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Understanding Gastric Ulcer

Increasingly larger numbers of people are diagnosed with digestive disorders these days, most of them requiring hospitalization and careful monitoring. Ulcer is a very common digestive disorder, involving inflammation or tare at certain levels of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastric ulcer involves a breach in the tissue that surrounds the stomach, while duodenal ulcer involves a breach in the tissue that surrounds the duodenum. Ulcer may also occur at the level of the esophagus or other organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

Gastric ulcer occurs due to excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid and pepsin, which eventually damage the protective tissue that surrounds the stomach. The presence of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori also contributes to developing gastric ulcer. Furthermore, the ulcer is aggravated by the misuse of certain anti-inflammatory medicines, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. In the past, it was thought that emotional distress was also a cause of gastric ulcer. However, this theory has been contradicted by recent medical research results. On the other hand, physical stress and insufficiencies can facilitate the development of gastric ulcer (people that experience medical surgeries are more susceptible to acquiring forms of gastric ulcers than normal people).

Statistics indicate that people with ages over 55 are more exposed to developing forms of gastric ulcer. Also, smoking persons are more affected by gastric ulcer than non-smoking persons. Smoking seriously affects ulcer, slowing the natural healing process and decreasing the potency of medication. Also, the abuse of alcohol and caffeine seriously aggravate ulcer. It is important to keep away from such beverages and focus instead on establishing and keeping a healthy diet that may relief the symptoms of gastric ulcer and may also increase the efficiency of the medical treatment prescribed. The diet should contain healthy foods that aren’t likely to increase gastric acidity. Physicians recommend eating several moderate meals a day and respecting an eating schedule.

Most gastric ulcer symptoms are abdominal pain and sourness, the aggravation of abdominal distress on the empty stomach, amelioration of pain when eating, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and presence of blood in the vomit, presence of blood in feces, black stools, fatigue, poor appetite and weight loss.

If undiscovered or mistreated, gastric ulcer can lead to complications like bleeding ulcer or perforate ulcer. These two forms of ulcer are considered to be very dangerous and even life-threatening. Endoscopic therapy can keep bleeding ulcer under control and sometimes it proves to be a good alternative to surgery. In case people don’t present considerable amelioration of the disorder through the means of endoscopic therapy and oral treatment, surgery might be the only option left for attempting to correct the ulcer.

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