stomach ulcers, signs, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment

Introduction

Ulcer is defined as destruction mucous membrane or skin from whatever cause, producing a crater or rather indentation. An inflammatory reaction occurs and if it penetrates a blood vessel bleeding ensues.

There are more than 7 types ulcer but will just highlight few which are more common.

  1. Peptic ulcer
  2. Leg ulcer
  3. Arterial ulcer also known as Ischemic ulcers or Ischemic wounds
  4. Pressure ulcer
  5. Venous ulcer
  6. Gastric Ulcer or stomach ulcer
  7. Esophageal Ulcer

As you can see there are so many types of ulcer as stated above but in our case we are going to discuss about stomach ulcer which is also known as Gastric Ulcer. And on our article we are going to cover the following hope you will enjoy and get your health back if you are a victim of stomach ulcer since, that is our desire as world health educator.

What Causes Ulcers?

Causes of ulcer will defer on what type of ulcer it is, since ulcer take or occur on different parts organs of the body as a result of different factors. But in our case of stomach ulcer may be caused by the following factors though sometime it may vary depending on your body and lifestyle.

Usually people think and believe that ulcer are caused by stress or by eating food with too much acid in it, which sometimes is very correct, but I will disagree as the study have shown that most of ulcers are caused by an infection.

This infection is caused by a bacteria (germ) called Helicobacter pylori (say: hell-ee-ko-back-ter pie-lore-ee”), or H. pylori for short.

While other Acid and other juices made by the stomach may contribute to ulcers by burning the lining of your digestive tract. This usually happen when your body by a chance produces much acid than the required by your body for digestion or if the lining of your digestive tract is injure by any means or one way or another.

That why we said Physical or emotional stress may not necessarily cause an ulcer, but it can aggravate an ulcer if you have one.

Another of stomach ulcer is anti-inflammatory medicines, drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, cortisone derivatives, and alcohol have all have been said to cause ulcer development.

These drugs cause injury to the protective mucosal lining of the stomach,  and as we said above and I quote “While other Acid and other juices made by the stomach may contribute to ulcers by burning the lining of your digestive tract “ you can see how this is linked to ulcers, results in ulceration and bleeding.

Signs and symptoms of ulcer

In most cases signs and Symptoms will depend on where the ulcer is located and can vary widely. Since some people may have no symptoms while others experience an intermittent burning and gnawing sensation along with feeling empty and hungry.

Hence most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Stomach pain that wakes you up at night
  • Heavy feeling, bloating, burning or dull pain in your stomach
  • Feel better when you eat or drink and then worse 1 or 2 hours later (duodenal ulcer)
  • Feel worse when you eat or drink (gastric ulcer)
  • Feel full fast
  • Vomiting
  • Unexpected weight loss

Diagnosis, test & treatment

Once you visit your doctor will ask about signs and symptoms that we stated above or more and depending on your situation may start you on some medicine before doing tests.

This is because in some instances ulcers usually get better within a week or so when given treatment. So you may not need tests if you’re situation will get better as said. But if you don’t get better, then your doctor may request an endoscopy or a special X-ray test to study your digestive tract. He or she may take a biopsy (a sample of the stomach lining) to test for H. pylori.

How can ulcers be treated?

One of the methods of treating ulcers is to get rid of the H. pylori bacteria.  Other Treatment may also be used at lowering the amount of acid that your stomach makes, neutralizing the acid and protecting the injured area so it can heal. It’s also very important to stop doing things, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, that damage the lining of your digestive tract.

Things to check to know your ulcer is getting worse

  • You vomit blood.
  • You vomit food eaten hours or days before.
  • You feel coldor clammy.
  • You feel unusually weak or dizzy.
  • You have blood in your stools (blood may make your stools look black or like tar).
  • You have ongoing nauseaor repeated vomiting.
  • You have sudden, severe pain.
  • You keep losing weight.
  • Your pain doesn’t go away when you take your medicine.
  • Your pain reaches to your back.

 

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