Peptic ulcer (stomach ulcers intestine)

General or Other | - Others | Peptic ulcer (stomach ulcers intestine) (Disease)


Peptic ulcer disease refers to painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

The major symptom of an ulcer is a burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach area that lasts between 30 minutes and 3 hours. This pain is often interpreted as heartburn, indigestion or hunger. The pain usually occurs in the upper abdomen, but sometimes it may occur below the breastbone. In some individuals the pain occurs immediately after eating. In other individuals, the pain may not occur until hours after eating. The pain frequently awakens the person at night. Weeks of pain may be followed by weeks of not having pain. Pain can be relieved by drinking milk, eating, resting, or taking antacids.

Appetite and weight loss are other symptoms. Persons with duodenal ulcers may experience weight gain because the persons eats more to ease discomfort. Recurrent vomiting, blood in the stool and anemia are other symptoms.

Causes and Risk factors

No single cause has been found for ulcers. However, it is now clear that an ulcer is the end result of an imbalance between digestive fluids in the stomach and duodenum. Ulcers can be caused by: infection with a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), use of painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, and others), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Midol, and others), and many others available by prescription. Even aspirin coated with a special substance can still cause ulcers, excess acid production from gastrinomas, tumors of the acid producing cells of the stomach that increases acid output, seen in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for peptic ulcers typically involves antibiotics to kill the H. pylori bacterium and other medications to reduce the level of acid in your digestive system to relieve pain and encourage healing. You may take antibiotics for two weeks and acid-reducing medications for about two months.

If your peptic ulcer isnt caused by H. pylori, you wont need antibiotics. Instead, your doctor may recommend treatments for your specific situation. For instance, if pain relievers caused your ulcer, your doctor may recommend a different pain reliever or a different dose. Your doctor may also recommend acid-reducing medications to allow your ulcer to heal. You may take these medications for two months or more. ...

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