Peptic Ulcer Specialist

Dan Wool, NMD -  - Naturopathic Physician & Gastrointestinal Specialist

Dan Wool, NMD

Naturopathic Physician & Gastrointestinal Specialist located in Scottsdale, AZ & Tempe, AZ

Upper abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, and bloating could signal one of many gastrointestinal diseases, including a dangerous peptic ulcer and a complex condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). When your symptoms fail to improve, don't wait to schedule a consultation with Dan Wool, NMD. As a naturopathic physician and an expert in gastroenterology, Dr. Dan Wool carefully evaluates your symptoms, determines the underlying condition, and then provides comprehensive care that prevents complications. To schedule a free in-person or telehealth consultation, call the office in Scottsdale or Tempe, Arizona, or connect online today.

Peptic Ulcer Q&A

What is a peptic ulcer?

A peptic ulcer is an open sore that develops on the inner lining of your stomach or small intestine. When a peptic ulcer develops in your stomach, it's called a gastric ulcer. If it affects the small intestine, you have a duodenal ulcer.

Without treatment, peptic ulcers can enlarge and cause internal bleeding. They may also perforate the stomach wall and block the passage of food.

What causes peptic ulcers?

Your digestive tract has a mucous coating that normally protects it from strong stomach acid. Under certain conditions, stomach acid erodes the inner lining and creates an ulcer.

The top two causes include:

H. pylori infection

  1. pylori is a bacteria that can infect your stomach and cause inflammation, a condition called gastritis. As inflammation damages the stomach’s lining, acid reaches the tissues, and an ulcer develops. H. pylori also increases your risk of gastric cancer.

Pain reliever irritation

Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) irritate the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Prolonged use of these pain relievers can lead to a peptic ulcer.

What symptoms occur if I have a peptic ulcer?

Upper abdominal pain is the primary symptom of a peptic ulcer. You may also experience:

  • Abdominal pain that's worse when your stomach is empty
  • Abdominal pain that wakes you from sleeping
  • Burning stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Nausea
  • Intolerance to fatty foods

Your symptoms may come and go over many years and only get severe if the ulcer penetrates through the wall.

What is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?

The small intestine normally hosts a small number of bacteria. When excessive levels of bacteria build up in the small intestine, you have SIBO.

SIBO causes problems such as:

Bloating and flatulence

Bacteria break down food as it arrives in the small intestine. In the process, they create gas that your small intestine doesn't typically produce during digestion. The extra gas causes bloating and flatulence.

Nutritional deficiencies

The small intestine absorbs the nutrients you consume and sends them into your bloodstream. When you have abnormal numbers of bacteria breaking down the food, your small intestine doesn't get the chance to take in all the nutrients. As a result, you end up with deficiencies.

What symptoms occur due to SIBO?

SIBO causes many of the same symptoms as other gastrointestinal conditions:

  • Gas and belching
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence

Many people with SIBO also experience unintentional weight loss.

How are peptic ulcers and SIBO treated?

As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Wool gets to the root of the problem by completing extensive diagnostic testing. Then he develops customized treatments, drawing from many possible alternative treatments, such as dietary changes, herbal medicines, and nutritional supplementation.

Though his first approach to treatment encompasses natural therapies that support your body's ability to heal, he may prescribe medication when needed to eliminate bacterial infection.

To learn more about effective treatments for abdominal pain, call Dr. Dan Wool or book an appointment online today.