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Home :: Digestive Disorders

Peptic Ulcer


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Peptic Ulcer
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Peptic Ulcer term is used to refer to a group of ulcerative disorders of the upper digestive system which appear to have in common the participation of acid-pepsin in their appearance. Peptic ulcer is produced when the aggressive effects of acid-pepsin dominate the protective effects of stomach and duodenal mucosal resistance. Gastric ulcers are more common in people over the age of 50.As with acute stress gastritis, stress ulcers can occur under the stress of severe illness, skin burns, or trauma. Stress ulcers occur in the stomach and the duodenum. Duodenal ulcers are generally benign Peptic ulcers are common. The good news is that oftentimes successful treatment of ulcers takes just a few weeks.

The gastric mucosa possesses an extraordinary capacity to secrete acid. Food ingestion is the major physiological stimulus of gastric acid secretion, which enables food to be digested. The gastric mucous membrane plays an important role in resisting acid effects by means of an insoluble mucous gel layer, which coats the mucosal surface of the stomach. Doctors now know that a bacterial infection or medications -not stress or diet - cause most ulcers of the stomach and upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). medical cost of treating peptic ulcer and its complications runs in the billions of dollars annually. Recent medical advances have increased our understanding of ulcer formation. Improved and expanded treatment options are now available.

A peptic ulcer is an ulcer of one of those areas of the gastrointestinal tract that are usually acidic. The names given to specific ulcers identify their anatomic locations or the circumstances under which they developed. The stomach and duodenum (upper part of the small intestine) are protected from this acid by a lining of mucus (sticky fluid) Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach, upper small intestine or esophagus. Contrary to general belief, more peptic ulcers arise in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine , just after the stomach) than in the stomach . One cause of peptic ulcer is bacterial infection, but some ulcers are caused by long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), like aspirin and ibuprofen. In a few cases, cancerous tumors in the stomach or pancreas can cause ulcers. For instance, children with severe burns can develop ulcers secondary to the stress of their injuries. This is also true for infants who become septic, or very ill with a bacterial infection. In otherwise healthy children, peptic ulcers are very unusual.

A peptic ulcer is erosion in the lining of the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Too much stress, too much spicy food, and you may be headed for an ulcer -or so the thinking used to go. Most ulcers are associated with Helicobacter pylori , a spiral-shaped bacterium that lives in the acidic environment of the stomach. An ulcer occurs when the lining of these organs is corroded by the acidic digestive juices which are secreted by the stomach cells. Peptic ulcers are common: One in 10 Americans develops an ulcer at some time in his or her life. Marginal ulcers can develop when part of the stomach has been removed surgically, at the point where the remaining stomach has been reconnected to the intestine. Duodenal ulcers are more common than gastric ulcers and usually occur in people aged 20 to 45, particularly men.

Causes of Peptic Ulcer

The common Causes of Peptic Ulcer :

  • Infection with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) - this is almost always present in people with ulcers, although it's also found in the stomachs of many people without ulcers or indigestion symptoms
  • Smoking increases the risk.
  • Certain drugs eg aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs .
  • Severe stress (eg, trauma, burns), Curling ulcers
  • We now know that a large percentage of people who have ulcers have a germ (Helicobacter pylori) in their stomach which they probably picked up many years previously, which makes the ulcer more likely to occur and more difficult to heal.
  • Pancreatic enzyme reflux
  • Regularly taking certain medicines, particularly aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac

Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer

Some common Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer :

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • General discomfort in the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn , indigestion , belching
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain (usually dull and achy)
  • Frequent burping or hiccuping
  • The usual result is low blood cell count ( anemia ).
  • Blood in vomit or bowel movements, which may appear dark red or black

Treatment of Peptic Ulcer

Here is the list of the methods for treating Peptic Ulcer :

  • Proton pump inhibitors or histamine receptor blockers to stop your stomach from making acids
  • Antibiotics to kill Helicobacter pylori
  • Your doctor may prescribe a tablet which reduces the production of acid in the stomach this is likely to cure an active ulcer.
  • Antacids or a GI cocktail (ie, typically an antacid with an anesthetic such as viscous lidocaine and/or an antispasmodic) may be used therapeutically for symptoms.
  • Avoid any foods which seem to bring on pain.
  • Medications that protect the tissue lining (like sucralfate)
  • Reduce the level of acid in your digestive system to relieve pain and encourage healing.
  • Stop taking NSAIDs and use paracetamol instead. If this is not possible, contact your GP for advice for people with ulcers, a type of NSAID called a cyclo-oxygenase-2 selective inhibitor (cox-2-inhibitor, eg rofecoxib) may cause less stomach irritation.
  • Avoid food and drink that seems to cause more severe symptoms such as spicy foods, coffee and possibly alcohol,