Peptic Ulcer: Causes| Symptoms| Diagnosis| Treatment| Prevention

The case of peptic ulcers are seeing frequently now days. Due to exceed use of over the counter (OTC) medicine of ranitidine (zantac), sedentary life style and unhealthy foods habits are responsible for peptic ulcers. Mostly middle aged adult are more prone to peptic ulcers. Although ages group above 25 years may also suffer peptic ulcer due to unhealthy lifestyle.

What are peptic ulcers?

Peptic ulcers are disease of stomach and small intestine especially duodenum. In this disorders, gastrointestinal mucosa become badly affect with hydrochloric acid and peptic secretion of stomach.

Necrosis and degeneration of this mucosa due to acid peptic secretion of stomach know as peptic or stress ulcer. Peptic ulcers are occur mostly in either stomach or duodenum of small intestine. Lower parts of oesophagus may also be affect.

Peptic ulcers may two types-

  • Acute peptic ulcers
  • Chronic peptic ulcers

Acute peptic (stress) ulcers

Acute peptic ulcers are characterised by multiple (more than three ulcers) and small mucosal erosions in stomach. Sometime duodenum may also involves.


  • Shock
  • Severe trauma
  • Septicemia
  • Hyperacidity
  • Drug intake e.g. aspirin, steroids, butazolidine, indomethacin
  • Alcohol, smoking and coffee

There are some stimulants are also responsible for Hypersecretion of gastric acid. For instance surgery in cranial parts, any severe trauma in brain and tumers may also be causes of hypersecretion of gastric acid that lead to peptic ulcer.

Complication: Haemorrhages and perforation in mucosal layer of stomach.

Chronic peptic ulcers

The two major form of chronic peptic ulcers are-

(1) gastric ulcer and (2) duodenal ulcer

A research study show that often gastric and duodenal ulcer are more common in males than female. The chance of duodenal ulcer is 4 times more common than gastric ulcer.

What are causes of peptic ulcers?

The mucosal layer of gastrointestinal tract protect to itself and their gland from acid secretion of gastric gland of stomach. When due to any reason layer of mucosa began destructed, peptic ulcer may be possible.

The possible causes of chronic peptic ulcers including gastric and duodenal ulcers are following below-

  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria may causes of infection and inflammation in mucosal layer of stomach that lead to maily duodenal ulcer.
  • Non steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are responsible for both duodenal and gastric ulcers.
  • Hypersecretion of hydrochloric acid and pepsin directly causes of duodenal as well as gastric ulcer.
  • High spicy food, alcohol, cigarette smoking may causes of peptic ulcer.
  • Some drugs eg. Aspirin, steroids, butazolidine etc also causes of peptic ulcer.
  • Nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition may cause of gastric ulcer.
  • Stress and anxiety help in tend to incidence of peptic ulcers.
  • Duodenal ulcer may occur genetically. Peoples which are O blood group more prone to develop peptic ulcer than other blood group.
  • Tumours and cancer of stomach may help to increase higer chance of peptic ulcers.

What is symptoms of peptic ulcers?

The characteristics symptoms of peptic ulcer is intense burning in abdominal areas. Which rises from below resion of abdomen to chest. Instead of burning other symptoms include:

  • Burning pain– In gastric ulcer pain occur after eating or within two hours in only day time. But in case of duodenal ulcer, severe pain occur in late night. This type of pain usually relive after eating.
  • Vomiting– In gastric ulcer’s patients get relief from vomiting but in case of duodenal ulcer vomiting is rare. Heart burn or retrosternal pain with water brash ( burnig fluid into mouth) also occur in duodenal ulcer.
  • Appetite– The patient of gastric ulcer become afraid to food, although he has craving for food with good appetite. Whereas duodenal ulcer’s patient no complications with appetite.
  • Loss of weight is common in gastric ulcer patient.
  • Weight gain is common in duodenal ulcer patient.

What are complications in peptic ulcers?

Usually after healing, acute type of peptic ulcer don’t leave any scar or sign . But in case of chronic peptic ulcers may lead to some major complications that are following-

  • Haemorrhage– Due to necrosis of ulcer Haemorrhages or internal bleeding occur. Severe bleeding may lead to anaemia.
  • Obstruction (tissue scar)- Sometimes due to any injury, a thick tissue develop on upper gastrointestinal tract that prevents passes of food into food pipe. This may lead to vomiting and gradually weight loss.
  • Perforation– Sometime develop a hole in lining of stomach and small intestine due to hypersecretion of acid or bacterial infection. Abdominal pain occur in perforated ulcer.
  • Malignant transformation– Usually chronic duodenal ulcer never transform into malignant. But in some case of chronic gastric ulcer may turn into carcinoma.

What is diagnosis of peptic ulcers?

There are mainly three types of test occur to detect peptic ulcers in patients. And also consider patients previous medical history.

  • Laboratory test to detect H. pylori– Blood ,stool and breathe are uses to detect presence of H. pylori bacteria. Breath is most convenient and most accurate sample for h. pylori confirmation. In breath test, doctor will give something to patient for eating or drinking. That food is contain radioactive carbon. H. pylori bacteria break that radioactive food in stomach of patient and liberate them into expiratory way. After sometime doctor collect sample from your blow into bag. After laboratory test, it can confirm that infection or not. If your breath contain radioactive carbon dioxide, then it is confirm infection of h. pylori.
  • Endoscopy– In this test, doctor insert a hollow tube with well equipped lense via throat of patient into esophageal tract, stomach and even small intestine. Usually endoscopy test perform for examination of upper digestive tract. After examining of GI tract weather any ulcer found, then your doctor take small pieces of ulcerated area for biopsy.
  • Upper gastrointestinal series- In this test, white liquid which are containing barium give to the patient for drink. This liquid make white coat in whole upper gastrointestinal tract like oesophagus, stomach and small intestine. Then doctor examine via x-ray and confirm ulcers in gastrointestinal resion present or not.

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy are mostly recommend for over the ages of 45 years. Since beyond 45 ages person more prone to duodenal cancer therefore some more symptoms are also considers which are following-

  • Weight loss
  • Anaemia
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Difficulty in swallowing

What is treatment of peptic ulcer?

Early detection of peptic ulcer is generally easily treated by your doctor. Your doctor deside your treatment according to causes of peptic ulcers.

Whether peptic ulcer detect due to bacterial infection, your doctor prescribes you antibiotics for prevention from bacterial infection. And poton pump inhibitors medication also giving for reduce gastric acid respectively further.

Your doctor also prescribes acid blocker medicine for prevention hypersecretion of acid in your stomach. In severe chronic case, surgery may needed.

During taking an antibiotics course you may experience of diarrhea and constipation. Because most of the good bacteria in your stomach become dead during antibiotics course.

Homeopathic treatment– In homeopathy there are best treatment available for peptic ulcers either acute or chronic ulcers. Your Homeopathic doctor prescribes remedies according to your symptoms.

Home treatment– You can also use home remedies for acute or primary stages of peptic ulcer. Usually this home remedies are work properly in early stage of ulcer. But yet if there are no improvement seen then you must consult your doctor for further diagnose and treatment.

How to prevent peptic ulcers?

Peptic ulcer develope generally due to unhealthy lifestyle, uses of unnecessary medication like use of antibiotics, drugs, alcoholism, somking and unhealthy spicy and oily diet that lead to peptic ulcer including gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer.

You can overcome the risk of developing peptic ulcer by following ways-

  • Overcome your unnecessary stress in your life because chronic stress may increase your stress hormone level and results to peptic ulcers.
  • Stop taking unnecessary antibiotics and other over the counter medicine such as aspirin, ibuprofen etc. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria alongwith other good bacteria including microbial flora which are very benificial for your stomach health.
  • Overcome your alcohol consumption because alcoholism may lead to sever stomach ulcer and also liver cirrhosis.
  • Quite your cigarettes smoking and tobacco habits. Cigarette smoke can induce acide secretion that lead to ulcer form.
  • Quitting to eat more spicy foods because they also induce acid secretion in your stomach.
  • You should take healthy balance diet including leafy and green vegitables, protein rich foods, and add fruits in your diet.

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