Peptic ulcers can be found in the lining of the stomach or in the duodenum, the upper part of the intestines.
If you were to test an ulcer in the lab you would find chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin.
If the ulcer is found in the upper part of the intestines it is called a duodenal ulcer, and if it is found in the stomach the term gastric ulcer is given.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers
People who are suffering with ulcers often complain about a pain in their abdomen that is gnawing or burning.
It often sticks around for a few days or weeks at a time. After eating, it might start to become painful and is often times worse when a meal is skipped.
An empty stomach seems to be a trigger for this dull achy pain. If you are suffering with a peptic ulcer you might notice that you are losing weight, purging, are not usually hungry of feel pain while you are eating.
The most affected are men between the ages of thirty and fifty. Women, who are middle aged and older, can also get them.
Diagnosing Stomach Ulcers
When you go to the doctor they will take a close look at your symptoms and medical history.
Some of the tests you might expect include breath test, blood work or a tissue test. X-rays are also common if more information needs to be gathered.
An endoscopy is often done to really find out some details. An endoscopy is a procedure where a small camera is used to view the intestines and stomach from the inside.
Causes of Stomach Ulcers
There are several things that can lead to this common medical condition. Smoking, Helicobacter pylori bacterium, alcohol abuse and NSAIDS (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) are common causes of peptic ulcers.
People who have a family full of blood type O are more likely to develop ulcers than others. Physical stress, emotional stress and surgery also make it more likely one will appear.
There are a lot of different medications out there and they work really well, for the most part. If you have an ulcer, then it can be gotten rid of, though it may take a really long time.
Make sure you are aware of the side effects before trying a prescription for your doctor. They might be worse than the ulcer, itself!
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