Stomach ulcer, also known as gastric or peptic ulcer, can be described as small erosion (hole) in the gastrointestinal tract of an individual. Though there are different types of stomach ulcers, the most common one is duodenal ulcer. It occurs within the first 12 inches of small intestine, beyond the stomach. Another type of ulcer is gastric ulcer, which occurs inside the stomach. Amongst the two, the former is almost always benign, while the latter has chances of turning malignant. The size of a stomach ulcer is usually between 1/8th and 3/4th of an inch. In this article, we will help you explore the causes and symptoms of stomach ulcer.
It is the destruction of the gastric or intestinal mucosal lining of the stomach, by excess secretion of hydrochloric acid, which causes stomach ulcer. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that is passed through contaminated food and water, can also lead to both gastric and duodenal ulcers. Apart from this, an injury to the gastric mucosal lining, weakening of the mucous defenses, genetic predisposition, psychological stress, anti-inflammatory medications and cigarette smoking can also cause the problem
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcer mainly affects the nerves that surround the stomach area, troubling them in turn, which causes the ailing person to suffer from excessive pain. In the following lines, we bring you the major signs and symptoms of stomach ulcer.
- Burning sensation in the stomach area, usually in the upper abdomen after a meal, is a sign of stomach ulcer. The person with the ulcer will have complains of severe epigastric occurring at the times of meal. Duodenal ulcer gets relief after the intake of food, whereas gastric ulcer worsens after consuming food.
- The patient will gradually start losing his appetite. There will be a steep fall in his weight. The person may feel excessive fatigue and will have anemic symptoms. These can gradually lead him to develop a mood of irritation and discomfort.
- Nausea is a common symptom of stomach ulcer. The person will suffer from recurrent and copious vomiting. In fact, it can go a step further and cause hematemesis in the person as well, which is characterized by the vomiting of blood. This happens either due to the bleeding from the gastric ulcer or due to the damage incurred at the esophagus, because of severe/continuous vomiting.
- Excreting black, tar-like stools is another symptom of the disease. This happens due to the oxidization of iron from hemoglobin. There are cases when the stool contains dark red blood as well.
- If a person is constantly facing the problem of bloating and abdominal fullness, he needs to check out if he is suffering from the disease.
- Regurgitation might take place in case of stomach ulcer, in order to dilute the acid present in esophagus. Water brash can occur due to the secretion of saliva after regurgitation..
- Avoid eating too much of spicy, tangy and oily food, to prevent stomach ulcer.
- Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine products beyond a particular limit.
- Make a habit of drinking plenty of water and maintain healthy food habits.
- Never take painkillers like ibuprofen, aspirin etc, without consulting a physician.
- Recognize the symptoms at the early stage and go for treatment as soon as possible. Delay in treatment will only worsen the ulcer.