Peptic ulcer disease occurs when painful sores develop on the lining of your stomach or upper part of your small intestine (duodenum). The stomach contains a strong acid that is necessary for the breakdown of food, and usually, a layer of protective mucus lines the stomach and duodenum to prevent it from being affected by those strong acids. If this protective mucus reduces, the stomach or duodenum lining will be damaged and painful sores will develop.
There are two types of peptic ulcers:
Since the stomach and duodenum are close in proximity, the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are the same.
Other minor causes of peptic ulcer disease include:
Not everyone with peptic ulcer disease will experience symptoms – only about 1/3 of individuals are symptomatic.
The symptoms of peptic ulcer disease are:
Bloody stools are a sign of internal bleeding and must be checked out by a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
Yes, peptic ulcer disease causes abdominal pain particularly between meals or at night when your stomach is acid. This pain may last for a few minutes or hours. You may feel temporary relief after consuming food or an antacid, but the pain usually returns.
Peptic ulcer disease is a painful medical condition that can lead to other complications such as stomach cancer or even death. If you have any of the following risk factors, you may want to visit a gastroenterologist to prevent your peptic ulcer disease from progressing further:
Since peptic ulcer disease occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, diagnosis must be done using the following methods3:
The treatment for peptic ulcer disease depends on the severity of it, most of the time, they are treated using medications such as:
These help to reduce the amount of acid present in the stomach, making it easier for your stomach lining to heal.
These prevent the stomach from producing too much acid which makes it easier for the stomach or duodenum lining to heal.
Since the majority of peptic ulcers are caused by the H.Pylori bacteria, antibiotics are used to kill them off, thus allowing the protective mucus layer to thicken, giving better protection to your stomach and duodenum.
These treatments may be given individually but they are often given in combination. Peptic ulcer disease may result in complications such as cancer and internal bleeding, both of which can lead to death. Therefore, it is important to administer treatment for your peptic ulcer disease early to stop its progression.