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The main symptoms of peptic ulcer

Peptic ulcer is the condition that refers to open sores, which develop in the gastrointestinal tract, either on the inside lining of the stomach, or on the part of small intestine that is called duodenum, though they can also appear on esophagus. This is not a very serious disease in the majority of the cases, and luckily, it can be treated rather successfully, but the fact is that it has to be diagnosed in time, because in some cases, this condition can be malignant.

According to the statistical records, about 10 % of the people in the USA are affected by peptic ulcer at some point, and even though there are some factors that can contribute to the development of this disease, the most common causes are bacteria or even certain medications that cause an infection. When it comes to symptoms, they can be divided into those that tend to appear in milder and less serious cases, and those that characterize very severe cases of peptic ulcers. Among those in the first group are pain and the burning sensation that are felt in the area between the navel and the breastbone and that may last from several minutes to several hours even, worsening of the symptoms when the stomach is empty, and relieving the symptoms when consuming particular medications or foods that neutralize or reduce the stomach acid.
Another characteristic for the milder cases is that the symptoms may disappear for a while, but then they will return. Cases that are much serious may be characterized by nausea and vomiting of red or even black blood; black, tarry, or bloody stools; changes in the appetite, and the loss of weight without a logical reason.

Causes of peptic ulcer

The majority of cases of peptic ulcers is caused by the bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which generally don’t cause problems, but which may cause the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, thus causing the ulcer. This bacteria is easily transferred from one person to another, even by a simple kiss, though the infected person can also get this bacteria from water or food. Besides this cause, it is not impossible that pain relievers will cause peptic ulcer, particularly, if they are used regularly, since they prevent the production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for the protection of the stomach lining. Nicotine may also increase the chances of peptic ulcer, as well as it can slow down the process of healing, and the same applies for stress, overuse of alcohol, surgery, physical trauma, etc.

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