Each and every individual will not experience symptoms from duodenal ulcers; and those who do mostly complain of pain and burning sensation in the abdominal region. The other signs and symptoms are discussed below:
In addition to these, individuals may experience other serious symptoms such as:
Prompt diagnosis of duodenal ulcers is required to figure out the nature of the condition. A complete medical history is taken and a thorough physical examination conducted. The other diagnostics tests include:
Treatment regime is based on the cause of the duodenal ulcers. It is also dependent on the age of the individual and the extent of disease condition. Primary treatment is focused on medications to eliminate the bacterial infection.
In addition, individuals are put on acid suppressing drugs that work by suppressing the acid contents of the stomach. In the United States, the recommended primary treatment of Helicobacter pylori is proton pump inhibitor which also suppresses acid secretions . Patient should be put on bland diet and strictly advised against smoking. They are also advised to stay away from coffee to allow the medications to work.
If the ulcers have aggravated and are diagnosed at later stages then, surgery is often the preferred treatment plan. It is also the method of choice, when the patients do not respond to medications and lifestyle changes. The use of emergency transcatheter arterial embolization techniques has been successfully used in the control of acute duodenal ulcer hemorrhage .
With prompt diagnosis and timely medications, duodenal ulcers get better over time. If the cause of ulcers is infection, then antibiotics form the basis of the treatment plan. Prognosis of the disease is usually good if treatment is initiated quickly.
Meta-analysis studies have shown that duodenal ulcers bleeding dramatically lessens with prompt intravenous proton pump inhibitors after a successful endoscopic procedure . However, one must also understand the fact that modification in lifestyle factors and leading an active lifestyle is also necessary to prevent the recurrence of ulcers. Failure to do so can aggravate existing ulcers and slow down the healing process.
Untreated ulcers can turn life threatening causing the following complications:
Causes of duodenal ulcer are many; however research has indicated that bacterial infection is the most common factor leading to development of ulcers. Other factors include:
Duodenal ulcers are a common complaint amongst individuals of all age groups. It has been estimated that in the United States, as high as 25 million suffer from duodenal ulcers at least once in their life time. It has also been calculated that the health costs for treating ulcers that includes hospitalization, work loss and outpatient care costs about $5.65 billion in the United States.
Muslim nations who practice the Ramadan has an increased risk for duodenal ulcer due to the 24 hour daytime fasting practices during these days .
When food is consumed it passes down the esophageal canal and reaches the stomach. Once the food reaches the stomach, it produces acids that aids in the digestion process. The acid mixes with the food and reaches the duodenum wherein the organ produces enzymes for absorption of the digested food.
Under normal circumstances, the acid that is produced usually does not disturb the lining of the stomach as it is protected by a mucosal barrier. Also, there is certain amount of balance maintained between this mucosal barrier and the amount of acid produced. But, when this balance is disturbed, the corrosive nature of the stomach acids disrupts the mucosal lining causing ulcers.
In duodenal ulcer, histologic examinations have revealed that the acid-secreting parietal cells have doubled in size and have significantly increased basal acid output .
It is always best to prevent ulcers rather than getting it treated in the later stages. The following measures can be taken to prevent ulcers from developing:
Ulcers are basically open sores that generally develop on the skin and mucous membrane. Such open sores that develop in the duodenum are termed as duodenal ulcers.
Ulcers that develop in the duodenum are termed as duodenal ulcers. These are common and about 25 million individuals of United States fall prey to this disease condition. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can correct the condition; however lifelong precautions are necessary to prevent recurrence of it.
Individuals with duodenal ulcers generally complain of burning sensation and pain in the abdomen. Other symptoms include weight loss, feeling of tiredness, and blood in stools, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and loss of appetite.
Complete physical examinations with X-rays of the abdomen are usually the diagnostic tools employed for confirming duodenal ulcers. In addition, endoscopy may also have to be carried out for studying the nature of the ulceration.
Treatment of duodenal ulcers generally depends on the nature and severity of the condition. In initial stages, the ulcers can be taken care of by modification in lifestyle factors and medications. Antibiotics to treat infection and acid suppressants are given for treating the ulcers. In more severe cases, operative procedures may have to be carried out for treating the ulcers.