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Different Types of Peptic Ulcers

Mar 30, 2017

Different Types of Peptic Ulcers

Also known as Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD), Peptic ulcers are open breaks or sores that develop in the digestive system, most commonly in the lining of the stomach. If the mucous lining in the gastrointestinal tract is severely eroded, gastric (digestive) acids gradually start destroying the tissue causing open sores, known as ulcers. If ignored, these sores worsen with time as they tend to increase in size leading to internal bleeding which can be fatal.

Based on the region the sores are present, Peptic ulcer can be divided into two types:

  1. Gastric Ulcer, found in the lining of the stomach.
  2. Duodenal Ulcer, found in the duodenum (upper part of the intestine).

An infection because of a type of bacteria usually found in the stomach, Helicobacter pylori, is the leading cause of Peptic ulcers. But Peptic ulcers cannot be caused by only one factor, multiple factors together lead to the disease. Other causes include:

  • Excess consumption of anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
  • Stress
  • Past radiation therapy.

The most common symptom of Peptic ulcers is a dull pain or a burning sensation in the upper abdomen which occurs usually between meals. The pain might last for hours together, and might progress to a sharper pain if severe. Other symptoms that are seen are:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Indigestion
  • Dull pain in the chest

If not treated in time, Peptic ulcers can lead to severe health issues and complications like a perforated ulcer where the ulcer grows to such an extent that it causes a hole in the stomach lining or internal bleeding which can cause considerable amount of blood loss. These conditions are highly severe and require immediate attention and surgery.

If the cause of the ulcer is found out to be an infection, the treatment usually involves anti-bacterial medication and medication to reduce the amount of stomach acid. In other cases, medications that reduce the stomach acid are prescribed. But if the ulcers are severe, the treatment may involve surgery.

Peptic ulcers are easily treatable if detected early and is nothing to worry about. If you do experience abdominal pain for a long duration of time, be sure to get it checked.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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