Gastric ulcer is the popular name for gastroduodenal ulcer disease, which affects both the stomach itself and the duodenum. This peptic ulcer disease most often affects men of productive age and it is already a typical disease of civilization, which began to appear most often in the early 20th century in connection with changes in lifestyle and overall lifestyle. It is estimated that ulcers affect about 10 percent of the population and can have several different causes.
Characteristics of ulcers
Gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers occur when the mucosa or even the deeper layers within the digestive tract are disturbed, in places that are exposed to the aggressive action of gastric juices. This is because there are two types of factors in the stomach, one of which is aggressive, such as the secretion of hydrochloric acid required for digestion, the other being protective, such as the formation of a protective mucus layer on the mucosa. An imbalance in favor of the aggressive leads to ulcers.
There are several types of ulcers. The first phase is only slight erosion and superficial damage to the mucosa.
The second phase is an acute ulcer, which penetrates deeper, but heals quickly, leaving a scar.
The third and worst phase is a chronic ulcer, which heals slowly and an inflammatory reaction develops around it.
Gastric and duodenal ulcers can be distinguished according to when the symptoms associated with them occur. Fasting pain occurs in duodenal ulcers, postprandial pain in gastric ulcers.
Causes of ulcers
Gastroduodenal ulcers occur when the lining of the stomach or duodenum is damaged. This damage occurs when aggressive factors outweigh protective ones in the organs. The development of ulcers is influenced by several factors, such as increased alcohol intake, certain types of drugs such as aspirin or corticoids, smoking, increased calcium levels, or factors that increase the production of stomach acids. These factors include stress, as well as Helicobacter pylori infection.
Symptoms of ulcers
Due to the location of ulcers in the main part of the digestive system, the vast majority of symptoms and manifestations are related to digestion. Typically, ulcers manifest through symptoms associated with abdominal and abdominal pain, with duodenal ulcer manifesting as fasting pain, with gastric juices penetrating the area, while gastric ulcer manifesting after eating. Duodenal ulcers are also associated with a feeling of acidity in the mouth, heartburn, vomiting, and weight gain.
How does a stomach ulcer manifest itself? Gastric ulcers are associated with weight loss, anorexia, gargling, and vomiting. In the case of chronic ulcers, vomiting of blood can sometimes occur when the ulcer is irritated, causing it to bleed and the digestive system to try to expel the blood from the body. sometimes there is blood in the stool that is already digested. In the case of sudden intense pain, there may also be a suspicion of an ulcer rupture, which urgently needs to be professionally addressed.
Diagnostics of ulcers
Depending on the signs and clinical symptoms, a gastroenterologist can usually suspect the occurrence of ulcers, and history is also important, which provides the doctor with the possibility of the presence of various risk factors.
To confirm the diagnosis, a gastroscopic examination is performed, which offers the best picture of the occurrence of ulcers in the stomach or duodenum
Sometimes an X-ray of the abdomen can also be done if a rupture of the ulcer is suspected. The breathing test also detects the presence of Helicobacter as one of the causes
Treatment of ulcers
Ulcers arise for a variety of reasons, most commonly with long-term exposure to risk factors, so they develop over time. At first, there is only irritation of the mucous membranes on the surface, but after a while an acute type of ulcer develops. In the case of treatment, it can still heal without complications and thus create a maximum scar. The problem is chronic, which is accompanied by inflammation and heals longer, while in case of excessive and intense irritation there is a risk of their rupture and bleeding.
What to eat and what should be the diet?
Gastric ulcers can torment a person properly, and your doctor will usually prescribe several regimen measures for them in addition to medications. The most important thing is a consistent and proper diet, but given the individual’s health and other problems that may be associated with stomach ulcers, it is best for the diet to be individual. In general, however, you should not consume too fatty, fatty and acidic foods because they irritate the lining of the digestive tract.
The type of diet is also very important. You may have been used to eating on an empty stomach and too much, for example, only three times a day. For several reasons, it is better to eat smaller portions and several times a day. Such a diet has a positive effect on human metabolism and is more natural, but at the same time, especially in the case of stomach ulcers, whether they are directly in the stomach or duodenum, it is better to consume smaller portions and more often. The stomach is then not overfilled, it does not have to work constantly and it can also start the process of self-healing the mucosa.