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Peptic Ulcers - Common Causes Behind Them!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Sanjay Kumar 87% (10 ratings)
Diplomate of National Board , DM in Gastroenterology , MD in General medicine, MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Faridabad  •  26 years experience
Peptic Ulcers - Common Causes Behind Them!

Peptic Ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of a stomach, small intestine or lower oesophagus. They usually crop as a result of inflammation caused by bacteria and also due to erosion from stomach acids. Peptic Ulcers affecting the stomach are also known as gastric ulcer, one in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer and an ulcer occurring in the oesophagus is called an oesophageal cancer.

Talking about the causes, symptoms, tests and exams related to it and treatment options for peptic ulcers. Let’s go ahead and take a look at them one by one:

  • There are certain symptoms for peptic ulcers and one of the most common ones being, indigestion-like pain in the abdomen.
  • The pain tends to occur anywhere in the region between the belly button and breastbone and the duration can be brief or may even last for hours.
  • A change in appetite could be noticed, wherein you may not feel like having anything
  • Feeling of uneasiness which can have an effect as if you are going to vomit.
  • You tend to lose weight for no apparent reason.Stools with dark red blood.

Causes Of Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers can be caused as a result of different factors, which lead to the breakdown of lining of the stomach, oesophagus and small intestine. The causes are as follows:

  • Overdose of drugs: If you are in the habit of using aspirin or ibuprofen along with other anti-inflammatory drugs on a regular basis, then you increase the chances of suffering from ulcer.
  • Smoking: Smoking leads to an increase in the production of stomach acids and that tends to reduce bicarbonate production. People who smoke are at risk of developing duodenal ulcers.
  • Increased Alcohol Consumption: When you have too much alcohol, then you are at a risk of developing all sorts of problems. Alcohol is basically a toxin which can damage almost every organ of the body. Digestive system can get hampered a lot through alcohol. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which leads to an increased risk of developing ulcer.

Treatment Of A Peptic Ulcer

Treatment would depend upon the underlying cause of ulcer. Your doctor would most probably suggest you to do an endoscopy and if the test shows that there is H.pylori infection, a combination of medicines would be prescribed. Medications would ideally continue for two weeks. There will be antibiotics to kill infections and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) for reducing stomach acid. If the doctor feels that ulcer has not been caused as a result of H.pylori infection, then you might be asked to take over-the-counter medicines like Prilosec or Prevacid for close to eight weeks, which would not only reduce stomach acid but also heal your ulcer.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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