Peptic ulcer is one of the most common diseases today. It refers to erodent lesion in the gastric intestinal mucosa. An ulcer may form in part of the digestive tract, which is exposed to the acid gastric juice, but is usually found in the stomach and the duodenum. Duodenal ulcers are about ten times more frequent than gastric ulcers. They are more common in sedentary workers. The incidence of peptic ulcer is four times higher in men than women. Men are more affected by duodenal ulcers whereas women usually get ulcers in the stomach. Both kinds affect young to middleage persons and are most common in 35-40 age groups.
There is sharp and severe pain and discomfort in the upper central abdomen. Burning or gnawing pain. Gastric ulcer pain usually occurs an hour after meals and rarely at night. Duodenal ulcer pain usually occurs between meals when the stomach is empty and is relived by food, especially milk. It is often described as hunger pain.
There is distension of the stomach due to excessive flatulence, besides mental tension, insomnia and gradual weakening of the body. It may also cause
Peptic ulcer results from the hyperacidity in the stomach. Dietetic indiscretion, like overeating, taking of heavy meals or highly spiced foods, coffee, alcohol and smoking are the main factors contributing to the this condition. Alcohol is very powerful acid producer and has burning effect on the stomach lining. Coffee also increases production of acid especially when it is taken black.
The ingestion of certain drugs particularly aspirin, food poisoning; infections like influenza, septicemia and gout may also cause ulcers. Emotional stress, excessive worry, anger, tension, jealousy and hurry also play a major role in the formation of ulcers.
Treatment- antibiotic, antisecretory agents, mucosal protectants, antisecretory agents enhance mucosal defenses, antacids, etc. Change in eating pattern 5-6 small meals a day, stop smoking, analgesics should be avoided whenever possible and avoid alcohol. Raise the head of the bed or lie on the left side. Decrease fat intake.