The ulcer is a round or oval lesion that occurs following the destruction of the gastric or duodenal mucosa by gastric acid or digestive juices. Ulcers penetrate into the lining of the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
Types of ulcers
The names of the different types of ulcer indicate their anatomical location and the circumstances in which they occurred.
The duodenal ulcer, the most common type of peptic ulcer, occurs in the duodenum, in the first few centimeters of the small intestine, immediately distal to the stomach.
Marginal ulcers may occur when a part of the stomach has been surgically removed in the place where the stomach has been united with the small intestinal.
As with acute stress gastritis, in the event of overuse of the body caused by severe illness, burns, trauma or stress, ulcer can occur. This type of ulcer can occur both in the stomach and duodenum.
Ulcers occur when the lining of the stomach or duodenum is inflamed chronically or when exposed to irritating agents such as excess gastric acids and gastric enzymes (pepsin).
Each individual secretes acid in the stomach, but only one in 10 people develop stomach ulcers at some point in their lives. Each individual generates a different amount of gastric acid, and the type of individual acid secretion usually persists for life.
People who normally get more acid (acidic hypersecretion) are at a higher risk of stomach ulcer than those who are less secretive (hyposecretion).
However, other factors, other than acid secretion contribute to the appearance of the ulcer, since most people with gastric hypersecretion do not develop peptic ulcer and some people with gastric hypoaesthesia make ulcers.
In addition, ulcers are more frequent in the elderly, even though with age advancing, acid secretion decreases.
- helicobacter pylori infection
- administration of certain drugs (especially aspirin, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids) that irritate the gastric mucosa and cause ulcerations to occur
- smokers are more prone to stomach ulcer compared to non-smokers, because the ulcerations that appear heal more slowly
- although psychological stress can increase gastric acid production, no association has been found between it and the appearance of peptic ulcers but can be a cause for acute stress gastritis which can eventually lead to stomach ulcer
- the presence of cancer (it is a rare cause, but there are situations when the symptoms of cancerous ulcers are very similar to those of benign ulcers)
First, you should be aware of the fact that children and elderly people usually do not have the usual symptoms of this disease or they may be completely asymptomatic (in these situations, ulcers are only discovered if complications develop).