Monday, May 27, 2013

The Dangers of Bleeding Ulcer

More and more people are suffering from digestive disorders these days. Due to poor diets, unhealthy lifestyles and the abuse of caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, most people develop different forms of ulcer. There are multiple types of ulcer and some of them are considered to be life-threatening. Even milder forms of ulcer may endanger a person's life if the disorder is not appropriately treated.

Ulcer involves irritation, sores or lesions at different levels of the gastrointestinal tract. The main cause of ulcer is considered to be the infection with the bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which can be acquired through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Another cause of ulcer is the excessive production of hydrochloric acid and pepsin. When in excess, gastric acid may damage the protective walls of the stomach or other particular internal organs, enabling the bacteria to cause greater damage. Although the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and excessive gastric secretions are mainly responsible for the development of ulcer, there are also other factors that may contribute to the process: smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine, etc.

When hydrochloric acid and pepsin are also involved in the development of the ulcer, the disorder is referred to as peptic ulcer. If the ulcer occurs at the level of the duodenum, the disorder is called duodenal ulcer. If the ulcer develops in the stomach, the disorder is called stomach or gastric ulcer. Gastric ulcer is considered to be a serious form of digestive disorder, as it may lead to complications and even cancer. The most severe complications of peptic ulcer are bleeding ulcer and perforate ulcer.

Bleeding ulcer is very dangerous and in some cases it can cause the death of the affected person. Bleeding ulcer requires immediate medical attention and in most cases it can only be corrected through surgery. Operations performed in order to treat bleeding ulcers are mostly done through the means of a gastroscope. General anesthesia is not always required in performing such operations. Fortunately, not all patients who suffer from bleeding ulcer need surgery. Latest experimental medicines have decreased the mortality rate of patients who develop such complications and maybe in the future oral treatment will become a substitute for today's surgery.

The most common symptoms of bleeding ulcer are: vomiting blood, presence of blood in the feces, black stools, nausea and dehydration. Bleeding ulcer can also lead to anemia; due to excessive blood loss, fewer red blood cells remain within the body, failing to provide sufficient oxygen to internal organs. It is vital to try to prevent bleeding ulcers from appearing, as in some cases they may be fatal. The best thing to do when confronted with the symptoms of ulcer is to immediately inform your physician of your problems, in order to receive an appropriate medical treatment, thus avoiding further complications of the disorder.

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