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Last Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Peptic Ulcers - 6 Possible Reasons Behind them

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Dr. Pranjal DekaGastroenterologist • 20 Years Exp.MCh HPB Surgery, Fellow European Board of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
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Peptic ulcer disease is a form of disease in which painful sores or ulcers are developed in the lining of the stomach or in the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. Complications include severe blood loss and perforation of the stomach and intestines.

What can cause peptic ulcers?
Ulcers occur due to the imbalance of digestive fluids in the stomach or duodenum. Usually, ulcers are caused by the infection due to bacteria known as Helicobater pylori.
Here are the factors which may lead to peptic ulcer:

  1. One can use painkillers, which are known as nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, by the likes of aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen and several others.
  2. These kinds of ulcers may also occur due to excessive production of acid from gastrinomas.
  3. Excessive alcohol consumption may also cause peptic ulcer.
  4. Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco may cause such ulcers.
  5. Sometimes serious illness may cause peptic ulcer as well.
  6. Radiation treatment of the affected area may also lead to peptic ulcer.

What are its signs and symptoms?
There are several symptoms of peptic ulcer. They include the following:

  1. People experience a sensation of burning or gnawing pain in the upper or middle part of the stomach, between meals and during night time.
  2. Bloating is experienced.
  3. A feeling or sensation of heartburn.
  4. Nausea and vomiting are likely to be accompanied.
  5. In severe cases of peptic ulcer, dark or black stool is produced because of bleeding.
  6. The patient may vomit blood.
  7. Weight loss and abdominal pain are indicated, especially in the upper to mid abdomen region.
  8. Indigestion and change in appetite are also noticed.
  9. There is pain in the chest.

How to treat them?
Peptic ulcers can be treated in various ways, which include medication, lifestyle changes or surgery.
1. Lifestyle changes: Elimination of substances which lead to peptic ulcer should be avoided. Smoking and drinking should be restricted. Certain NSAIDS may lead to ulcer, and they should be stopped.
2. Medication: Proton pump inhibitors help in reducing acid levels, which allow healing of the ulcer. Different types of PPI are esomeprazole, dexlansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole and iansoprazole.

Several antibiotics may also be used when a patient has helicobacter pylori infection. Several combinations of antibiotics may be used for the treatment. Bismuth may be used as well.
Upper endoscopy can be done as a part treatment of ulcer to cure bleeding ulcers. In case the ulcer creates a hole in the stomach’s wall, surgery is required. Peptic ulcer is a serious health condition and if not treated properly, it can cause several health hazards. There are several treatment options for peptic ulcer, and you should opt for the one that suits you the best.


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