Ulcer usually refers to lesions which are very small in size. Peptic Ulcer occurs in the gastro intestinal tract, which is part of the digestive system of the human body. A Peptic Ulcer is a hole or a lesion in the lining of the stomach and can simultaneously occur in any part of the digestive system, right from the mouth to the stomach and the first part of the small intestine known as duodenum.
When we eat food, it passes from the mouth where it mixes with the saliva. It then passes into the stomach through the food pipe. In the stomach certain acids, namely peptic acid, and some digestive juices are produced which aid in the digestion of food.
The acid then comes into contact with the exposed part of the lining. When there is an increase or change in the level of acids produced in the stomach and duodenum, then it leads to soreness and erosion which form ulcers and lesions.
The causes of Peptic Ulcers include:
Infection by a type of bacteria called H.Plyori
Constant use of pain killers and aspirin
Alcohol consumption and smoking
Symptoms of ulcers may include:
Burning pain in the upper or middle stomach, between meals or at night
Bloating, Heartburn, Vomiting
In severe cases, dark stools due to bleeding, vomiting blood, weight loss, severe pain in upper abdomen pain
Normally ulcers heal by themselves within a few days. But if the condition persists followed with other symptoms, then it should not be ignored. The doctor should be consulted to avoid further severe complications.
Untreated ulcers may sometime lead to bleeding and perforation which means ‘a hole’ in the lining or wall of the stomach.
If someone is above 50 and consumes alcohol, it can be severe.
The doctor may ask you questions about your medical history and look for the presence of symptoms to check for ulcers. In addition, Endoscopy is performed for detailed examination. The intake of certain medications and food may also help in diagnosis of ulcers plus the incidence of alcohol consumption.
There is no cure yet but Ulcers can be treated effectively with timely advice and diagnosis. Good lifestyle and healthy food habits help in preventing severity of symptoms. Avoiding of alcohol and smoking, especially if one is above the age of 50 is a preventive step. Drinking milk can give relief as well aggravate the ulcers because of its acidic nature. Avoid excess use of pain killers and aspirin. Practice moderation. Learn to de-stress and relax.