Ulcer

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Overview

Peptic ulcers are open lesions that grow on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is stomach pain.

There are two types of peptic ulcers:

  1. Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach
  2. Duodenal ulcers that grow on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum)

Causes

Some of the most important causes of ulcers are listed below:

  • Diet high in spice
  • Chronic NSAIDs use
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori
  • Stress

Symptoms

The following symptoms are associated with ulcers:

  • Burning stomach pain
  • Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or vomiting blood — which may appear red or black
  • Dark blood in stools
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Appetite changes

Diagnosis

The following tests can confirm the diagnosis of ulcers:

  • Blood test
  • Stool culture
  • Endoscopy

Treatment

Ulcers are treated with the following treatment modalities:

  • Medicine that block stomach acid production – PPIs
  • Medicine that reduces acid production – H2 receptor blockers
  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids
  • Medicine that protects the stomach lining – muco-protective agents
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