The management of peptic ulcers is an integral process to the health of individuals who suffer from this condition. By definition, peptic ulcers refers to painful sores that are located on the inner lining of the stomach. In some cases, these ulcers may extend to the first part of the small intestine which is known as the duodenum. There are various causes of ulcers, although there is no single attributable cause for the same. Research has shown, however, that an ulcer develops as a result of unbalanced levels and concentrations of fluids required for digestion in both the stomach and the duodenum. This is compounded by the following factors:
- Bacterial infection caused by the H. pylori species.
- The use of analgesics that are classified as NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which are often administered for the purposes of reducing pain. It is important to take note that even aspirin that has been coated may lead to the development of peptic ulcers.
- Excessive production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
- The presence of tumors that trigger an increase in the acid concentration.
Management of Peptic Ulcers
The management of peptic ulcers needs that patients are aware of the symptoms that manifest when the ulcers occur. The first and perhaps the most obvious symptom of this form of ulcers has to be an intense burning pain that occurs in the stomach in between meals or at bed time. This may be accompanied by the feeling of bloatedness and heartburn (some first aiders may confuse this for a serious heart conditions). Some individuals will complain of feeling nauseated. In really severe cases of peptic ulcers, the patient will get stool that is black in coloration. This occurs due to internal bleeding from the ulcers. This may happen alongside vomiting of blood. Weight loss may also occur since the individual does not get to get as much nutrients as they ought to.
Severity of Peptic Ulcers
The severity of this condition will determine the ways in which the management of peptic ulcersis conducted. There are cases where the ulcers heal on their own, but it is imperative that one does not ignore the warning signs as they could point to a more serious underlying problem. Proper diagnosis of ulcers also provides knowledge of the proper way to deal with management of peptic ulcers. A number of tests will be carried out in this regard. Once a positive diagnosis is made, the next step is in learning how to manage the condition on a daily basis.
The management of peptic ulcers will depend on the causative agent of the condition. In cases of bacterial infection, the patient will be provided with antibiotics to eliminate the H. pylori bacteria. The other alternative is to administer medication that decreases the amount of acid produced (commonly referred to as a proton pump inhibitor) in the stomach, thus allowing the ulcers to heal gradually. In cases where the cause of the ulcers was the use of NSAIDs, then the doctor will recommend the stoppage of the medication. Lifestyle changes are also a great way to deal with peptic ulcers.