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Acid Peptic Disease


Ulcerations (sores) in the lining of upper part of the digestive tract are known as Peptic Ulcers. The ulcers may exist in the lower part of food pipe (oesophagus), in the stomach or in the initial part of the intestine (duodenum). About 10% of all adults are affected with Peptic ulcers at some time in their life. The incidence of Peptic ulcers is more common in males as compared to females.

Causes of Peptic Ulcer:

The underlying process that results in Peptic ulcer formation is excess of acid production in the stomach and damage to the protective barrier inside the stomach. Certain things that can trigger excess acid production or can cause damage to the protective lining of the stomach are:

  • Emotional stress
  • Foods (spices, pungent foods, etc)
  • Overuse of certain drugs, especially NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Infections (H-Pylori)
  • Hereditary
  • Smoking

Types of Peptic Ulcers:

Peptic ulcers usually run a chronic course and complaints tend to be episodic in nature; the patient is usually free from the symptoms in between these episodes. Some of the common symptoms of Peptic ulcers are: The pain is usually relieved by taking some food, milk, antacids, by belching or vomiting.

  • Pain in the epigastrium (upper part of abdomen)
  • Hunger pain- worsening of pain when the stomach is empty
  • Night pain- wakes the patient from sleep
  • Heartburn
  • Water brash
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Nausea
  • Haematemesis (vomiting of blood)
  • Dark or black stools

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of Peptic ulcers is confirmed by:

  • Endoscopy to evaluate ulcers
  • Biopsy may be required
  • Barium meal (double contrast)
  • Stool examination
  • Complete blood count
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