcer or other causes of abdominal pain. A small tissue biopsy is also usually done. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes.
If an ulcer is diagnosed, there are several treatment options available.
Ulcerative disease, if caused by Helicobacter pylori, can usually be treated successfully with one week of medication. If your ulcer has no known cause, treatment can be started with either an antacid or a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors.
Antacids, such as Maalox, neutralize stomach acid, are inexpensive and easy to take, and very effective in relieving symptoms. Maalox contains aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide, which help neutralize the acid. Although antacids may be associated with mild side effects, they are safe when used under the supervision of a doctor.
Proton pump inhibitors that greatly reduce or stop the release of stomach acid are also effective but are expensive and often require a prescription. You must be watched by your doctor while you are taking ulcer medication.
Relieves the discomfort associated with ulcer pain by reducing acidic foods and beverages such as fruits, coffee and chocolate from your diet. Avoid smoking cigarettes and exercise and sleep a lot. Try to have time for relaxation.
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