Stomach Ulcers or Peptic Ulcers (International Classification of Diseases -9 – CM) are generally known as ‘Ulcer’ and refers to wound or sore in the stomach, which leads to various symptoms like burning pain in stomach between meals, vomiting and even loss of appetite.
According to World Health Organizations’ statistics, in India, Peptic ulcers lead to 85,487 deaths ranking 26 in the world for the year 2014. This is at an alarming rate compared to other countries in the world.
Stomach ulcers arise due to the uncontrolled use of NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin and certain other group of medications called steroids. It may also develop due to dietary lifestyle largely exposed to spicy foods and junk foods, and largely untimely consumption of diet. Psychological stress also plays a major role in ulcer formation. Even habits like alcoholism and smoking are the leading causes for ulcers. Apart from the above certain medical problems to liver, lungs and kidneys are leading to etiological factors. Recent studies reveal that a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori was found in majority of those who were victims to peptic ulcers. Further, certain radiological treatment modalities to and surrounding to that area lead to ulcerations.
The predominant symptoms or identification features of the disease which arises In the stomach are a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach region, bloating (a feeling of fullness of stomach despite an empty stomach), heartburn (there is irritation in the chest region often like it comes from the inside of the heart) which is different to that of heart attack, vomiting, nausea (a feeling to vomit), and loss of appetite and eventually loss of weight. In severe cases, there might be malena (dark colored stools) due to bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal system, coffee colored vomiting or blood vomiting and a very severe pain in the abdomen.
The reason for the above systems are bleeding from the walls of the stomach, a perforation (hole through in) in the stomach walls, and even swelling that may block from stomach to small intestine.
The diagnosis of the disease by the doctor is usually clinical through the symptoms and in extreme identification it might be with the use of a procedure called endoscopy (where a lighted tube is inserted through the mouth and inspected for the ulcers in the stomach).
Treatment to this disease is through multiple ways, like lifestyle adaptations, medical treatment and In extreme cases surgical interventions (banding and excision of sored part). The modifications to lifestyle adaptations include avoiding junk and spicy foods and consuming bland diet. The dietary alterations in food pattern include periodical and small foods like small foods every three hours. Medical interventions are provided by visiting doctor and providing a group of drugs called PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) depending upon the severity of the ulcer. Surgical treatment include banding and excision of the sored part which is done only in extreme cases.
Consuming breakfast, lunch and dinner in time is the most affordable for a layman to prevent the disease.