PEPTIC ULCER DISEASE - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis

PEPTIC ULCER DISEASE

Peptic ulcer disease causes sores that form on the inner lining of the abdomen and the upper part of the small intestine. The most common signs and symptoms of this condition are stomach pain.

Moreover, peptic ulcers may include:

  • Duodenal ulcers that transpire on the inner part of your duodenum or small intestine; and
  • Gastric ulcers that transpire on the inner of the abdomen.

Furthermore, infection with the H.pylori bacterium and prolonged anti-inflammatory drugs is the most common cause of developing peptic ulcer disease. Also, spicy foods and stress do not necessarily cause peptic ulcers. However, they can make your symptoms worse. 

SYMPTOMS

The common symptoms for peptic ulcer disease are burning pain in the stomach that spreads from the belly button to the chest, which can fluctuate from mild to severe. In some instances, the pain may disturb you at night, while others do not have any signs in the early stage. 

Other symptoms of peptic ulcer disease are:

  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dark or blood stools
  • Sudden weight loss

If you experience any symptoms of peptic ulcers mentioned above which cannot be relieved with OTC medications, seek immediate medical help.

DIAGNOSIS

To diagnose peptic ulcer, the doctor might perform a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms. You may then be asked to go through diagnostic exams, including:

  • Laboratory tests
  • Endoscopy
  • Upper gastrointestinal series

These tests will help the doctor see what’s inside your stomach and what causes the symptoms. 

TREATMENT

The treatment for peptic ulcer disease depends on your condition, symptoms, and the cause of it. Generally, treatment will include medications that kill the H.pylori bacterium and reducing or eliminating the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, certain medications may heal your ulcer, including:

  • Proton pump inhibitors that promote healing and block acid production;
  • Antibiotic medications to kill the bacteria present;
  • Antacids; and
  • Acid blockers

The treatment for peptic ulcer disease is often effective. However, suppose your symptoms are serious or persist despite the medications you take. In that case,  the doctor might suggest an endoscopy to determine other possible causes of your condition and treat you properly. 

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