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Introduction

Duodenal ulcers are sores that are present in the proximal part of small intestines which is called duodenum. The majority of causes lead to formation of duodenal ulcers. Apart from stress and inappropriate diet and life style duodenal ulcers may develop due to usage of the certain medications. Ulcers may be additionally caused by certain infective agents among which Helicobacter pylori is most significant. After the exact cause is found a patient may be treated properly.

Causes of Duodenal Ulcers

  • Medications
Certain medications can lead to hyperacidity. If gastric acid enters the duodenum the ulcers form. The increased production of stomach acid increases the chance of duodenal ulcers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are responsible for increased secretion of stomach acid. They need to be administered with certain medications that prevent ulcers. Otherwise if nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are administered without appropriate protection from dangerous stomach acid the person will end up with duodenal ulcers.

Aspirin is additional contributor to duodenal ulcers. It is administered in coagulopathies. Still if Aspirin is used with proton pump inhibitors the damage to the duodenum can be successfully evaded.

  • Helicobacter Pylori
Helicobacter pylori is bacterium which is connected to both stomach and duodenal ulcers. It has been classified as the most significant risk factor of duodenal ulcers.
  • Idiopathic Duodenal Ulcers
In case that no cause has been found duodenal ulcers are classified as idiopathic.
  • Life Style
In many people life style can easily lead to duodenal ulcers. Smoking and alcohol are two major culprits of duodenal ulcers. Even people who drink too much coffee are at higher risk to develop duodenal ulcers. Inappropriate dietary regimes as well as diet low in fruit or vegetables and rich in meat can be additional contributors to the disease.
  • Genetic Predisposition
More than 20% of all people suffering from duodenal ulcers have a family history of this disease. Some scientists have even been investigating the connection between duodenal ulcers and blood type 0.
  • Other Causes
Certain conditions may lead to increased production of stomach acid and cause duodenal ulcers. These conditions include Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, systemic mastocytosis and basophilia.

Duodenal ulcers may form even as a consequence of certain infections. For example Epstein-Barr virus or cytomegalovirus can be related to duodenal ulcers.

Chemotherapy is known to increase the production of stomach acid. Certain chemotherapeutics such as 5-fluorouracil or methotrexate drastically increase the risk of duodenal ulcers. Even radiation therapy can lead to damage of the mucous membrane of duodenum leading to ulcers.

And finally, drug addicts that use crack cocaine are at higher risk of developing duodenal ulcers as this drug leads to Vasoconstriction in majority of tissues. This way even duodenum is affected and low supply of blood leads to damage of the mucous membrane and consequent forming of ulcers.
   

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