Today, even children often have a stomach ache, not to mention adults who eat improperly, have a snack on the go. As a result, many people hear the disappointing diagnosis of "peptic ulcer". This is a dangerous disease and should be treated as soon as possible. So let's take a closer look at the symptoms of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Who is prone to ulcers and what does this disease cause?
This is a very common ailment: one tenth of the adult population of the Earth suffers from an ulcer. At the same time, among the diseased there are 5 times more men than women. The representatives of the stronger sex, it develops in most cases up to 40 years. For women, the age of 55 is critical in terms of the appearance of an ulcer, which is associated with changes in hormonal levels.
It would seem that the better the food, the less chance a person has to get an ulcer. But medical statistics refutes this assumption. It turned out that the disease does not affect the income. In wealthy families, it is even more common.
Duodenal ulcer is fixed 3 times more often than the same lesion of the stomach. In fact, it is an open wound (or wet area) on the mucous membranes of these organs. Its danger lies in the fact that the ulcer can be reborn into a malignant tumor, or the mucous membrane at the site of the lesion becomes so thin that it breaks through. Then the contents of the stomach or intestine will be in the abdominal cavity, which would entail bleeding and peritonitis.
Where does the disease begin?
If you are worried about abdominal discomfort, then you should carefully listen to your condition, as the symptoms of stomach ulcers in the early stages are not so eloquent as to force a person to consult a gastroenterologist. Therefore, patients will learn about such a problem when the process has already gone far enough.
The first signs of gastric lesions are:
- frequent heartburn;
- nausea periodically appears, sometimes it ends with vomiting;
- belching with a sour taste and the smell of rotten eggs;
- heaviness in the stomach even after a light snack;
- stool disorders - constipation;
- abdominal pain. It most often appears after a certain period of time (1-2 hours) after eating food - “starvation pain”. Gives to the left side of the chest, lower back.
The patient's condition then worsens (this happens during periods of off-season), then it stabilizes.
Not all appreciate the danger of such symptoms, especially since at first they occur less frequently and resemble gastritis. Although if you find an ulcer at this stage and start taking measures, the prognosis will be quite favorable.
If the bowel movements become liquid and blood appears in them, you should immediately contact the medical facility.
The ulcer is progressing: what new symptoms appear in the patient?
If a person did not consult a doctor and did not pass the examination at the first warning signs of the disease, the symptoms of a stomach ulcer in adults continue to progress. In the following stages, the clinical picture of the disease looks like this:
- sharp and sudden bouts of abdominal pain. During them the movement of the patient is sharply limited, he grabs his stomach and instinctively tightens his knees to the chest. He feels hot. He pales, lips get a bluish tint;
- blood pressure drops;
- heartbeat usually does not change or slows down a little;
- on palpation of the stomach, the pain is exacerbated;
- a person loses weight at normal diet;
- constantly worried about heartburn;
- blood appears in feces.
An open ulcer manifests itself as:
- unbearable pain on the left or in the epigastric zone;
- severe vomiting of bile (it may contain blood);
- increased heart rate.
If there is a perforation of the ulcer, in which the stomach walls are completely eroded, then the person has the following symptoms:
- the pain continues to grow and covers the whole body;
- in a few hours it goes down or completely passes;
- the patient is tormented by dry mouth;
- belly puffy;
- pulse quickens;
- constipation and flatulence occur (gases accumulate to the right of the diaphragm);
- pain resumes, it is joined by a strong tachycardia, upset stool, rapid deterioration. Fatal outcome is possible without urgent hospitalization.
How does duodenal ulcer manifest itself?
For a long time, the patient can not guess that his erosion has formed in the duodenum. It happens that it behaves quietly, there are no signs of duodenal ulcer at all. The symptoms of such a pathology are very similar to ulcerative lesions of the stomach, therefore, without examination, it is problematic to recognize where the disease has settled.
Usually the patient complains of:
- acute pain below the chest, closer to the right side, slightly above the navel. It becomes stronger on an empty stomach and "calms down" after saturation. Such ulcers are characterized by night pains when hydrochloric acid accumulates in the digestive tract. The patient feels worse in the fall and spring;
- pain in the abdomen, which is felt in the back and under the scapula;
- heartburn. It develops 2 hours after eating;
- belching intestinal juice and gastric contents (or "empty");
- nausea and occasional vomiting;
- difficulty defecating;
- feeling of incomplete bowel movements after going to the toilet.
How will the doctor see the problem?
Today, the presence and location of the ulcer can be established very accurately. For this, fibrogastroduodenoscopy is performed. With the help of modern optical technology specialist will examine the entire mucosa from the esophagus and up to 12 duodenal ulcer. This procedure will also allow taking tissue for cytology and determine the intensity of healing.
One of the diagnostic methods is x-ray using barium suspension. In addition, the patient will be given an analysis of feces to identify the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. The examination includes blood and urine tests. They provide an opportunity to identify inflammation, anemia and the presence of hidden blood in the feces.
Treatment and the need for surgery
Wherever the ulcer is located, the treatment will be as follows:
- pain relief;
- normalization of acidity;
- preparations for healing erosion;
- antibiotics that destroy Helicobacter;
- drugs to strengthen the immune system.
It is very important to stick to a diet, not to be nervous and to give up addiction.
Scarring takes about three months. Depending on the condition of the ulcer, the treatment strategy also changes.
If drug therapy does not bring positive results or exacerbations become too frequent, and also in the case of perforation, you cannot do without surgery. If we describe it briefly, it looks like this: the doctor excises the damaged area and connects the tissues of the stomach.
About preventive measures
So that the "peptic ulcer" does not appear on your card, always keep an eye on your health, correctly treat colds, do not smoke and do not drink alcohol, eat healthy foods, do not take medicine without a doctor's prescription. If Helicobacter pilori is found in one of the family members, strictly observe personal hygiene, restrict close contact with the carrier of the bacteria.
Remember the symptoms of gastric and duodenal ulcers! Even if you have only some of these symptoms, hurry to be examined, because there is a genetic predisposition to these diseases. If the ulcer begins to heal at an early stage, then you can recover completely.