Stomach ulcers are sharp lumps in the stomach lining that are caused by gastritis. Stomach ulcers are a form of peptic ulcer disorder. Peptic ulcers are any ulcer that occurs inside the stomach and the small intestine. They are usually associated with excessive consumption of fatty foods.
The most common symptoms of stomach ulcers are nausea and abdominal discomfort. The cause of this condition is an infection that starts in the duodenum and moves to the stomach. The infection causes damage to the sensitive lining of the stomach. When damage occurs to this sensitive lining then there is a constant risk of an ulcer developing.
There are different causes of stomach ulcer
- Some causes are hereditary
- Your parents or grandparents may have developed this condition in their lifetimes
- If you have a family history of stomach ulcers then you may be at risk for developing it in the future
- Stress, alcohol intake, and obesity are some of the other causes.
A bacterium called Helicobacter pylori is the most common cause of stomach ulcers
This bacterium is often found in the digestive tract. Helicobacter pylori are known to cause inflammation of the stomach tissue. If this bacterium continues to remain in the digestive system it can eventually ulcerate the stomach tissue. Once this happens there is a high risk of developing oesophageal cancer.
Most stomach ulcers may be caused by the intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If someone in your family has used aspirin to relieve the pain from a stomach ulcer then the chances of you getting one increases. If you consume a lot of aspirin you will also increase your chances of developing oesophageal cancer.
If you use a steroid to treat arthritis then you may also increase your risk of developing ulcerative colitis. Taking NSAIDs to treat stomach ulcers may also cause a form of osteomyelitis.
Stomach ulcer symptoms
Stomach ulcer symptoms include severe pain that affects several hours out of the day. The symptoms will usually worsen if you lie down or bend over. Pain may also be present in the lower back area. It is not unusual for a person to experience bleeding from the duodenum. If the ulcer is located in the upper intestine there are no symptoms present.
A rare disorder is referred to as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. People with this disorder have no symptoms and do not produce any abnormal cells in the digestive tract. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can develop if there is an injury to the duodenum or the pancreas.
This disorder is caused by abnormally low levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with inflammatory diseases such as cancer and ulcerative colitis. Stomach ulcer symptoms can cause a person to vomit, but the vomiting is not as much of an issue as it is if the ulcer is located in the abdomen.
Stomach ulcer symptoms can cause nausea and diarrhoea, but these symptoms are much less common. Severe symptoms can lead to dehydration and shock, which can cause death if not treated in a timely manner.
Because ulceration occurs at the level of the intestines, it is much less common for the disorder to end up causing intestinal obstruction and perforation. Abnormal bleeding from ulcerations can also occur in areas of the digestive system other than the stomach.
Stomach Ulcers Treatment
Some of the most common medications used to treat stomach ulcers include Rifaximin and Orlistat. Rifaximin is a blood thinner that is used to treat severe liver disease and to prevent bleeding from acute hepatitis. It works by decreasing the amount of gastric acid production in the stomach.
This reduction in acid production prevents ulcers from occurring. Orlistat oral is a new prescription medication that is being used to treat high cholesterol. It works by reducing the amounts of cholesterol that enter the bloodstream.
Stomach Ulcer Diet
In some studies, people who consume a lot of “sticky” foods may increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers. Some of the foods that produce this sticky coating in the digestive tract are dairy products, red meat, spicy foods, wheat and potatoes.
Certain types of bacteria, primarily Helicobacter pylori, are the reason why the coating develops on the inside walls of the stomach. The presence of H. pylori in the stomach creates a place for the bacteria to live. These bacteria produce mucus that collects inside the stomach and leads to ulcerations.
If you have symptoms of H. pylori infection, your doctor will conduct a blood test called a stool or breath test. The breath test measures the number of anaerobic bacteria in your system. Anaerobic bacteria grow best in an oxygen-enriched environment, so the breath test helps your doctor determine how healthy your digestive system is.
A positive breath test with a low level of anaerobic bacteria indicates that you have a problem with H. pylori and should be treated with a strict diet in order to prevent serious complications from occurring. Your doctor will most likely also prescribe antibiotics in order to get rid of the anaerobic bacteria.
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