Gastric ulcers are defects in the gastric mucosa that extend through the muscularis mucosa. Epigastric pain which occurs after meals is the most common symptom of gastric ulcers.
In more severe cases, individuals with gastric ulcer may experience the following:
Such signs could signal ulcer bleeding and individuals should receive quick medical attention.
Diagnosis of gastric ulcer is made based on the symptoms experienced by the individual. If the symptoms point towards development of ulcers in the stomach then the following procedures are done to confirm the diagnosis:
Treatment is geared towards managing the symptoms by suppressing the excessive production of acid and eradicating the infection if the ulcer has occurred due to bacterial infection. The following methods are employed to treat gastric ulcers:
The prognosis of the condition is very favorable if timely treatment is initiated. Failure to diagnose the condition and appropriately treat it can pave way for complications to set in.
Acute gastric perforation due to gastric ulceration carries a mortality rate of up to 30% . In severe cases, the ulcers can bleed and cause other secondary complications. It is necessary that ulcers be promptly treated to avoid the condition from taking a severe form.
Complications of gastric ulcer include the following:
Infections by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are known to trigger the development of sores in the stomach. Majority of individuals develop such bacterial infections at least once in their lifetime. Appropriate antibiotic drugs are necessary to treat the infection; otherwise the infection would persist for the rest of their life.
Various drugs such as non–steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also lead to gastric ulcers . In addition, the disorder is also known to occur as a secondary condition to other medical illnesses such as Crohn disease and stomach cancer.
Diuretic medications like spironolactone has been found to cause gastric ulcers and gastric bleeding in patients taking long term maintenance with spironolactone .
Gastric ulcer is a common condition affecting about 1 in every 10 individuals in England. It has also been estimated that infections are the major cause of gastric ulcers that account for every 8 in 10 cases .
Bacterial infections and certain class of medications are known to trigger the development of gastric ulcers. When the bacteria H. pylori gains entry into the human system, it causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Inflammation in turn damages the mucosal barrier causing some amount of acid to be released. This acid gives rise to open sores on the stomach lining. In similar fashion, some over the counter drugs taken for common ailments can also lead to release of acid causing open sores to develop on the lining.
Development of gastric ulcers can be prevented by following certain simple practices:
Gastric ulcers, also commonly known as stomach ulcers, are characterized by development of open sores in the mucosal lining of the stomach. It is a common condition affecting millions of individuals across the globe.
Bacterial infection is the major cause of gastric ulcer. An appropriate treatment regime with antibiotics is successful in treating such a condition. Certain preventive measures can also be taken to keep bacterial infections at bay.
Gastric ulcers are characterized by development of open sores in the lining of the stomach. It is a common condition affecting several individuals across the globe. Infections and certain class of drugs cause inflammation of the stomach lining which in turn disrupts the mucosal cells. As a result of this, acid is released by the cells giving rise to development of open sores.
Infections by bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori is one of the major causes of gastric ulcer. In addition, medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and NSAIDs are also known to trigger development of ulcers.
Symptoms of gastric ulcer include abdominal pain, bloating, retching and feeling of fullness after meals. In addition, more serious symptoms include passing of blood in stools, vomiting blood and sharp and sudden pain in the abdomen that persists for long duration.
Diagnosis of gastric ulcer is done through endoscopy that makes use of a flexible tube inserted through the mouth to study the presence of inflammation and ulcers in the stomach. In addition, blood test is also required to detect the presence of bacteria in the body.
Treatment includes administration of medications such as antibiotics and acid suppressing drugs. Surgery is employed only when the condition turns severe and medications do not seem to work.