Stomach ulcers, also known as the peptic ulcers are painful sores that appear in the gastrointestinal system. Duodenal ulcers, ulcers that frequently appear, are located in the small intestine, while gastric ulcers are appearing in the stomach. Duodenal ulcers are not communicable or malignant, but stomach ulcers can be cancerous. Ulcers usually affect adults, but kids can also be affected by them. Stomach ulcer may be a sign of another underlying condition, such as mastocytosis, for example. These ulcers can bleed, and therefore be responsible for the development of anemia.
Causes of stomach ulcers
Hydrochloric acid is responsible for the erosion of the tissue in the gastrointestinal system, and hence causes formation of ulcers. There is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori that can be a reason for the development of any kind of ulcers. This bacterium is communicable among people and a person can be infected by it through the contaminated food or water. Antibiotics can treat ulcers caused by this bacterium effectively. Other causes of stomach ulcers can be sores of the tissue lining the stomach, increased amount of hydrochloric acid, hereditary factors and stressful life. The usage of anti-inflammatory drugs and nicotine addiction can also lead to these problems. People who consume alcohol frequently and those who have unhealthy eating habits are at higher risk of developing ulcers.
Symptoms of stomach ulcer
Almost every patient who suffers from stomach ulcer feels stomach discomfort, which is usually described as heartburn. This discomfort can last from a half an hour to even 3 hours. Some of the sufferers feel this discomfort right after the meal, while others don’t. Painful sensations are sometimes so strong that they can wake a person up in the middle of the night. An individual who suffers from ulcer can have painful episodes that last for weeks and then the pain disappears for a while. Other signs of stomach ulcer can be decreased desire to eat and weight loss, although the sufferer can even throw up quite frequently. Nerve endings that are around the ulcer are responsible for the sensation of pain and they are disturbed by an ulcer, which is why a person feels pain.
Some researches showed that 20 million people suffer from stomach ulcer in the States and yearly that number is increased by 4 millions. About 40 thousand people yearly in the States need to have an operation due to constant ulcer problems. Studies also showed that 6 thousand people per year die from problems regarding ulcers.