Jameelah Memud



Have you ever or you are experiencing a bizzare feeling like burning abdominal pain that extends from navel to the chest, which sometimes, is severe?

In some cases, the pain might be so unbearable that you can't but stay woke throughout the night, robbing you of your precious sleep.

Higher chances are that Peptic Ulcer is what you have.

However, a plethora of common signs that will seal the fate and confirm that it occurs to you are:

  1. Changes in your appetite.
  2. Nausea, indigestion or vomitting.
  3. Unexplained weight loss
  4. Bloody or dark stools.
  5. Chest pain

What are even Peptic Ulcers?

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the internal lining or mucosa of your stomach and or the upper part of the duodenum, and also the oesophagus.

Peptic ulcers can be:Gastric Ulcer i.e when it occurs to your stomach mucosa or internal lining.

  1. Duodenal Ulcer i.e when it occurs to the mucosa or internal lining of the upper portion of your small intestine(Duodenum).
  2. Oesophageal Ulcer: when it occurs in the oesophagus.










               Fig. A pictureshowing the different forms of Peptic Ulcer.




What are the causes?




Due to the acidic nature of the stomach, your digestive tract is coated with a mucous layer which normally protects against acidic contents in the stomach. Peptic ulcer occurs when the level of the acids increases and it eats away the inner lining or mucosa of your stomach, oesophagus and or duodenum, like a leech which subsequently creates a painful open sore that may bleed.



Factors that draws ulcers nearer to you include;

  1. Helicobacter pylori:

A bacterium that cause stomach infection and inflammation, leading to ulcer. This bacterium lives in the mucous that coats the lining of the stomach and duodenum. This bacterium can be ingested through food, water and person to person in close contact during kissing. Helicobacter pylori are responsible for majority of gastric and duodenum ulcer.

  2.  NSAIDs i.e Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs:

These are pain medications such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, Ketoprofen and others. Regular use of these drugs can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach or duodenum. Many NSAIDs are available without a precription, they lower your stomach’s ability to make a protective layer of mucus and this makes it more susceptible to damage by stomach acids. Also taking certain medications along with NSAIDs such as steroids, anticoagulant, low-dose Aspirin, fosamax and Actonel can greatly increases the chances of developing ulcer.

 3. Other risk factors include: Smoking, Alcohohol consumption, use of large doses of corticosteroids(drugs that lower inflammation), having untreated stress and genetics can contribute largely to developing a ulcer.


You may reduce your risk of peptic ulcer if you follow the same strategies for treatment of ulcer and they include:

A. Protecting yourself from infections like Helicobacter pylori by washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and by eating properly cooked food.

B. Maintain a balanced diet: eat foods that contain soluble fibres like apples, oranges,carrots, legumes nuts e.t.c and also foods that are rich in vitamin A such as spinach, sweet potatoes, liver, broccoli e.t.c

C. Using pain reliever with caution and make sure you avoid using drugs with alcohol. Reduce your intake of NSAIDs or make sure you take additional medication like acid blockers or antacids after its usage.

D. Finally, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Doing all these helps to reduce your risk of developing peptic ulcers.


When you don't treat your peptic ulcer or an incomplete treatment may result in the followings:

i. Internal bleedings

ii. Peritonitis (perforation of the stomach wall or small intestine),

iii. Scar tissue

If you have peptic ulcer, kindly take note of a very important point below







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