• Login
0

0044 (0)2089016477

Peptic Ulcer

A peptic ulcer is a hole in the gut lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. A peptic ulcer of the stomach is called a gastric ulcer; of the duodenum, a duodenal ulcer; and of the esophagus, an esophageal ulcer. An ulcer occurs when the lining of these organs is corroded by the acidic digestive juices which are secreted by the stomach cells.

More Information about Peptic Ulcer

Causes

For many years, excess acid was believed to be the major cause of ulcer disease. Accordingly, treatment emphasis was on neutralizing and inhibiting the secretion of stomach acid. While acid is still considered significant in ulcer formation, the leading cause of ulcer disease is currently believed to be infection of the stomach by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylor (H. pylori).

Symptoms

Symptoms of ulcer disease are variable. Many ulcer patients experience minimal indigestion or no discomfort at all. Some report upper abdominal burning or hunger pain one to three hours after meals and in the middle of the night. These pain symptoms are often promptly relieved by food or antacids. The pain of ulcer disease correlates poorly with the presence or severity of active ulceration. Some patients have persistent pain even after an ulcer is completely healed by medication. Others experience no pain at all, even though ulcers return. Ulcers often come and go spontaneously without the individual ever knowing, unless a serious complication (like bleeding or perforation) occurs.

How is an Ulcer Diagnosed?

Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is the best diagnostic test, but ulcers can also be detected by barium contrast X-rays. They can also be detected by the urease breath test in which C-labelled urea is taken orally and the resultant C02 released by the urease enzyme is measured on the breath.