Gastric ulcer: Symptoms, causes, and treatment
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Basic knowledge of gastric ulcers
Definition Of Peptic Ulcer:
A peptic ulcer is a sore that forms on the lining of the stomach, upper small intestine, or esophagus. It occurs when the protective mucus layer in these areas is eroded, allowing digestive acids to damage the tissues and create an open sore.
Causes Of Peptic Ulcer:
Peptic ulcers are primarily caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen. H. pylori infection weakens the protective mucus layer, while NSAIDs directly irritate the stomach lining, making it more susceptible to ulcer formation.
Types Of Peptic Ulcer:
There are two main types of peptic ulcers: gastric ulcers, which occur in the lining of the stomach, and duodenal ulcers, which develop in the upper part of the small intestine known as the duodenum. Gastric ulcers are more common in older adults, while duodenal ulcers are prevalent in younger age groups.
Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer:
The symptoms of peptic ulcers may vary, but common signs include burning stomach pain, bloating, nausea, and a feeling of fullness. Some individuals may experience appetite changes, unintended weight loss, or vomiting blood in severe cases. The symptoms may come and go or worsen over time.
Risk Factors For Peptic Ulcer:
Several risk factors contribute to the development of peptic ulcers, including H. pylori infection, regular NSAID use, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a history of peptic ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. Stress and certain medical conditions like liver, kidney, or lung diseases can also increase the risk of ulcers.
Prevention and Management Methods
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for individuals with peptic ulcers. Adopting habits that promote overall well-being, such as getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and managing stress, can help support the healing process and prevent the worsening of ulcer symptoms.
Engaging in regular physical activity can be beneficial for individuals with peptic ulcers. Moderate exercise, such as walking or swimming, can improve blood circulation and digestion. However, it’s essential to avoid strenuous activities that may cause abdominal discomfort and worsen ulcer symptoms.
Following a proper diet is crucial for managing peptic ulcers. A balanced and nutritious diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help reduce irritation in the stomach and promote healing. Individuals should also avoid spicy, acidic, and fatty foods that may trigger symptoms.
Effective stress management is important for individuals with peptic ulcers, as stress can exacerbate symptoms and delay the healing process. Engaging in relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga can help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Finding healthy ways to cope with stress is beneficial for managing peptic ulcers and maintaining overall health.
Initial Symptoms and First Aid
In the early stages, peptic ulcers may cause symptoms such as burning stomach pain, bloating, and belching. Some individuals may experience a feeling of fullness or hunger shortly after eating. Additionally, they might notice changes in appetite and weight loss.
Peptic ulcers can lead to complications that require emergency medical attention. If an individual experiences severe and sudden abdominal pain, vomiting blood, or passing black, tarry stools, it may indicate a serious complication such as bleeding or perforation. In such cases, immediate medical treatment is essential to prevent further harm and address the underlying issue.
Treatment and Rehabilitation:
The treatment of peptic ulcers aims to relieve symptoms, promote healing, and prevent complications. It often involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Commonly prescribed medications include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce stomach acid production, H2 blockers to lower acid levels, and antibiotics to eradicate Helicobacter pylori bacteria, if present.
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Gastric ulcer: Symptoms, causes, and treatment,
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