What Is Peptic Ulcer?

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Definition of Peptic Ulcer:

A peptic ulcer is basically a kind of sore in the internal lining of the stomach of a duodenum. There are many causes that generate peptic ulcer symptoms, which should be eliminated to get a proper cure. Peptic ulcer is also called Ulcer, Stomach ulcer, Gastric ulcer and Duodenal ulcer.This pain of peptic ulcer disease has the following characteristics:

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  • Burning pain
  • It may lasts for few days or may be weeks
  • Pain is more pinching when stomach is empty
  • It lessens after eating

Causes of Peptic ulcers

Peptic ulcers generally develop when the acids which are responsible for a food digestion start damaging the walls of duodenum or stomach. The bacterium causing a peptic ulcer is called Helicobacter pylori. Second cause is a long term usage of NSAIDs as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Use of tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and smoking habit are included as a leading cause. Spicy foods and stress do not exaggerate the situation but get worse if untreated.

Persons having tumors in the pancreas suffer from a condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which is responsible to cause duodenum and stomach ulcers. It releases a hormone in high levels, which increases the stomach acidity.

Ulcers which cannot heal can be treated with surgery. General treatments include the intake of those medicines that block stomach acids or any sort of antibiotics to kill and treat ulcer-causing bacteria. Avoiding alcohol and smoking can help improving the situation to even better.

Symptoms of Peptic ulcers

Some ulcers may cause bleeding but small ulcers do not show such symptoms. Although the abdominal pain is a most common symptom but pain can differ from a person to person.

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Mild nausea
  • Empty feeling in the stomach
  • Feeling of fullness in the stomach

There are many other possible symptoms which include:

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Bloody stools

Possible complications

  • Internal bleeding
  • Gastric outlet obstruction
  • Blood in stool or in vomiting
  • Peritonitis-Inflammation of the tissues that line the walls of an abdomen

Suggested Exams and Tests

Doctor should advise following tests to diagnose an ulcer.

  • Upper GI
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy
  • Hemoglobin test
  • Stool guaiac test
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  1. Burning pain is the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer. The pain is caused by the ulcer and is aggravated by stomach acid coming in contact with the ulcerated area.

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