Living with an Ulcer can be distressing, especially if it is painful. Many people wish to know about ulcers – the causes, symptoms, and also the types. The human body is complex, and issues can arise anytime. If you are struggling with ulcers, it is time to get some in-depth knowledge about the condition.
A Brief: Know About Ulcers
The overriding thought in your head is the following – What is an Ulcer? You will find medical definitions all over the internet, but we have an in-depth explanation for you. You will get all the necessary information here. For starters, Ulcers are a type of sores. These can be painful and irksome for those who have it. They keep returning and take their own pace to heal. These ulcers can take several forms, and they appear both outside and inside of the human body. There is no apparent evidence that suggests that ulcers are caused by lifestyle changes or poor eating habits. The dermatological health concern causes disintegration of the tissues. Where do they appear? Ulcers can appear anywhere on the human body, but they are also found in the lining of the stomach. Moreover, some ulcers heal on their own, but others require medical intervention.
The Different Types of Ulcers
The most important aspect of this medical condition is to know about the type of ulcers. The most common type happens to be the Peptic Ulcer, but there are other types as well. These include:
1. Peptic Ulcers
Peptic Ulcers are wounds or sores that develop in the esophagus or the inner lining of the stomach. These sores form when the lining of the stomach gets damaged. The doctor will diagnose the type of Peptic Ulcer you are suffering from. In total, there are three types of Peptic Ulcers.
- Esophageal (esophagus)
- Gastric (stomach lining)
- Duodenal (small intestine)
In case you have an H. pylori infection, the doctor shall recommend certain antibiotics to treat it. Antacids will also be a part of the medication. This is to neutralize the acid in your stomach.
2. Arterial Ulcers
These sores develop outside your feet, ankle, heels, and toes. When the blood flow to the tissues is not enough, it causes Arterial Ulcers. You might find red, yellow, or black sores. The leg pain will be excruciating, and in some cases, there will be hairless skin. Antibiotics are recommended in some cases, but surgery might be necessary. Amputation is another treatment option for this condition.
3. Venous Ulcers
Venous ulcer is a type of ‘leg ulcer.’ The leg may experience inflammation, pain, swelling, scabbing, itchy skin, and discharge. There are chances that it might heal in a couple of months. But, in some cases, it might never heal. Your doctor will recommend the right treatment for Venous Ulcers. Compression therapy or surgery is best for this type of Ulcer.
4. Mouth Ulcers
Do you feel a sort of pain while chewing or drinking something? It is probable that you have a mouth ulcer. Mouth ulcers cause a lot of discomforts because you use your mouth quite a lot. There are certain food allergies, diseases, bacterial infections, and harsh brushing that causes mouth ulcers.
Is it a cause for concern? Well, the mouth ulcers may not be your guest for more than two weeks. However, it is a possibility that it might stay. Speak to your doctor about the condition in case it stays for long. Ointments and special mouthwashes are available to provide relief. It also speeds up the healing process. Check with the physician to know more.
5. Genital Ulcers
When the anus, penis, and vagina get affected by an Ulcer, you find it difficult to perform your daily chores. It is an extremely private area! When you have a genital ulcer, it causes pain, irritation, itching, swelling, and rashes. In addition, you will find that the groin area’s glands are swollen. Doctors always recommend people to perform safe sex. Using condoms and other protective measures are important. If the ulcer is caused by a sexually transmitted infection, the doctor will give you antibiotics and antiviral ointment/medication.
What Causes An Ulcer?
The question is – What causes Ulcer? Firstly, we need to look at the location of the ulcer. If it is the stomach ulcer, these will occur when the lining of the stomach’s protective mucus becomes unproductive. The human body’s stomach produces an acid (a strong one) to digest the food. It also protects the stomach against microbes. However, to safeguard the tissues of the human body from this strong acid, the stomach secretes mucus. But, if the layer of mucus stops functioning, this same acid will damage the stomach’s tissue. That’s the cause of stomach ulcers.
There are a number of causes of skin ulcers. It could be due to heat/cold exposure, trauma, corrosive metal exposure, and blood circulation issues. In addition, there are people who stay on the chair or bed for too long. Diabetics also get ulcer problems, especially in the feet area.
Ulcer Disease Symptoms
There are a number of Ulcer symptoms that you should be aware of. Firstly, the doctor will diagnose the type of Ulcer you have. That’s why it is important to know about ulcers. If it is a Peptic ulcer, you will have heartburn, bloating, vomiting, sudden weight loss, and chest pain. In an Arterial ulcer, you will get punched out sores in yellow, red, and black. There will be leg pain accompanies by hairless skin. If you have a Venous ulcer, there will inflammation, swelling, itchy skin, and scabbing.
But, if you have a mouth ulcer, there will be difficulty in eating or drinking. The ulcer extends all the way to your lips. Moreover, you will also get a fever and diarrhea. In conclusion, the symptoms depend on the location of the ulcer. But, overall, an Ulcer makes anyone uncomfortable. It is indeed painful for the patient.
How Is An Ulcer Diagnosed?
Once you get any of the symptoms mentioned above, you will head to a doctor. A general physician will do a physical examination. But, before that, they will ask you about the symptoms and any medical history. It is important to let the doctor know about your diabetic condition or any other health concern.
How is an ulcer diagnosed? If it is a peptic ulcer, he/she will check your abdomen. They use a stethoscope to hear the sounds inside your abdomen. Lastly, they will check whether there is any pain or tenderness. Endoscopy or X-ray reports will give them a clear idea of whether it is an ulcer or some other health concern.
The Treatments For An Ulcer?
After performing several tests, the doctor will come to a conclusion. The treatment will be based on the type of ulcer. The following treatments are used:
- Proton pump inhibitors (doctor shall recommend the right way to use it)
- Histamine blockers (acid blockers)
- Antacid to neutralize the acid in the stomach
- A series of medications will be recommended for protecting the small intestine and the lining of the stomach.
Note – It all depends on the ulcer diagnoses and the type.
How Can You Prevent Ulcers?
Ulcers can appear anywhere on the human body. But, the million-dollar question is – How do you prevent ulcers? Is there a sure-shot way of not getting ulcers? There are many things you can do to prevent ulcers. Some of the healthy practices include:
- Not exchanging saliva with someone who has a stomach ulcer. Avoid kissing, sharing food, or drinking water from the same bottle.
- Always drink water from a clean glass or bottle. Avoid sharing your bottle with anybody else. It’s not rude! You need to safeguard yourself from germs and the possible causes of ulcers.
- You must wash your hands before eating anything. In fact, wash the fruits before consuming them.
- Hygiene is of utmost importance. Moreover, everyone should maintain hygiene inside their home and keep the body clean.
- Alcohol consumption should be less. Do not drink alcohol on a regular basis.
- Eat good foods that help prevent stomach ulcers. You can include kefir, yogurt, and buttermilk in your diet. These are healthy, and good for the gut. You should also add broccoli, cauliflower, and kale in your diet.
- Avoid drinking caffeine.
- Have safe sex with your partner. Use condoms to prevent STIs. Since you know about ulcers, it is vital to perform protective sex.
- Keep your body healthy by including exercises in your daily routine.
- Make sure you sleep at least 8 hours a day.
- Do not use the common washroom. Avoid sitting on a toilet seat which has been used by many other people.
- Avoid brushing your teeth harshly.
- If you are allergic to some foods, do not eat them.
By following these tips, you can prevent ulcers. The key is to eat healthily, stay fit, and develop healthy habits. You can limit alcohol consumption and bid adieu to cigarettes.
The Bottom Line
Taking good care of your health is vital. Any type of ulcer can cause extreme discomfort to the body. Now that you know about ulcers, you will be able to prevent it or at least get to know the type of ulcer you have. Never let your health take a backseat. After all, health is wealth.