An ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach, small intestine or esophagus. An ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer, whereas on the first part of intestine i.e., on the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer.
a) Bacteria: There is a bacteria named helicobacter pylori usually lives in the mucosal layer of the stomach, doesn’t cause any problem to the individual but may produce inflammation of stomach producing ulcer.
b) Pain Killers: Frequent use of certain pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen and nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) may inflame the lining of stomach and duodenum and produce ulcers.
c) Diet: Intake of more spicy food may result in the ulceration of the lining of stomach or intestine.
d) Stress: If you’re going through a high level of stress which is untreated then you’re more prone to get an ulcer.
e) Alcohol: Alcohol consumption is another cause for peptic ulcer as it irritates the lining of the stomach and increases the production of stomach acid.
Symptoms Of Ulcers:
- Severe burning pain in the stomach when the stomach is empty, eating relieves the pain
- Fullness of your abdomen
- Feeling as if the abdomen is bloated
- Loss of weight
- Changes in appetite
- In few cases, vomiting of blood is observed which is dark red or black
Tests To Diagnose Peptic Ulcer:
a) H.Pylori Test: The doctor can check the presence of h.pylori bacteria by collecting blood sample or stool sample or by taking a biopsy during endoscopy.
b) Endoscopy: This a procedure in which the doctor uses a rigid tube with a lens attached to it. It is used to visualize the interior of throat, stomach, intestine and detect an ulcer.
c) Biopsy: If your doctor comes across an ulcer a tissue sample is collected from it and sent it for examination.
d) X–ray: Swallowing barium meal before taking an x-ray can help the doctor to visualize the details of esophagus, stomach and intestine and also to detect the ulcer.
The epidemiology of peptic ulcer in united states based on national statistics available about 5 million people are currently having a peptic ulcer. Among them about 95% have seen a doctor for their disease, 65% visited their doctor during past year and 65% are currently under treatment for peptic ulcer.