Did you know that you have a one in ten chance of developing an ulcer at some time in your life? These small perforations of the gastrointestinal tract can cause a world of hurt and complications that may jeopardize your health.
Stomach ulcers, sometimes called a peptic ulcer, are small holes in the gastrointestinal tract’s lining. Sure, you may get lucky and develop a duodenal ulcer that is benign, but what if the stomach ulcer is malignant? How do you even know if you have this disease or if it is indigestion?
So what causes these gastric ulcers and what is the ulcer treatment you can expect? Well, let’s just tackle one question at a time. Here is what happens to cause this particular disease. The sensitive lining of the gastrointestinal tract (including the stomach) is in contact with the acid from the stomach.
The acid wears a hole in the lining and an ulcer appears. Most of the time, these ones are caused by a tiny bacterium and are really an H pylori ulcer. The Helicobacter pylori are a unicellular bacterium that can live in the acidic environment of the stomach.
It is what weakens and erodes the mucous lining. Once the mucous is gone, the acid and bacteria can start work on the lining which then leads to an ulcer.
There are some symptoms you can look for if you think you have stomach ulcers. These symptoms, such as a pain in the tummy that comes after eating a meal, or in the middle of the night when your tummy is empty, or a feeling of upset stomach or nausea (which could indicate an H pylori ulcer) may be present.
The only way to be sure if you have a stomach ulcer is to go to your doctor and discuss the symptoms. Testing will indicate whether or not such a disease is present.
There are two different ways that a doctor can diagnose a stomach ulcer. The first is through drinking a chalky liquid and taking an x-ray. The second is through an endoscope. The small endoscope camera is inserted into the gastrointestinal tract and the physician looks for any ulcers that are present.
A biopsy will likely be preformed and the tissue will be tested for the H. pylori bacteria, which is most often the culprit behind such diseases. Regardless if it is or is not, the doctor will prescribe medication to heal the disease.