Health

Peptic Ulcer Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments

peptic ulcer symptoms

Normally our stomach releases hydrochloric acid, a strong acid in nature, as the pH of the hydrochloric acid ranges from 1.5 – 2. And hydrochloric acid prevents the digestive system from the foreign (non-self) microorganisms, as this acidic environment inhibits the growth of those invaders. Now one question does arise that, why the acid doesn’t cause any harm to our stomach? It is due to the lining of mucus-secreting cells in the stomach or the digestive tract. So when the hydrochloric acid damages these linings, it causes a peptic ulcer or gastric ulcer. Here, we will broadly discuss the peptic ulcer symptoms and how to treat the condition.

It is also called as stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcer. It is caused by the microorganism called Helicobacter pylori or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tobacco smoking, Crohn disease, etc. This is called gastric ulcer, while the ulcer is in the stomach and duodenal ulcer while the ulcer is in the duodenum, the first part of the intestine. After this, it will start showing Peptic ulcer symptoms. Sometimes we think that diet may play an important role in resulting in peptic ulcer disease. But diet does not have that much impact on causing or preventing Peptic ulcer symptoms.

Peptic ulcer types

Peptic ulcers are classified into two types.

Gastric peptic ulcer

If the ulcer occurs in the stomach then, that is a gastric peptic ulcer. The age group between 50 to 60 suffers from this type of ulcer. Normally this type of ulcers is observed more in the case of females. The onset of this disease is shown immediately after eating. It feels relief when you are lying down or vomit. Doctors recommend avoiding fried foods for gastric peptic ulcer.

Duodenal peptic ulcer

If the ulcer occurs in the duodenal then, it is known as a duodenal peptic ulcer. Mostly age groups between 30 to 40 are suffering due to duodenal peptic ulcer. It is seen more in the case of males. The onset of this ulcer is 2 to 3 hours after taking food and midnight. It would help if you had to take healthy food to get relief from these sufferings.

Under location, it is again divided into four types- Duodenum (Duodenum ulcer), Meckel’s diverticulum (Meckel’s diverticulum ulcer), stomach (gastric ulcer) and Esophagus (esophageal ulcer), etc.

Peptic ulcer causes

There are many factors which can cause peptic ulcer. The basic causes are:

Helicobacter pylori

This microorganism is the major factor of peptic ulcer. Normally we know that hydrochloric acid and pepsin play a crucial character in ulcer formation. Now, the microorganism called Helicobacter pylori is believed to be one of the causes of this disease. This organism causes this disease by infecting the stomach. Generally, H.pyroli secrets are an enzyme urease that converts urea into ammonia and bicarbonate. This ammonia neutralizes the acidic environments in the stomach; due to this reason, the acidic environments fail to kill the bacteria. Again ammonia is also toxic for the epithelial cells.

Stress

The stress increases the amount of acidic secretion. Sometimes stress causes more harmful causes for peptic ulcer symptoms. Those who have other diseases rather than peptic ulcers develop the chances of peptic ulcer occurrences. In that case, it is called a stress ulcer on account of the impact on gastric physiology.

Anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drug

These are used for arthritis and other painful inflammatory conditions. Examples are- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Etodolac, etc. Normally these medications cause Iulcer by interfering with prostaglandins in the stomach and prevent PGE 2 Synthesis.

Smoking

When you smoke cigarettes, it plays an important factor in ulcer formation and ulcer treatment failure. Nicotine is a basic ingredient in cigarettes, and it is a ganglionic stimulant as it stimulates the vagal nerve and increases HCL (hydrochloric acid) secretion through acetylcholine.

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Alcohol

Alcohol damages mucus secretion and causes mucosal damage. It creates metabolic disturbances in the body, which has several bad impacts and increases stomach ulcer disease.

Other factors that can cause peptic ulcers are drugs, Cytomegalovirus, radiotherapy on the upper part of the abdominal, gastrinomas, rare gastrin-secreting lump, etc. that can cause peptic ulcers.

Diets

Spice consumption was earlier hypothesized to be one of the causes of peptic ulcers. But it has a minor impact on the peptic ulcer, which is verified later on. Caffeine and coffee have also carried some minimal impact on the occurrence of peptic ulcers.

Peptic ulcer symptoms

Check out the symptoms of peptic ulcer:

Abdominal pain

It happens during meal times. In the case of the duodenal ulcer, it happens 2 to 3 hours after taking meals. In gastric ulcer, it occurs immediately after taking the meal. Abdominal pain is a common symptom observed in every patient case. Due to this pain, you may feel your tummy full and tight.

Blood vomiting

You often face this situation in a severe case of ulcers. It is otherwise known as hematemesis. Direct bleeding from gastric ulcer causes blood vomiting. Or when it causes damage to the Esophagus, blood vomiting can occur.

Loss of appetite

In these peptic ulcer symptoms, as mentioned earlier, the stomach feels full maximum of the time to lose your cravings for food. Or you may not feel hungry at any of the times in a day. So if this habit continues, then, someday, you may have to bear a great health loss. When you face this type of problem, then immediately contact the doctors.

Weight loss/gain

Weight loss is a common problem in gastric ulcers, and weight gain seems to be in the case of duodenal ulcer. It happens so because, in duodenal ulcer, pain relief can take place after eating food. So in this ulcer, people are like to eat frequently to reduce the level of pain so that they may gain weight. But in the case of gastric ulcers, the pain occurs after having the meal, which may insist on a patient taking less amount of food or not eating.

Melena

It is characterized by black and strong-smelling due to the presence of oxidized iron from hemoglobin. This problem happens because the foods are not properly digested in our stomach, and in other words, the digestive system is not working properly. So you face difficulties in food digestion, and from that melena occurs.

Sometimes, it can lead to a gastric or duodenal perforation, which means forming a pore in the gastrointestinal tract wall. The symptoms can vary due to the person’s age and location of the ulcer.

Chest pain

Chest pain is a common symptom of peptic ulcers. Sometimes it becomes more painful when the gastric acid level is highly increased. Sometimes it is unbearable, and if you also face this problem, then immediately go to the hospital and start the treatment.

Burping

It means releasing the bleach through the mouths. It feels like your throat, mouth, food pipe, elementary canal, etc. are burning, and it continues for a long period, then it feels very irritating and creates anxiety. And this is a common issue faced by peptic ulcer patients. Though it is not that harmful, still sometimes it is quite hard to bear the pain.

Constipation

This is not a common peptic ulcer symports. Less percentage of patients who are having duodenal ulcer has these symptoms predominantly.

Emergency symptoms in peptic ulcers

If you face these symptoms such as black stool, blood vomit, Sudden persistent relating to the stomach, etc., then immediately consult with doctors.  Heartburn is not an emergency case, but it may cause the disease oesophageal. These emergency symptoms are caused by perforation in the stomach due to the ulcer. And most importantly, when bleeding occurs, it blocks the path through which foods are supposed to leave the stomach. So when you face any of these symptoms, then immediately consult with the doctors without getting late.

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Diagnosis for peptic ulcer

The diagnosis directly depends upon the symptoms a peptic ulcer patient is having.

Endoscopies or x-ray

Suppose you are not getting any relief even after taking the medicines for weeks. After observing your peptic ulcer, symptoms doctors recommend you to go for endoscopy. It is also preferable when your age is over 45, and doctors noticed the symptoms of stomach cancer, then you can go for this diagnosis.

Blood test

The blood test can be confirmed whether the person has consumed any drugs or alcohols, smoking, etc. recently. And after verifying these things, it will be easier for the doctors to start several treatments for the patient.

Helicobacter pylori test

The H. pylori bacteria test can be done through the Urea breath test, direct culture test from EGD biopsy specimen, rapid urease test, antibody, stool antigen test, etc.

Many other diagnoses also present for peptic ulcer ex- gastric, stomach cancer, bile related colic, pancreatitis, pericarditis test, etc. Doctors will recommend this diagnosis after observing the patient’s conditions and symptoms. And then, they decide which test is appropriate for the patients.

Preventions for peptic ulcer

The main preventive for peptic ulcer disease is that the patient taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is caused by adding a proton pump inhibitor, misoprostol, H2 blocker, etc.

Proton pump inhibitors are the medications whose main function is to reduce stomach acid production. H2 antagonist is another class of medication that blocks histamine’s action at the histamine H2 receptors of the parietal cells in the stomach. H2 antagonist reduces the production of stomach acid and helps to get rid of the peptic ulcer disease. Proton pump inhibitor is a well-known agent for peptic ulcer prevention. For that, with cardiovascular conditions, naproxen with a proton pump inhibitor is a selective choice. Otherwise aspirin, celecoxib can be used in combination with proton pump inhibitor.

Stop consuming alcohol, stop smoking, and stop excessive use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help prevent peptic ulcer disease.

Shapes of the ulcer: Gastric ulcers are localized on the lesser curvature of the stomach. It is like a round or oval parietal hole with a 2 to 4-centimeter diameter, a smooth base, and a perpendicular border.

Treatment of peptic ulcer

After H.pylori found, the front-line treatment is a triple therapy where clarithromycin and pantoprazole are combined with either metronidazole or amoxicillin. These are given in combination with either amoxicillin or metronidazole. And these treatments are given for one to two weeks.

Another method of treatment can be done with quadruple therapy. In which amoxicillin, metronidazole, pantoprazole, and clarithromycin are given. The introduction of a proton pump inhibitor is a method for treating the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-associated ulcers. For that with peptic ulcer symptoms, fluid replacement with crystalloids should be given to stable blood volume in the blood vessel.

Conclusion

Sometimes peptic ulcer symptoms are turned into severe diseases. It can cause many health damages, as mentioned earlier. So if you are facing any of the symptoms of peptic ulcer, then immediately consult to doctors. And never take any medication, therapy, medicines, tablets, etc. without your physicians’ advice. Do not take any stress and anxiety as all these are helps to create the peptic ulcer symptoms.

A peptic ulcer is a curable disease if you follow the restrictions properly. Sometimes it takes a long time to cure the peptic ulcer. But stay under treatment, and it will help you to vanish these diseases. Never take any medicines without the doctor’s prescription, and if you are neglecting this disease, then a peptic ulcer may be the reason for creating other health disorders.

If you want to apply any home remedy, cabbage juice can accelerate peptic ulcers’ healing. To increase the flavor quality, you can also add carrot juice into it. Foods rich with fibers slow down the movement of food and acidic fluid from the stomach to the intestines, helping patients with duodenal ulcers. Taking vitamin A food helps restore the lining of the stomach, and intestine, which has got damaged due to the hydrochloric acid.

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