Stomach ulcers: symptoms, causes and treatment

(ORDO NEWS) — Do you often suffer from heartburn? Suffering from bloating, nausea and regular stomach pain? Or do you have constipation problems? If you eat a healthy diet and the ailments persist, be sure to consult a doctor and get tested – you may be suffering from stomach ulcers.

Every tenth Pole is already struggling with the disease, men are more often ill. Peptic ulcers are mostly diagnosed in young and middle-aged people, but the condition also affects teenagers. See what symptoms accompany the disease, what it is and how to treat it.

What are ulcers?

The stomach is lined on the inside with a mucous membrane that protects it from hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes. Ulcers are cavities of various sizes (erosion) in the mucous membrane – wounds that somewhat resemble small craters.

They most often form in places particularly exposed to hydrochloric acid and pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down proteins. Ulcers have different diameters and depths – from one to several millimeters. With advanced disease, the mucosal cavities can even be located throughout the depth of the stomach wall.

Symptoms of peptic ulcer

Symptoms of a peptic ulcer include nausea, heartburn, belching, and even vomiting. There is also a burning pain in the abdomen, located between the sternum and the navel.

The pain is usually worse after eating, especially fatty, sour or spicy. At night or in the morning, the patient may be accompanied by the so-called hungry pain, which disappears after he has eaten something.

Causes of stomach ulcers

Until now, it has not been possible to establish an unambiguous cause of peptic ulcer disease. Previously it was believed that the main factor is stress and malnutrition. But it turns out that this does not matter much, because people who lead a healthy and calm lifestyle also suffer from the disease.

Helicobacter pylori

The breakthrough in the study was the discovery of the bacterium helicobacter pylori, which was found in sections of the stomach lining taken from ulcer sufferers. Today it is known that up to 90% of the population is its carrier.

The bacterium is present in the stomach, as well as in tartar and caries. Fortunately, its presence relatively rarely leads to peptic ulcer disease, it is difficult to understand why in some organisms it behaves aggressively, which leads to illness.

Helicobacter pylori produces an enzyme that changes the pH of the stomach, which also contributes to the excessive production of hydrochloric acid. In addition, sticking to the walls of the organ, it causes inflammation of the mucous membrane and its erosion.

Excess hydrochloric acid

One of the reasons for the formation of ulcers is the hyperacidity of the stomach – increased production of hydrochloric acid. It is produced by cells of the gastric mucosa.

It is part of the gastric juices responsible for digestion and, above all, the destruction of harmful bacteria supplied with food. However, when cells produce too much hydrochloric acid, cavities appear in the thick mucosal layer.

Genetics and blood type

It is difficult to understand why helicobacter pylori causes illness in some people. Doctors suspect that genetic conditioning contributes to this – in 50% of patients, stomach ulcers occur in other family members. The disease is much more common in people with blood type 0.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

An unhealthy diet and a life of constant stress weakens the body and can be a factor in the development of the disease.

The formation of cavities in the gastric mucosa is affected by irregular eating, alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking. The cause of ulcers is also the too frequent use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory, as well as antirheumatic drugs.

How to treat ulcers?

If we suspect that we have a peptic ulcer, it is necessary to visit a gastrologist. The doctor will prescribe the main examination-gastroscopy. A thin and flexible tube is inserted into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth or nose, ending in a camera.

During the examination, you can carefully examine the mucous membrane, as well as cut out its fragment. This allows you to find out if there is a bacterium helicobacter pylori in the stomach, and determine the cause of the disease. The study also allows you to check if the changes are caused by cancer.

Depending on the cause of the disease, patients are treated with various means. The detected presence of helicobacter pylori requires antibiotic treatment.

Most often, antacids are also used or those that reduce its secretion, as well as accelerate the healing of mucosal wounds. It is very important to take medicines to completely cure the disease.

Diet for stomach ulcers

Unfortunately, peptic ulcer disease cannot be cured by diet alone, it is necessary to take medication. However, sufferers should avoid certain foods, especially spicy, fatty, and acidic foods.

The secretion of hydrochloric acid also increases the consumption of alcohol, milk, fruit juices, strong coffee and tea. Meals should be regularly eaten every three hours, and they should be easily digestible.

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