What are Peptic Ulcers, Causes, Symptoms and How to Prevent It?

Peptic ulcers are sores that form in your stomach’s lining or on the duodenum, which is the 1st part of the small intestines. They generally develop because of acids that need to digest foods which may damage the duodenum or the stomach walls.

A cause that is very common is a bacterium infection, also known as Helicobacter pylori/H-pylori, or due to erosion from acids of your stomach.

There are generally three different ulcers types, namely:
Duodenal ulcers - develops inside your small intestines’ upper section and also can be referred to as duodenum.
Esophageal ulcers – normally develop on the inside of your esophagus.

Gastric ulcers – always develop and are found inside your stomach.

What cause peptic ulcers?

There are many different factors that may be the reason why your small intestines, your stomach lining, and your esophagus can break down.

Look at some of the reasons:
If you have cancer in your stomach and you receive radiation treatments.

In the case, when you frequently use medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and ibuprofen. It might also increase the risk that is associated with such behavior, especially, among patients older than sixty and women.

When you suffer from H-pylori/Helicobacter pylori, which is bacteria that will cause inflammation and infection in your stomach.

Other things that may increase the odds of you developing an ulcer can include:
Different medical conditions such as lung, liver, or kidney diseases.

Specific medications which can include anticoagulants, steroids, and also SSRIs drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Very spicy foods
Smoking or chewing tobacco
Excessive drinking of alcohol

When there is a history in the family of ulcers

In mild cases you might experience the following:
Appetite loss
Vomiting or nausea
A burning or gnawing pain in your stomach area at night or between meals.

In more severe cases it might include:
Pain that is severe on your tummy.
Loss of weight
When you vomit material that has the appearance of coffee grounds or blood.

Black or dark stools
The seriousness of peptic ulcers
Most of the time ulcers can heal by itself but it’s important to not ignore the warning signs.

When it’s left untreated, they can cause serious problems with your health, which can include:
Scarring or swelling that may block passageways from the stomach to the small intestines.
A perforation, which means there is a hole inside of the stomach’s wall.

Complications with ulcers that is left untreated and what the result can be

These ulcers may lead to scarring, swelling, or inflammation that will block the passageway for food to move through your digestive tract. It might cause weight loss, make you feel full easily, and vomit.

A peptic ulcer will perforate your small intestine or stomach’s wall and you can be at a higher risk to develop a serious infection inside the abdominal cavity.

Bleeding internally
This condition might start with losing blood slowly, which can lead to developing anemia or if you lose blood severely, you may need a blood transfusion and get hospitalized. Severe loss of blood can cause bloody or black stools and vomit.

Exams and tests to diagnose peptic ulcers

Upper Endoscopy
The doctor will perform this procedure by inserting a camera connected to a tube all the way down the throat into the small intestines and stomach to check for any ulcers in the area.

They can also use the same instrument for removing sample tissues to be tested.

Everyone won’t need this procedure, although, it’s recommended to patients who are at a high risk to develop cancer of the stomach.

Patients that are older than forty-five and those that experience any of the following lists below may be at the top of the list:

If they experience difficulty to swallow
With gastrointestinal bleeding
Weight loss
Suffer from anemia where their red blood cells have a low count.
Upper GI

Without having any of the problems mentioned above, the doctor can recommend this test instead. During this procedure, it will be necessary to drink a liquid that is thick also known as barium, after which X-rays will be taken of the small intestines, stomach, and esophagus. The doctor can now view the area for ulcers or infection and recommend a treatment.

Prevention of ulcers
Changing certain habits and lifestyle choices can help to reduce the risk of you developing ulcers.

These may include the following:
To limit your intake of naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, and aspirin.
Frequently wash your hands in order to avoid any infections.
Don’t mix your alcohol together with medication.

Try to drink only 2 alcoholic beverages in a day if you have to.
Make sure to maintain a lifestyle that is healthy by following a diet that is balanced and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

You should also quit smoking or the use of other tobacco products. Consult a specialist when you notice any changes or symptoms.

Author's Bio: 

A writer with the passion for love.