Peptic Ulcer Disease: Causes and Management

Peptic Ulcer Disease: Causes and Management

The word ulcer simply means a sore. Just like the wound on your skin, these are wounds found in the stomach, oesophagus and part of our intestine called the duodenum.

What causes Ulcer?

Peptic ulcers occur when acid eats away at the inner surface of the stomach, small intestine and Oesophagus. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed.

Normally the digestive tract is coated with a mucous layer that was made to protect against acid. The bad news is that if the amount of acid is increased or the amount of mucus is decreased, you could develop an ulcer. Common causes include:

1.Bacteria: The bacteria implicated in peptic ulcer disease is the Helicobacter Pylori, commonly called H. Pylori. The H.pylori bacteria commonly live in the mucous layer that covers and protects tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. Often, the Helicobacter pylori bacterium causes no problems, but sometimes do cause inflammation of the stomach’s inner layer, producing an ulcer.

It’s not clear how H. pylori infection spreads. It may be transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. People may also contract H. pylori through food and water.

  1. NSAID: Regular taking of aspirin, as well as certain over-the-counter and prescription pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.

People who take these medications frequently for diseases like osteoarthritis are at risk of Ulcer.

Other Medication: Taking certain other medications such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and others can greatly increase the chance of developing ulcers.

Risk Factors

You may be at risk of getting a peptic ulcer if you:

Medications that protect the lining of your stomach and small intestine. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications called cytoprotective agents that help protect the tissues that line your stomach and small intestine.

What about Ulcers that fail to heal?

Peptic ulcers that don’t heal despite treatment are called refractory ulcers. There are many reasons why an ulcer may fail to heal, including:

  1. Not taking medications according to directions
  2. Some types of H. pylori resistant to antibiotics
  3. Regular use of tobacco
  4. Regular use of pain relievers, including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

Less often, refractory ulcers may be a result of:

Treatment for refractory ulcers generally involves eliminating factors that may interfere with healing, along with using different antibiotics.

Complication from an ulcer, such as acute bleeding or a perforation, may require surgery. However, surgery is needed far less often than previously because of the many effective medications now available.

Rember always talk to your doctor about any illness you may have.

This article does not substitute for an appointment with a doctor and advices from him.

You can book an appointment with our doctors. We are more than happy to help you.

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