what is it and how to treat it?
Duodenal ulcer is a common cause of pain in the abdomen. But once treated, the person suffering from ulcer can recover in a few weeks.
What is the duodenum?
The stomach is a J-shaped sac that connects the esophagus above and the small intestine below. The first part of the small intestine is called the duodenum. The stomach varies considerably in size, shape and position but is located in the upper central part of the abdomen, behind the lower ribs. Even if the stomach is a single organ, it has different parts: the fundus, the body, the antrum and the pylorus. The food we eat passes through the pylorus and into the duodenum where digestion takes place.
The wall of the stomach is made up of four layers. The inner lining of the stomach consists of thousands of microscopic glands that secrete gastric juices. Below this is a support layer and below it there is a layer of muscles. This layer of muscles is responsible for the contractions of the stomach and its emptying. And finally in the stomach there is a very thin outer coating called serosa. The stomach and duodenum have a very large blood supply, divided by the aorta and also have nerves through the spinal cord. It is by no means small and invisible because it can go up to 35cm in adults.
Duodenal ulcer can cause heartburn and reflux
Coordinated contractions of the stomach are important for grinding and mixing ingested food with gastric secretions. This process ensures a good mixture of the contents of the stomach and also helps to filter partially digested parts to prevent large parts from entering the duodenum. Parts and partially digested liquids are carefully emptied from the stomach through the pylorus into the duodenum. This process of secreting gastric juices, mixing food and emptying the stomach is normally carefully regulated and uses the coordinated action of hormones, nerves and muscles.
Once the food enters the duodenum, its acidity is neutralized by mixing it with alkaline juices by the pancreas and getting ready for subsequent digestion and absorption in the small intestine.
Helicobacter pylori may be responsible for a duodenal ulcer
What is duodenal ulcer?
Duodenal ulcer is pain that forms in the lining of the duodenum. Any ulcer is actually a wound. And in the case of duodenal ulcer, this wound is on the duodenum. In the early phases of the ulcer, the pain is in the lining of the organ, but the wound can still grow and it can change. Erosions may form and cause bleeding.
Duodenal ulcer may be caused by stressful experiences or may be due to a very tense and stressed lifestyle. These are the reasons why this disease is more prevalent in large cities and dynamic living spaces. Statistics show that men are more likely to have duodenal ulcers than women.
You can have an ulcer in your stomach and in your duodenum. Both stomach and duodenal ulcers are peptic ulcers. And if you have one of them, then you have the disease called 'peptic ulcer'.
Some foods and fluids can make stomach ulcers worse
What can be the causes of duodenal ulcer?
Duodenal ulcers occur when the acid from the digestive tract itches the inner surface of the stomach and small intestine. This acid can create an open wound that can then begin to bleed. The digestive tract is covered with a mucous membrane that normally protects against acid from the stomach. But if the amount of this acid is increased or the amount of mucosa is decreased, you can develop an ulcer.
The ulcer may be due to a bacterium. This bacterium is called Helicobacter pylori and normally lives in the mucosa that covers and protects the tissues that surround the stomach and small intestine. Helicobacter pylori bacteria often do not cause problems, but can cause inflammation of the inner layer that produces the ulcer.
It is still unclear how the infection of this bacteria spreads. It can be transmitted from person to person in close contact such as a kiss. You can also be passed on by food and water.
The ulcer may also be related to frequent use of pain medications. Taking aspirin, as well as some over-the-counter pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can irritate or inflam the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, ketoprofen and others, but do not include acetaminophen. Peptic ulcers are more common in adults who take these medications regularly than adults do not use these drugs.
Taking certain other medications with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, alendronate, and risedronate, can significantly increase chance of developing an ulcer.
Genetic factors can also be the basis of duodenal ulcer. If in your family there are people who have had a peptic disease, then the chance that you have it too is much greater. Statistics show that ulcers occur 12 times more often in blood relatives and in people with zero blood groups.
Other risk factors include age or a recent traumatic experience. Doctors do not think as they did before alcohol, spicy food or too much fat can cause an ulcer. But their consumption can still aggravate the symptoms or slow down the healing process. The role of stress in the development of an ulcer is not certain. Some doctors believe that stress is a direct factor, while others do not share this opinion.
What are the symptoms of duodenal ulcer?
Many symptoms are associated with duodenal ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer. The most common symptom of ulcer is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of the abdomen between the chest and the belly button. Generally the pain is more intense when the stomach is empty and it can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Other common signs of ulcer include: dull stomach pain, weight loss, inability to eat due to pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach filling too quickly, burps or acid reflux, heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest, a pain that worsens when you eat, drink or take antacids, anemia, fatigue, pale skin, tarry stools, vomiting that has a color of blood or coffee.
Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Even though the discomfort may be mild, the ulcer may get worse if left untreated. Ulcers can bleed and threaten life.
How to diagnose duodenal ulcer?
The symptoms of a duodenal ulcer can be very similar to those caused by other conditions such as gallstones or gastroesophageal reflux. Therefore, having the right diagnosis is essential in patients with this type of symptoms.
To ask the correct diagnosis, the doctor will ask questions about the medical history of the sufferer and the medications she takes. He will also ask for the symptoms and the location of the pain. There are many tests that can help confirm the diagnosis.
Blood and breath can be tested for the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Endoscopy may also be necessary to look for the ulcer. Endoscopy requires the insertion of a small tube with a camera attached into the patient's throat and into the stomach and small intestine.
In some cases, the doctor may also recommend a barium swallow test. This test is done with a liquid that must be swallowed and contains barium. Barium will help the doctor to see the intestinal tract more clearly on an x-ray of the abdomen.
What can be the complications of ulcers?
Untreated ulcers can cause complications. Rarely, peptic ulcers can lead to perforation and cause a hole in the stomach or intestines. The performance of the stomach can put the sufferer in a severe risk of infection in the abdominal cavity. The medical name of this condition is peritonitis.
If a person with a peptic ulcer experiences sudden abdominal pain that is increasing rapidly, she should go to the doctor right away. Also, inflammation of the ulcer may block part of the digestive tract. This obstruction can cause a feeling of full stomach after a very small meal or without eating, regular vomiting, weight loss or malnutrition.
In addition to this, the ulcer can cause internal bleeding. If these bleeds develop slowly, they can cause anemia. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, skin paling, and shortness of breath. If the bleeding is severe, the sufferer may see blood in the vomit or stool. Anyone with these symptoms of internal bleeding should seek medical help.
What is the treatment of peptic ulcer?
The treatment of this medical condition may vary depending on the cause of the ulcer. Most ulcers can be treated with a medical prescription but in rare cases, surgery may be necessary.
It is very important to treat ulcers well. You must talk to your doctor and discuss a treatment plan. If you have a rare active ulcer, you must be hospitalized for intensive treatment with an endoscope or medications. You must also need a blood transfusion.
If your duodenal ulcer is caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, then you will need antibiotics and medications called proton pump inhibitors. These drugs block the stomach cells that produce acid. In addition to these treatments, the doctor may also recommend H2 blockers, stop some pain medications, do an endoscopy, probiotics or bismuth supplements.
The symptoms of the ulcer may subside with appropriate treatment. But even if the symptoms disappear, you must continue taking the medications prescribed by the doctor. This is very important especially for bacterial infections to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated.
Side effects of drugs used to treat ulcers include nausea, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These side effects are usually temporary. If any of these effects cause extreme discomfort, you should talk to your doctor and change medications.
In very rare cases, a complicated ulcer may require surgeon treatment. This may be the case for duodenal ulcers that continue to develop, do not heal, bleed, tear the stomach or prevent food from getting out of the stomach and into the small intestine.
Surgery may include removing the entire ulcer, taking tissue from another part of the intestines and placing it on the location of the ulcer, attaching a bleeding artery, or cutting stomach nerve to reduce acid production.
Diet in cases of ulcers
In the past it was believed that eating habits can cause an ulcer. Today we know that this is not true. It is also known that even though food can not cause an ulcer, having a diet can benefit the intestinal tract and health.
In general, it is good to have a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and fiber. It is possible that some foods have a role in the food Helicobacter pylori bacteria or strengthen healthy bacteria in the body. These foods include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and radishes, spinach and kale, probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, miso, kombucha and yoghurt, apples, berries and lemon. 'olive oil. In addition, since people with ulcers may also have reflux, it is a good idea to avoid spicy and acidic foods during ulcer treatment.
In addition to a healthy diet, the following things may help you reduce the effects of Helicobacter pylori bacteria which can be responsible for the ulcer. Be aware that these supplements can not replace the medical treatment. These supplements include probiotics, honey and glutamine found in chicken, fish, eggs, spinach and cabbage. Your doctor may also have suggestions for things you can do at home to relieve the discomfort caused by the ulcer. Foods that can aggravate the ulcer are spliced and pungent foods, including citrus juices, coffee, sodas and alcohol.
Prevention of peptic ulcer
You can reduce the risk of having an ulcer if you follow some simple rules. First of all you have to protect yourself with infections. It is unclear how the Helicobacter pylori bacteria spreads, but there is evidence that it can be passed from person to person through what we eat or drink. So you should wash your hands frequently with soap.
Also be careful with painkillers. If you use pain medications regularly, you increase the risk of having an ulcer and stomach problems. Take this type of medication during meals. Avoid alcohol when taking medications since the combination of both may increase the risk of stomach problems. If you still really need to take pain medication, then take medication such as antacids or acid blockers.