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Peptic ulcer disease: Gastric ulcers

Peptic ulcer disease: Gastric ulcers

Peptic ulcer disease: Gastric ulcers
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<< Peptic ulcer disease: Duodenal ulcers <<

On the other hand, gastric ulcers have preponderance among those with greater age, and among males. The sixth decade is associated with a peak incidence in the occurrence of gastric ulcers. The bad news about gastric ulcers is that they tend to be silent, and become noticeable only when complications arise. In contrast to duodenal ulcers, the chronic nature of gastric ulcers can represent malignancy. The benign lesions are often found distal with respect to the junction between the antrum and the mucosa that secretes acid.

In terms of clinical features, the abdominal pain most commonly observed in those with peptic ulcer disease is described to be a burning or gnawing discomfort, otherwise described also as an aching sensation mimicking hunger pain. In those with duodenal ulcers, the pain occurs approximately 90 minutes to three hours after a meal and alleviated through ingestion of food or antacids. Perhaps the most discriminating clinical manifestation is pain that characteristically awakens a person from sleep (therefore occurring between midnight and 3 AM), and this is present in two-thirds patients. The pain pattern in those with gastric ulcers may be different, such that the pain is precipitated by food, and its being chronic in nature makes nausea and weight loss more likely to accompany the ulceration.

The most terrifying things that could happen in ulcerations are its complications. Repeated bouts of injury and healing makes a wound more likely to develop into cancer, wherein the cells that start to replace the injured area are not the cells that are supposed to be in its place. In response to repeated stress, these cells, instead of that typically lining the stomach, will begin to resemble cells in the small intestine. Aside from that, perforation is also one complication to avoid, since among its effects are pancreatitis (which calls for a medical emergency), peritonitis, and etc. A perforating duodenal ulcer can result into pancreatitis, while a perforating gastric ulcer can result into penetration of the left lobe of the liver. Gastric outlet obstruction is also one complication (due to inflammation) that is certainly bad news, though this often resolves upon healing of the ulcer.

The treatment for ulcers is diverse, employing a lot of pharmacologic treatments and requires a lot of consideration for surgical intervention, depending on its severity. Among the first line of medications are proton-pump inhibitors which help neutralize the acidity of gastric secretions. If suspecting peptic ulcer disease, consult a gastroenterologist immediately. This is a must, since gastric ulcers are most probably indicative of malignancies. To avoid this, the basics of a proper diet and hygiene (to prevent Helicobacter pylori infestation) are very important. It would not hurt to go on a healthy living regimen, right? A few fibrous foods, vegetables and less fat would not hurt. After all, the rule to remember is that prevention is always better than cure!

<< Peptic ulcer disease: Duodenal ulcers <<

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