Peptic ulcer disease refers to painful sores or ulcers develop in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum and caused by the bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori.
Common symptom of peptic ulcer is stomach pain. Peptic ulcers includes duodenal ulcers, gastric problems. Spicy food, Stress and Painkillers definitely make the symptoms worse.
Most ulcers are caused by an infection with a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which lives in the tissues of small intestine and stomach. It is also clear that an ulcer is the result of an imbalance between digestive fluids in the duodenum and stomach. This bacterium spreads from person to person by close contact with the food and water.
Factors that can increase the risk for peptic ulcers include:
- Use of painkillers, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen
- Excess drinking of alcohol
- Serious illness
- Spicy food
- Chewing tobacco or Smoking
Stomach pain is the common symptom of peptic ulcer. A burning pain in the upper stomach between meals or at night.
Other symptoms of peptic ulcer include heartburn, blood vomiting, weight loss, food intolerance, bloating and nausea.
How Can We Prevent Ulcers?
To reduce the risk of developing ulcers:
- Don’t use painkillers.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Don’t smoke.
- If you have symptoms of ulcer consult gastroenterologist
How Are Ulcers Diagnosed?
Doctor may suspect you have an ulcer just by talking with you about the symptoms. However, to confirm the diagnosis investigations should be taken. First, the doctor may suggest you to take an acid-blocking medication used to treat heartburn for a short period to check if symptoms improve.
If needed, doctor may ask to undergo a procedure called an upper endoscopy. It involves inserting a small, lighted tube (endoscope) through the throat and into the stomach to look for the abnormalities. This procedure is usually given if you are having severe or recurring symptoms of ulcers.
Risks & Complications:
People who drink alcohol, smoke and eat spicy foods are greatly at the risk of peptic ulcer. The complications of peptic ulcer include infection, internal bleeding and obstruction. Continuous bleeding leads to anemia and may require surgery. In certain conditions, peptic ulcer may cause blockage of the digestive tract.
How Are Ulcers Treated?
If not properly treated, ulcers may lead to serious health issues. The doctor looks for symptoms of peptic ulcer, standard treatment include prescribing drugs to eliminate Helicobacter Pylori and treating acidity. Surgery may be suggested for acute bleeding.