Stomach ulcers

Stomach ulcers are a disease in which there is a defect in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. The conical depressions can even extend to the muscle layer in the walls of these organs. Untreated ulcers can contribute to severe internal bleeding and even gastric perforation. What are the symptoms of ulcers? When to see a doctor? What is the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers?

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1. The main causes of peptic ulcer disease

Ulcers for common stomach disease (123RF)

The main causes of peptic ulcer disease include:

• Helicobacter pylori bacteria,

• alcohol abuse,

• smoking,

• stress,

• taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

2. How is peptic ulcer disease manifested?

Stomach ulcers can include:

• stabbing pain in the area of ​​the navel and the right costal arch,

• heartburn,

• vomiting,

• lack of appetite,

• belching,

• constipation,

• weight loss.

It is worth knowing that the disease usually worsens in spring and autumn. Although heartburn is widely known and does not always mean an illness, if it occurs more often and is accompanied by other ailments, it is worth consulting a doctor. Heartburn can be a symptom not only of ulcers, but also of gastric reflux.

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3. How are stomach ulcers diagnosed?

Endoscopy should be performed to diagnose ulcers. The procedure involves inserting a gastroscope into the stomach through the esophagus. Thanks to this, the doctor has a full view of the inside and can take a sample for examination.

4. How to Treat Stomach Ulcers?

Treatment of stomach ulcers includes diet, withdrawal from alcohol, anti-inflammatory drugs and cigarettes, which increase stomach acid production and prevent wound healing. If the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is responsible for the ulcer formation, the doctor prescribes appropriate antibacterial treatment.

5. What are the complications of peptic ulcer disease?

The most common complications of peptic ulcer disease are:

• hemorrhages,

• pyloric stenosis,

• organ perforation.

Peptic ulcer complications can occur when the patient is left untreated or has not been successfully treated. Damage to the gastric or duodenal mucosa continues to deepen, and therefore organ tissues may be disrupted. Such complications are greatly influenced by cigarette smoking, which prevents proper treatment. Upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage can kill the patient.

With a highly developed peptic ulcer disease and a greater risk of complications, the doctor may order surgery. It may also be necessary when ulcers do not respond to drug treatment.

Possible peptic ulcer surgery are:

• excision of a part of the stomach,

• transection of the vagus nerves with widening of the pylorus.

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