When there are sores inside the body, they can cause pain and affect the normal functioning of the organs. This condition is generally known as Ulcer and the type of ulcer is defined by where it happens inside the body. When it happens in the mouth, it can cause sores and inflammation in the gums and the tongue region. When this happens in the stomach region, it can affect the normal functioning of the digestive tract and lead to various complications. The H pylori bacteria is known to be the major cause of Ulcers in the body. Apart from that, other causes include smoking and alcohol addiction. Some people undergoing radiation therapy also get affected due to this condition. Remember that excess amount of acids in the body can also trigger this condition and make them worse. For this reason, antacids will be given in the initial stages and further treatment will depend on the type of ulcer. When it is the result of bacterial infection, proper medication will be given to counter this problem.

Types of Ulcer

-  Mouth Ulcer affects the entire inner region of the mouth and usually, the gums are the worst affected. It can even get formed on the inner lips and cause a lot of problems while eating food.

-  Peptic Ulcer happens when the inner lining of the stomach develops sores due to bacterial infection. When ulcers get exposed to pepsin, it results in this condition.

-  Gastric Ulcer is the result of peptic ulcer inside the stomach region. This can have a different set of symptoms apart from the regular peptic ulcers.

-  Duodenal Ulcer happens when the peptic ulcer is in the duodenum region. This affects the small intestine region and it can be painful in the long run.

-  Esophageal Ulcer occurs in the lower region of the esophagus and it is usually a result of acid reflux in the body that happens too frequently in some cases.

-  Bleeding Ulcers develop when peptic ulcer starts bleeding. This can be dangerous in many cases and you need immediate medical attention in this situation.

-  Refractory Ulcer occurs when a peptic ulcer has not healed for a long duration even after providing the necessary treatment for this condition.

-  Stress Ulcers are normally found in the duodenum, stomach or even the esophagus region. It is very rare and it usually happens when the person is critically ill. In other cases, it can even happen due to excessive stress levels.

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Symptoms of Ulcer

- It is very easy to notice the symptoms of mouth ulcer. They are usually painful sores on the inner layer of the gums and it can also be seen on the tongue. It will usually go away after a few days without the need for any treatment in most cases. When it stays longer than that duration, you need to visit your doctor and get suitable medication to treat the issue.

- Other than that, the symptoms of stomach ulcer may not be obvious in every situation. In some cases, most people will not notice any symptoms when the ulcer is not severe. However, when they become severe, it will show obvious symptoms.

- It can lead to pain in the stomach region and you may not feel like eating too much food. It can also cause bloating and even lead to weight loss in extreme cases. Some people even complain about nausea due to this condition.

- This condition increases the acid reflux in the body and leads to heartburn as the acids enter the chest region. It can even cause pain when you eat food or drink anything.

- Symptoms of anaemia can also be noticed in some cases and people will feel tired without doing anything when they are suffering from this condition.

- While few people may experience blood in the vomit, others may notice drastic changes in the colour of stools. These are extremely strong symptoms and you need to consult your doctor immediately when you notice such symptoms.

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Causes of Ulcer

- The Helicobacter pylori bacteria is the biggest known cause of this condition and it can affect any region of the digestive system.

- Other than that, you are likely to get this condition when you frequently use painkillers and other inflammatory drugs. They can trigger ulcers due to various other external factors and your overall health condition.

- Excessive smoking can easily damage the stomach lining due to overproduction of acids in the body and this can easily lead to stomach ulcers in the future.

- Even consumption of alcohol can be linked to ulcers as they damage the intestine and stomach in the long run. You should never drink alcohol on an empty stomach as this will cause more damage and lead to complicated ulcers.

- Many people suffering from other illness are prone to getting this condition due to the side effects of various medicines. You should always use antacids when you are taking too many medicines for your health issues.

- When people are undergoing radiation therapy, there can be temporary damage to the healthy tissues of the digestive system and lead to ulcers. However, with proper medication, it can be controlled.

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Diagnosis of Ulcer

-  Physical examination : By carefully analyzing the symptoms, your doctor will be able to diagnose the problem. This is best suited in case of mouth ulcers as it can be clearly seen and there will be no need for further tests. However, in the case of stomach ulcers, further tests are needed as the symptoms are not only specific to this condition and they can even be due to other health problems.

-  Blood and stool test : This test is done to determine if the ulcer is due to H pylori bacteria. In many cases, the ulcers may also be due to other reasons and this will give a clear indication about the direction of future treatment needed to handle the problem.

-  X-ray : An X-ray of the stomach region will be sometimes helpful to see if there is any problem in that region. The patients are normally asked to drink barium liquid so that the intestine and stomach region can be clearly seen and any damage can be easily detected by the doctors.

-  Endoscopy : In this method, a small tube that contains a camera at the end is inserted into the body through the mouth. In this way, your doctor can get a clear picture of the inner layer of the stomach and the intestine. This will help them to identify ulcers in the stomach and intestine region and they can even get to know the extent of the damage done to the digestive system.

-  Biopsy : When the results indicate that the problem is beyond ulcers, further tests are needed and a sample of the ulcer is obtained to be tested in the laboratory. This is done when the situation is giving other symptoms of stomach cancer and doing a biopsy of the ulcer will be helpful to get accurate results.

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Prevention of Ulcer

- It is certainly possible to prevent ulcers by making suitable changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. Also, remember that stress can be a contributing factor that can trigger ulcers in many people. Even though it does not directly cause ulcers, it increases the production of acids in the body and leads to ulcers in the long run. For this reason, it makes sense to avoid stress when you are prone to getting ulcers.

- Avoid excessive drinking as this can damage the stomach lining and also the intestine when you continue with this habit for many years. Even binge drinking can cause damage within a short duration of time and you should strictly stay away from this habit.

- The chances of getting an ulcer increase a lot when you combine certain medication with alcohol. You should clearly avoid alcohol whenever you are taking any medication for treating other health issues as this increases acid production in the stomach.

- Even excessive smoking is known to increase acid production in the body and this hampers the inner lining of the stomach and intestine in the long run leading to stomach ulcers.

- If you use painkillers to treat any condition, you should use them after getting proper suggestions from your doctor. Any excess use of such drugs can lead to ulcers and cause a lot of complications in the future.

- The simple act of washing your hands before eating food can prevent many infections and you will be able to prevent ulcers in this manner.

- Finally, you should also eat a healthy diet that provides sufficient nutrition to your body. In this way, you will not suffer from vitamin deficiency and this will maintain the production of acids in proper order inside the stomach.

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Treatment for Ulcer

- To begin the treatment for ulcer, the cause has to be determined as the treatment varies for different types of ulcers. In the case of mouth ulcers, only treating the symptoms may be enough as the condition will subside on its own in few days in most cases. However, treating stomach ulcers need medication and even surgery in some cases.

- When the ulcer is due to bacterial infection, medication may be used to treat the infection and this will give relief from ulcers within a few weeks. Apart from this option, you should also stop the use of other inflammatory drugs that can trigger ulcers in the stomach and intestine region.

- In some cases, even probiotics are prescribed as this will kill the bacterial infection in the digestive tract and give relief from ulcers in quick time.

- When the symptoms are very severe and you are not able to get relief using medication, surgery may be needed to treat the issue. In some cases, when the ulcers are bleeding, it needs to be stopped immediately to prevent further complications. In this situation, surgery becomes necessary to treat ulcers.

- Also when the ulcers keep coming back, you need to consider surgery as an option as this can give long-term relief. In this method, the healthy tissues from another region of the intestine may be taken and this will be patched over the affected area to give relief in the long run.

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Complications of Ulcer

- When stomach ulcers are not treated at the right time, they can eventually damage the digestive system and lead to various complications. For this reason, you should never neglect this issue and always get timely treatment to avoid further problems.

- In advanced stages, this can lead to a hole in the stomach and cause other infections. This can result in severe pain and you may even have to undergo surgery to treat the condition.

- In rare cases, this can even cause scar tissue in the digestive tract and make it difficult for food to pass through the system. In this situation, patients experience weight loss in the long run.

- When the ulcers result in internal bleeding, they can be very dangerous and patients may lose a lot of blood within a short duration of time. This condition calls for a medical emergency and it can even be fatal in some cases. You should be careful and watch out for symptoms of dizziness and blood in the stools to identify this condition in the early stages.

- Even having a regular mouth ulcer for a long duration can affect the oral hygiene and lead to other complications. You may not be able to eat food properly and this can lead to weight loss in a few cases.


In this manner, you can easily handle ulcers without any problems when you are careful about the symptoms in the early stages. It makes sense to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid smoking and drinking on empty stomach. This can increase the production of acids in the body and cause various complications apart from ulcers. Also, reduce your intake of painkillers and always follow a healthy diet to prevent ulcers. When you are left with no other option, you can choose surgery and this will give you relief for many years. However, you need to maintain your health even after surgery and ensure that your lifestyle and eating habits do not trigger ulcers in the future.

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Last updated on : 26-10-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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