Acute pain in the stomach, nausea and vomiting – these manifestations accompany various diseases of the digestive system. And perhaps the most dangerous of them, if you do not take into account malignant tumors, should be considered gastric ulcer. This disease often faces a fatal outcome and requires a lot of effort for treatment, and review lifestyle from the patient.
The stomach is the main organ of the human digestive system, where food coming from the oral cavity is subjected to primary chemical processing and is prepared for the process of absorption of substances necessary for the body – proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the small intestine. The task of processing the food lump takes on an extremely caustic liquid – gastric juice. It consists of several enzymes, but its main component is hydrochloric acid.
The main reason that gastric juice does not begin to digest the stomach itself is the protective properties of the gastric mucosa lining the walls of this organ. However, if the integrity of the mucous membrane for any reason is broken, the acid begins to corrode the underlying layer of the walls of the stomach – muscle.
Such a process leads to a violation of the integrity of the wall and the appearance of education, which is called an ulcer. However, in this case, it is necessary to clearly separate gastric ulcers and erosion, which can also occur on the surface of the walls of the stomach. Although in most cases, the precursors of ulcers are precisely erosion. In erosion, there is damage to the mucous membrane of the stomach, but the muscle layer of the walls is not affected. Erosion is usually self-delayed for several days and does not lead to damage to the walls of the body. The ulcer can also be tightened, but in such a case, a scar remains on the surface of the walls. If this does not happen, the ulcer becomes chronic. In other cases, the ulcer can lead to the destruction of the stomach wall area.
Gastric ulcer, unlike gastritis, is not accompanied by significant variations in such a parameter as the acidity of gastric juice. In most cases, the acidity of the ulcer is within normal limits or slightly increased. With low acidity, gastric ulcers can not be formed, unlike gastritis, which can be observed in similar conditions.
Spread of the disease
Gastric ulcer is a predominantly male ailment. Women suffer from it several times less often, but the cases of women every year becomes more and more. Also, the majority of cases (80%) are people aged 20-50 years. However, peptic ulcer disease can be found in younger people. Approximately 1% of the cases are children, 8% are adolescents, and the rest are elderly people. According to various data, gastric Ulcer is found in 5-15% of people. In the US, this figure is 10%. Urban residents are affected 5 times more often in rural areas. Gastric ulcer is somewhat less common duodenal ulcer. In recent years, there has been an increase in the relative number of cases worldwide.
Varieties of disease
Peptic ulcer disease is often classified depending on what part of the stomach it affects – cardia, the Central part of the stomach (body), antral or pyloric departments. Also in the stomach can be either a single ulceration, or several. The size of the stomach ulcer can vary from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. A small ulcer is considered to have a diameter of less than 5 mm, medium – 5-20 mm, large – 20-30 mm, giant – more than 30 mm.
Peptic ulcer disease is mainly a chronic disease, which may have periods of exacerbations and longer periods of remission. During remissions, the size of the stomach ulcer decreases, with exacerbation – increase.
Stomach ulcer is a polyetiological disease. This means that the disease, as a rule, there is no single root cause, affects a combination of several adverse factors.
One of the factors that cause peptic ulcer disease was discovered relatively recently. It is conditionally pathogenic microorganism – the bacterium Helicobacter pylori dwelling in the mucous membrane of the stomach. The bacterium can be easily passed from one person to another – with a kiss, through common Cutlery and unwashed dishes.
The source from which the bacterium receives energy is certain chemical reactions occurring in the stomach. For still not fully elucidated reasons, the bacterium at some point begins to behave aggressively, forms colonies on the mucous membrane of the stomach, changes the composition of gastric juice and eventually destroys the tissues of the mucous membrane, usually in a small area. In this way, many stomach ulcers are formed, however, not all. At least only about 40% of the cases of this disease are reliably considered to be associated with bacterial infection.
Therefore, other factors leading to the disease should not be discounted:
- strong stress;
- abuse of medicines or their use in large quantities (glucocorticosteroids, antacids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, cytostatics, antihypertensives);
- immunodeficiency States (AIDS, receiving immunosuppressive agents);
- improper diet or eating habits (eating too cold or hot food, eating irregularly);
- hereditary factor;
- severe somatic diseases (tuberculosis, hepatitis, diabetes, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease);
- injury of the stomach;
- effects of other organs on the stomach;
- massive burns and frostbite, shock conditions;
- chronic alcoholism;
- abuse of coffee and other caffeinated beverages;
- other diseases of the stomach (gastritis, duodenal-gastric reflux).
In people with the first group of blood, the risk of gastric ulcer is 40% higher than in others. The risk of developing a disease that occurs as a result of taking anti-inflammatory drugs increases significantly after 65 years. It is possible the occurrence of ulcers and as a result of penetration into the stomach of indigestible foreign bodies.