In detail

Gastroduodenal ulcer

Gastroduodenal ulcer

Gastroduodenal ulcer is a condition that includes 2 types of ulcer: gastric and duodenal ulcers. It is characterized by an injury in the gastric and duodenal mucosa greater than 5 cm caused by the action of acids, bile or pepsin. It is a disturbing and uncomfortable condition that evolves quickly and causes complications if not detected and treated quickly.

How does gastroduodenal ulcer appear?

The ulcer is a lesion that appears either on the surface of the skin or that of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract that is inflamed and shows no signs of healing. There are several types of ulcer. Those that appear in the gastric mucosa (stomach) are called peptic or gastric ulcers. They occur when gastric secretions (hydrochloric acid and pepsin) irritate the lining of the stomach. When these secretions attack the duodenum (the first segment of the small intestine that connects the stomach of the jejunum) it is called duodenal ulcer.

Causes and risk factors for the onset of gastro-duodenal ulcer

The causes that cause the disease to occur are both in infections or various medical conditions that favor mucosal damage, but mainly in the lifestyle of people. Among the infections that cause and the diseases that are associated with the gastroduodenal ulcer are: the infection with Helicobacter pylori (it can cause cancer); viral infections (herpes, cytomegalovirus); Zollinger-Ellison syndrome; chronic lung disease; acute renal failure; cystic fibrosis; liver cirrhosis etc.

Other causes or risk factors related to the patient's lifestyle and personal choices include: the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (one of the main risk factors and the most widely used drugs in the world to reduce various pains and inflammations); smoking; excessive alcohol consumption; personal history of ulcer; physical or mental stress; an unbalanced diet; other medicines etc. Spicy foods or spices or caffeine have long been considered to cause gastric ulcer mainly. But experts say that there is no scientific data to prove that the abuse of coffee or spices caused the ulcer. It is true, however, that they stimulate the secretion of gastric juices, but can cause at most severe indigestion or gastric burns.

What are the symptoms?

Gastroduodenal ulcer is one of the diseases whose symptomatology has been present since the onset of the disease. The most common symptom is pain located in the epigastric area (in the upper center of the abdomen, below the chest). This is quite severe and is described as severe burns. This usually occurs within a few hours after eating or during the night. Other symptoms, some of which are larger or smaller in proportion to one of the ulcers that make up the gastroduodenal ulcer include: pyrosis (burns); nausea; weight loss; abdominal balloons; vomiting; melena (blood in the chair) or very dark colored stool (black) etc. Young children often complain of severe gastric pain as the main symptom of gastroduodenal ulcer.

How is gastroduodenal ulcer diagnosed?

The doctor uses several tests and investigations to determine whether it is a gastric, duodenal ulcer or a combination of the two. physical and objective examination; Helicobacter pylori detection assays; endoscopy; radiological examination; test for occult bleeding; hemolithogram, etc.

What is the treatment for gastroduodenal ulcer?

The therapeutic behavior established by the doctor aims to improve the symptoms and prevent complications. There are 3 forms of treatment specific to this type of ulcer: hygienic and dietary treatment (balancing lifestyle, quitting smoking, etc.); drug treatment (antacids, mucosal protective agents, antibiotics - in case of infection with Helicobacter Pylori); surgical treatment (it is called only if the disease is evolved and complications occur - ulcerous stenosis, ulcerative perforation, penetration, bleeding, etc.)

Tags Gastrointestinal disorders