Ulcers are usually painful sores that are due to different reasons. The digestive tract contains a protective lining and ulcers are present in this lining. The digestive tract consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and intestine. Ulcers are relatively easy to treat but if they are they are not properly treat they can cause problems. Ulcers' most common type is Peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are related to the presence of pepsin. Pepsin is a substance that is present in the stomach it also contains (HCL) hydrochloric acid.
Types of ulcers:
Peptic ulcers have three main types. These ulcers are name because of their location in the digestive tract.
1. Gastric ulcer:
A peptic ulcer that locates in the stomach is known as a gastric ulcer.
2. Duodenal ulcer:
A peptic ulcer in the duodenum is known as a duodenal ulcer.
3. Esophageal ulcer:
A peptic ulcer that is present in the esophagus is known as an esophageal ulcer.
4. Stress ulcer:
There are many other lesser-known types of ulcers for example stress ulcers. That is present in intensely stress or critically ill patients.
5. Bleeding ulcer:
Another type is a bleeding ulcer. If this ulcer is not correctly treated it will result in internal bleeding. It requires urgent medical attention and it is a very critical matter. A bleeding ulcer is the most dangerous of all ulcers. If it is left untreated, it can lead to severe consequences.
6. Refractory ulcer:
A refractory ulcer is a type of ulcer that does not heal over a period of time. It is forme when the mucous layer breaks down. Its main function is to protect the tissues of the body against digestive juices and it is due to the helicobacter pylori. It is a bacterium that causes stomach inflammation and infection.
Most common symptoms:
- Its common symptom is abdominal pain. It usually starts between meals or at night
- Discomfort after meals
- Bad breath
- Abnormal weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unusual headaches
- Sleep problems
- Changes in appetite
- Bloody or dark stool diagnosis
Most common causes of Ulcers:
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Different NASIDS
- Stomach cancer radiation therapy
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Excessive stomach acid secretion
Diagnosis and treatment of Ulcers:
- Diagnosing ulcers will depend on the intensity of the ulcer and its symptoms. It can diagnose by medical history.
- A blood stool or breath test may prescribe to check the infections in your stomach. Either they are cause by helicobacter pylori bacteria or not.
- In case of more serious symptoms like bleeding other tests may require, that is an upper endoscopy. So, in this procedure, a thin tube with a camera is insert and pass down your throat, stomach, and small intestines to examine the area for ulcers.
- Upper gastrointestinal test or upper GI are prescribe. So, In this procedure a thick white liquid called “barium” is give to patients. And It coats your upper gastrointestinal tract and doctor will treat the ulcer on x-rays. This procedure is also name as barium swallow treatment. The treatment is non-surgical and also surgical .It depends upon the underlying cause of the ulcer.
- If an ulcer is due to helicobacter pylori infections the antibiotics are prescibed to patients to kill infections. And also proton pump inhibitors are used to block acid-producing cells and this is helpful in blocking acid-producing cells.
- So, other non-surgical treatment may include stopping all use of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS, h2 receptor blockers that decrease the acid production. In rare cases to treat the ulcer different surgical methods are required. In this case the ulcer bleeds and refuses to heal. Thus The surgery may include removal of ulcer by tying off the blood vessel. And it also include cutting off the nerve that produces acid in the stomach.