Can you die from a bleeding ulcer? A peptic ulcer is an open sore that develops in the soft lining of the gastric or duodenum (your upper section of the small intestine) – could be fatal if left untreated. Appropriate treatment plan is crucial to treat the disease and promote a cure more likely. But if it’s poorly treated, you may experience serious complications (internal bleeding for example).
decades ago, excessive acid was to blame for primary cause of ulcer. But today
scientists know that acid damage is not the main culprit
most cases, it has to do with the following causes :
- Helicobacter pylori infection.
Not all people with this infection develop ulcer, but in fact it’s common in
people with ulcer.
- Long-term use of NSAIDs (pain
relievers). Some NSAIDs may interfere with the function of Cox-1 enzyme, making
ulcers more likely to form.
it’s still important for patients with ulcer to manage their stomach acid level
since excess acid can provoke ulcer symptoms and make the open sore take longer
with most medical conditions, early diagnosis and early treatment are important
to treat the open sore before it becomes advanced (when it’s more difficult to
treat)! With comprehensive treatment plan, it’s likely possible to provide a
complete cure without causing lingering after effects.
the disease doesn’t always cause signs and symptoms until it progresses to
become quite advanced. Even nearly 75 percent of all cases don’t have early
symptoms. This is probably the answer of why many people don’t seek medical
help when the disease is most likely curable.
The ulcer symptoms may vary from person to person. But the most common one (in many cases) is burning, abdominal pain – especially in the upper abdominal area. The pain usually worsens when your stomach is empty (between meals or at night), and may temporarily relieve when you eat something that can buffer your stomach acid.
symptoms include belching, abdominal bloating, feeling of fullness, frequent
acid reflux (heartburn), nausea, and fatty food intolerance!
on the severity of ulcer, it’s also possible for the disease to cause more
severe symptoms (in less common cases). Some of these symptoms could be loss of
appetite, unintentional weight loss, trouble breathing (like shortness of
breath), vomiting with blood, stools containing blood, and feeling faint.
If the disease turns into serious, this would cause a number of serious complications. Therefore, it’s necessary to treat it completely, even though if you have the mild one that isn’t causing any problems.
course of treatment is dependent on the underlying cause, symptoms, and
severity of the disease.
the disease is caused by H-pylori infection, antibiotic medications are usually
used to cure the infection. Other medications include antacids (to help
neutralize stomach and relieve some ulcer symptoms), proton pump inhibitors (to
block acid secretion and promote quick healing), or cytoprotective agents (to
help give extra protection to the lining of the stomach and intestine) .
surgical treatments may be recommended especially if the disease has caused
serious or life-threatening complications.
complications are quite rare (not common). But some can be very dangerous or
even life-threatening if they occur. One of them is internal bleeding, which is
also the most common complication of the disease.
more likely to have a bleeding ulcer if you have an ulcer that forms at the
site of a blood vessel! This internal bleeding may occur in a couple of
different ways, some of these are as follows:
- Chronic (slow) long-term
bleeding. This can cause anemia, a condition in which your body has low red
blood cell count. Since this bleeding occurs slowly and gradually, you’re
probably not aware to the decline until you become anemic.
- In rare cases, the bleeding could
be severe (acute) in which it occurs rapidly. It’s an emergency situation and
immediate treatment is necessary.
Bleeding ulcer is a serious condition. It could be fatal without immediate prompt treatment, especially if you experience rapid and severe bleeding.
rapid, heavily internal bleeding may cause a life-threatening hemorrhage! You
could have serious consequences (including organs failure or even death) if
you’ve lost about one-third of your total blood volume .
the mortality rate associated with peptic ulcer disease (including for its
bleeding) in the last few decades has decreased modestly. The risk for death is
probably about 1 out of every 100,000 cases. However worldwide, the mortality
rate from ulcer bleeding is still pretty scary about 5-10 percent .
seek medical help immediately if you have any symptom of a bleeding ulcer!
symptoms of anemia caused by chronic ulcer’s bleeding may include tiredness
(fatigue), pale skin, trouble breathing (breathlessness), and rapid-pounding
heart (heart palpitations).
quick internal bleeding may cause lightheadedness, vomiting blood (like coffee
grounds), or passing bloody stools (sticky-tarry stools).
be aware to the following other ulcer emergency signs and symptoms:
- Appetite changes that doesn’t
respond with lifestyle measures.
- Severe, persistent nausea and
- You have increasing pain in your abdomen,
especially if the pain lasts longer than what you expect.
- Severe, persistent abdominal
- Mental confusion and feeling
bleeding, other ulcer emergencies are as follows: