Stomach Ulcer

Introduction: A stomach ulcer or gastric ulcer is a type of sore or wound in the lining of the stomach. Such ulcers can occur in other parts of the digestive system besides the stomach. For example An ulcer in the first part of the intestine that starts after the stomach is called a duodenal ulcer. Duodenal ulcer and gastric ulcer—These two types of ulcers are sometimes called peptic ulcers.

Although primarily discussed here are stomach ulcers, the information is equally valid for duodenal ulcers.

What are the symptoms of a stomach ulcer?

The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a specific type of pain. A stomach ulcer causes a burning or dull pain in the middle of the stomach. But not everyone has pain. Some may have other symptoms as well. For example –

When to consult a doctor?
If you think you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer, make sure to see a doctor. In addition, if any of the following symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention—

If blood is vomited. Vomiting may be accompanied by bright red blood. Or there may be dark-colored streaks or streaks of blood mixed in, which look like coffee beans.
Black, sticky, tarry stools
Sudden sharp and sharp pain in the abdomen, which gradually increases with time.
These symptoms can occur due to serious complications like internal bleeding. So it is necessary to go to the hospital and start treatment without delay.

Causes of Stomach Ulcer?

They have a coating between them to protect the lining of the stomach from exposure to the acid produced in the stomach. The lining is a layer made of a mucus-like substance called mucus. If this layer is damaged for some reason, the acid comes into direct contact with the lining of the stomach and damages it. Stomach ulcers are formed in this way.

Causes of coating damage include—

  • Infection with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
  • Long-term or high doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aceclofenac, or aspirin
Earlier, it was believed that stomach ulcers were caused by stress or eating certain foods. But there is no irrefutable evidence for them.

Risk age group of stomach ulcers?
Stomach ulcer is a very common disease, which can affect people of any age, from children. The disease is more common in people aged 60 years and above. Men are more commonly affected by stomach ulcers than women.

Stomach Ulcer Treatment

With proper treatment, most stomach ulcers heal completely within one to two months. What treatment a patient receives usually depends on what caused the ulcer. The following methods are commonly used in the treatment of stomach ulcers:

1. Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications are the first line of treatment for most people. These are commonly known as gastric medicines. PPIs reduce the secretion of gastric acid from the stomach, allowing the ulcer to heal on its own.

2. Antibiotics are recommended in addition to PPIs if the ulcer is caused by an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. Antibiotics prevent recurrent ulcers by killing these bacteria.

3. PPIs should also be used in cases of ulcers caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Your doctor will also discuss with you whether you should continue taking NSAIDs. If necessary, medicines like paracetamol can be advised instead of these medicines.

Stomach ulcers can recur even after treatment. However, if the cause of the ulcer can be eliminated, the problem of ulcers usually does not return.

Possible complications of stomach ulcers

Stomach ulcers usually do not cause any complications. However, in some cases, these complications can be fatal. These complications are so serious that they can lead to death.

Major complications of stomach ulcers include—

  • Bleeding from ulcers or wounds
  • Leakage of the lining of the stomach at the site of the ulcer— medically known as perforation.
  • Blockage of food through the digestive tract due to ulcers is called gastric obstruction

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