Gastrointestinal Disorders I

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Peptic Ulcers Peptic Ulcers. A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer), the duodenum (duodenal ulcer), or sometimes in the oesophagus (esophageal ulcer). A peptic ulcer develops when the mucuos membrane which protects the alimentary canal from digestive juices and acids is damaged. This permits stomach acids to penetratet the sensitive lining underneath, resulting in an ulcer. The chief precipitating factor for an ulcer is the presence of the infection-causing bacterium, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). H. pylori infection is very common, but does not always result in ulcers. H. pylori is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and spreads through contact witth the stool, vomit and saliva of infected persons. The second common cause of petic ulcers is the long-term use of non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Ulcers are also rarely caused by stomach tumors. The sever abdominal pain and vomiting exhibited by the man are typical symptoms of petic ulcers. (NDDCH web site). A serious health complication resulting from a peptic ulcer is a perforation, or hole, in the wall of the stomach or duodenum, which develops when the ulcer penetrates right through the wall. A perforated peptic ulcer leads to peritonitis, an inflammation of the thin tissue which lines the abdominal organs. Bacteria enter the peritonial cavity. The fact that the patient has a significant drop in blood pressure, along with the vomiting and abdominal pain, indicates peritonitis. (PubMed Health web site). Surgery to remove the infected bowel may be necessary in this case. This may be followed by a course of medication to eradicate the H. pylori bacteria, reduce the presence of stomach acids, and protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum. (NDDCH web site).References. H. pylori and Peptic Ulcers. 2012. National Digestive Diseases Clearing House (NDDCH). Retrieved from – secondary. 2010. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. PubMed Health. Retrieved from