Peptic Ulcer: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Peptic Ulcer

A Peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach. It mainly happens because of H. Pylori infection. H. pylori is a kind of bacteria which break the mucus lining of stomach and acid make the sores. If peptic ulcers are in the stomach, they are called gastric ulcers. If it is found in the duodenum, they are called duodenal ulcers. You can have more than one ulcer.

Many people have a peptic ulcer. The peptic ulcer can be treated successfully if it is diagnosed well on time.

Symptoms of the Peptic ulcer

Burning pain in the gut is the most common symptom. The pain

  • Feels like a dull ache.
  • Do not stay regular it comes and does for days or weeks.
  • Starts 2 to 3 hours after the meal.
  • Comes in the middle of the night when your stomach is empty.
  • Usually goes away after you eat.

Other Symptoms are as:

  • Losing weight
  • Not feeling like eating
  • Having pain while eating
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Some people with peptic ulcers have mild symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, you may have peptic ulcers and should see your doctor.

Causes of Peptic Ulcer

Peptic Ulcers are generally caused by

  • Bacteria called Helicobacter pylori or H. Pylori for short.
  • Due to continuous use of NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Other Diseases like Stomach Cancer.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.

Our body makes strong acids that digest food. The inner lining of the stomach protects your stomach and duodenum from these acids. If the lining breaks down, the acids can damage the walls. Both H.Pylori and NSAIDs act on the mucous lining or inner lining of the stomach and leads to weakening the lining so acid can reach the stomach or duodenal wall.

H.Pylori causes almost two-thirds of all ulcers. Many people have H.Pylori infections but not everyone who has an infection will develop a peptic ulcer.

Do Stress or Spicy Foods Causes Peptic Ulcer

No, neither stress nor spicy foods cause the ulcer. But they can make ulcers worse. Drinking alcohol or smoking can make the ulcer worse too.

Risk Factors of Peptic Ulcers

Chances of peptic ulcers can increase if you

  • Have an H.Pylori infection.
  • Use NSAID (Non-Steroid Anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Are smokers
  • Are Alcoholic
  • have age 50 years or more

Can Peptic Ulcers get worse??

If peptic ulcers are not treated well on time. It can be worse. You should immediately consult to Doctors if you have any of the symptoms

  • Sudden stomach pain that does not goes away.
  • Stools – bloody or black in color
  • Regular Vomiting
  • Bloody vomiting.

Diagnosis of Peptic Ulcers

You are suffering from peptic ulcer or not can be diagnosed with some of the specific tests which confirms that you have peptic ulcers.

  • X-Ray: Patients are advised to drink the liquid called Barium to make your stomach and duodenum show up clearly on the X-Ray.
  • Endoscopy: Endoscopy is a procedure to look at the whole part of the stomach, which is helpful to find out whether there is the perforation or not.

In the endoscopy Drs. put a thin tube (which contain camera at the one end) inside the stomach or duodenum through the mouth and see the stomach.

  • Biopsy: Sometimes Drs. remove a small piece of your stomach to view the stomach under the microscope to find out the conditions.

Treatment of Peptic Ulcers

Peptic Ulcers can be cured. It requires your lifestyle and dietary modification along with medications. Medicines for peptic ulcers are as –

  • PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors) or histamine receptor blockers to inhibit acid production.
  • Antibiotic to kill H.Pylori bacteria.

Depending on the situation, the patient may take one or more medicines for a few weeks. It will help you out from pain and will heal your stomach.

Peptic ulcers take time to heal, so you need to take medicine for a longer period of time. Even you do not feel pain in the stomach continue your medicine till doctor does not stop.

Stop using NSAID as it is one of the factors for peptic ulcer.

Can Peptic Ulcers Come Back??

Yes, if you stop taking antibiotics soon, means before killing all the bacteria and before healing of all the sores.

Lifestyle Changes to Cure Peptic Ulcers

  • Stop Smoking
  • Limit or stop drinking alcohol.
  • Try to avoid or stop taking NSAID.
  • Avoid foods which upset your stomach.

Diet does not play an important role in either causing or preventing ulcers. (1)

I am sure that after reading this article you have improved your understanding of Peptic Ulcers symptoms, cause, diagnosis, treatment as well as all the queries related to it.

If you have any more point you can share with me for making this article more meaningful.

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