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Know More about Peptic Ulcers

Know More about Peptic Ulcers
Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain
March04/ 2017

Peptic ulcers generally refer to the sores that develop in the lining of your stomach, lower esophagus and small intestine. Peptic ulcers usually develop due to the inflammation caused by the bacterium H. pylori and also due to the erosions from stomach acids.

Peptic Ulcer Types

The common types of peptic ulcers include the following:

  1. Gastric Ulcer

Gastric ulcers are the ulcers that generally develop inside your stomach.

  1. Esophageal ulcer

These ulcers are commonly seen inside the esophagus.

  1. Duodenal Ulcer

Ulcers that develop mostly in the upper portion of the small intestine are referred as duodenal ulcer. The upper portion of small intestine is referred as the duodenum.

Peptic Ulcer Causes

There are different factors that are responsible for breakdown of the lining of esophagus, small intestine and stomach. The common factors include:

  • Helicobacter pylori infection and inflammation
  • Frequent use of medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Excessive smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stomach cancer

Peptic Ulcer Symptoms

The symptoms associated with peptic ulcers may range from mild to severe. In few rare cases, the small peptic ulcers may not produce any symptoms in the early stages. The most common symptoms associated with peptic ulcers include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Indigestion
  • Chest pain

Peptic Ulcer Diagnosis

It is recommended to get yourself diagnose when you experience any symptoms related to peptic ulcers to avoid complications. The common diagnostic tests done to diagnose peptic ulcers include:

  1. Upper Endoscopy

During this procedure a long tube with a camera is inserted in your stomach and small intestine. Endoscopy mainly helps in examining your intestine and stomach for the presence of ulcers. With the help of this instrument, you can remove certain tissue samples for diagnosis.

Upper endoscopy is mainly recommended for people who are at higher risk of stomach cancer and people above 45 years of age. This test is also used for people who experience the following conditions like:

  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  1. Upper Gastrointestinal test

When you don’t experience difficulty swallowing your food and is at low risk of stomach cancer, this test is generally used. For this diagnostic test, you need to drink barium before the X-ray is done. This thick liquid will help your doctor to visualize and treat peptic ulcers.

Peptic Ulcer Treatment

Peptic ulcer treatment is mainly done by using certain medications to treat infection caused by H. pylori. In most of the cases peptic ulcers gets cured with medicines. Acid blockers are also given to minimize the stomach acid and pain caused due to stomach ulcers.

Peptic Ulcer Prevention

To prevent and minimize the risk of peptic ulcers, you need to make the following lifestyle changes:

  • Quit smoking
  • Minimize your alcohol intake
  • Don’t mix alcohol with any medication and don’t take it at the same time
  • Wash your hands properly to avoid the risk of infection
  • Limit the use of medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium
  • Try to have balanced healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains

Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain

Atefa Noorain, (Microbiologist) former Head of the Department of Life Sciences, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Sujatha Degree College for Women. She worked as an Associate Research Analyst at Thomson Reuters and an Associate Editor of two research journals. She has presented her research work in 3 International Conferences. She has written articles for national journals and international journals. She had been felicitated as a Young Speaker in the last conference. She has worked on Nanoparticles as a part of her research project and won the Best Scientist of the Day award.

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