The condition of Peptic Ulcer is caused when a raw and painful area develops in a specific part of the gastro-intestinal tract of a person. It happens when there is mucosal erosion by acidic gastric juices, and can affect the oesophagus, stomach, or duodenum. While some people suffer from singular peptic ulcers, others can have multiple layers of it as well.
Basically, the lining of the duodenum is at a constant risk because of the erosion of acidic juices produced by the stomach walls. When a reflux or a backward flow of the acids happens from the stomach to the oesophagus, it leads to a dangerous situation, which causes peptic ulcers. The ulcers mainly arise in the jejunum when there is an excessive secretion of the gastric juices. The jejunum is responsible for the absorption of bile salts and the nutrients of the food in the process of digestion. It is located in the small intestine between the duodenum and the ileum.
There are several causes of peptic ulcers, chief among them being the excessive consumption of alcohol. Even excessive coffee drinking or regular consumption of aspirin can lead to peptic ulcers. Other causes include the effect of bile and bacteria, increase in acid secretion for some reason, reduction in mucus production, genetic conditions that cause a person to develop ulcers hereditarily etc.
Of course, in cases where a patient suffers from peptic ulcer, a doctor's analysis followed by treatment is necessary for the cure. But in case the patient has a medical or a family history of peptic ulcers, it is advisable for him to follow some preventive measures. It is said that psychological stress and smoking both aggravate the condition of the ulcer and make it worse. Therefore, a stress free, and clean and healthy living is necessary for preventing ulcers.
The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is persistent pain the abdominal area. The pain gets worse when the person is empty stomach. In most cases, the pain aggravates so much that people end up waking in the middle of the night due to a burning sensation in their stomach. At this time eating a little helps to reduce the pain; though it has a tendency to come back after about a couple of hours. Other symptoms of peptic ulcer include belching, unexpected weight loss, nausea, loss of appetite (though in some cases it can increase as well), vomiting etc.
In terms of treatment, antacid drugs help to neutralise the excessive acid levels in the body and thereby help in treating and curing the ulcers. They also help to relieve the pain caused by ulcers when consumed on a regular basis. Along with the medication, it is advisable for the person to avoid substances such as tea and coffee, and basically anything that contains caffeine. At the same time, the person also needs to avoid alcohol consumption along with smoking. Acid blockers are also sometimes consumed to help reduce the excess amounts of acid in the body.