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Ulcer – Understanding a Bit More

Ulcer not only affects the stomach lining, the upper part of the small intestine may also receive such ulcers. Ulcer may also occur in Esophagus (food pipe), rectum and other GI parts also. Ulcer to the stomach and the upper small intestine is medically referred as Peptic Ulcer.

An ulcer in the stomach area is commonly called Stomach Ulcer and is specifically termed as Gastric Ulcer. Similarly the ulcer in the upper part of the small intestine or duodenum that is closer to the stomach is specifically termed Duodenal Ulcer. In other words all Stomach Ulcers are Peptic Ulcers but not all Peptic Ulcers are Stomach Ulcers.

Peptic ulcers are the penalty we pay for our lifestyle changes. We need to bear in mind that the life style changes actually changes during the school days like skipping breakfast and consumption of high salted junk snacks like chips. Not eating or over eating, tension, stress, depression, all increases the acid level in our stomach which contributes to Ulceration.

Ulcer is generally easily curable when detected early. According to a study published by WHO, in 2014, nearly 85,487 Indians died of peptic ulcer. India was ranked 26th among countries that reported deaths due to Peptic Ulcer.

As like any ailment, there are factors that contribute to Peptic Ulcer. They are,

  • Genetic – A definitive family history of having Ulcer
  • Excessive alcohol (drinking) and Smoking
  • Use of drugs not prescribed by doctors – Improper dose of antibiotics, painkillers, steroids and blood thinners (aspirin)
  • Infection of Helicobacterium Pylori is also supposed to cause Ulcers.
  • Prolonged illness can also cause stomach ulcer. This is called Stress Stomach Ulcer.
  • Overage – Risk of Ulcer increases with age. Generally it is said that people over 50 have more risk of Peptic Ulcer.
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