A acid peptic disease, otherwise simply known as a peptic ulcer condition or peptic acid disease is a condition where the patient will begin to experience abdominal pain. The pain is generated by ulcers that can develop in either the stomach or the tube that connects to the stomach, called the esophagus. Below, you will find a brief write up on the acid peptic disease, detailing the symptoms, causes and treatment options that are available to patients.
Symptoms of acid peptic disease
The most common symptom experienced by a majority of the patients is pain in varying intensities. Some patients experience slight pangs of pain while some will experience sharp pangs of pain that will be extremely uncomfortable.
The amount of pain will depend on the location of the ulcer and will also depend on how often the ulcerated area comes into contact with another organ, thereby creating friction.
There is no particular pattern of pain. Some patients will experience pain for a few days and then be pain free for a few days before beginning to suffer from pain again.
However, most patients do experience a lot of pain when their stomach is empty as that is when the acid production levels are quite high.
In some cases, patients might experience other forms of symptoms where they begin to vomit blood that looks very dark or when they pass stools with blood coated on it.
Stools with a very dark color are also usually a sign that a patient is suffering from an ulcer. In rare cases, patients can also suffer from weight loss that is usually a result of another possible symptom where the patient loses their appetite.
Causes of acid peptic disease
It was previously thought that a bad diet and high stress levels can cause peptic ulcers. However, recent
medical research has disproved that theory and has pointed out the following three causes.
1. Bacterium – The most common cause of a peptic ulcer is a bacteria known as Helicobacter Pylori or
H. Pylori. This bacteria has the potential to inflame the mucous layer, thereby creating ulcers that are
called peptic ulcers. Research about how the bacteria spreads through the body is still ongoing although
it has been identified that the bacteria is spread from person to person through food and water or
through personal/intimate contact.
2. Consistent use of pain relievers – People who abuse pain killers often develop peptic ulcers. Pain
killers can inflame the mucous lining in the abdomen that can then lead to ulcers. A lot of people
suffering from arthritis conditions also suffer from peptic ulcers as they take a lot of pain killers. Over
the counter pain killers like Advil, Aleve and even the otherwise very safe Aspirin can cause peptic
ulcers, if taken very regularly. Patients who cannot avoid pain killers are advised to take their medication
after their meals so the stomach has the better chance of not being inflamed.
3. Other types of medication – A certain set of prescription medicines known as bisphosphonates can
also cause peptic ulcers in the stomach and the esophagus.
How is the acid peptic disease treated?
Patients suffering from peptic ulcers are usually prescribed antibiotics that will kill the H.Pylori bacteria.
If the ulcers are not caused by the H.Pylori bacteria, the condition can be treated with medications that
will block or limit the production of acid that can further inflame and irritate the ulcers. Antacids are also
a very commonly prescribed form of medication for peptic ulcers.
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