What is an Ulcer?
Ulcers are sores on the lining of the digestive tract. Ulcers occur most commonly in the duodenum (the first part of the intestines). Second most common part is stomach (gastric ulcer).
What causes ulcers?
- A type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori cause many ulcers.
- Acid and other juices made by the stomach can contribute to ulcers by burning the lining of the digestive tract. This happens when the body makes too much acid or if the lining of the digestive tract is damaged in some way.
- Physical or emotional stress can aggravate an ulcer in a person who already has it
- Ulcers can also be caused by continuous use of certain medicines like some pain killers.
Possible signs of an ulcer
- Feel better when you eat or drink and then get worse 1 or 2 hours later (duodenal ulcer)
- Feel worse when you eat or drink (gastric ulcer)
- Stomach pain that wakes you up at night
- Heavy feeling, bloating, burning or dull pain in your stomach
- Unexpected weight loss
Simple tips for management
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs unless prescribed by a doctor
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Avoid spicy foods if they cause heartburn
Warning signs that your ulcer is getting worse
- You vomit blood
- You vomit food eaten hours or days before.
- You feel unusually weak or dizzy.
- You have blood in your stools (blood may make your stools look black or like tar )
- You have ongoing nausea or repeated vomiting.
- You have sudden, severe pain.
- You keep losing weight
- Your pain doesn’t go away when you take your medicine.
- Your pain reaches to your back.
Source: Portal Content Team
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