Causes and Treatments of Peptic Ulcer Disease

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A peptic ulcer can be defined as an “excavation that forms in the mucosal wall of the stomach, in the pylorus, in the duodenum, or in the esophagus” (Brunner, Suddarth and Smeltzer, 2008). According to Fromm, (2009) Helobactor pylori is a gram-negative bacteria that is the cause of most peptic ulcer disease and is considered a primary risk factor in the development of gastic cancer (pg. 394). Other causes include stress, and excessive secrtion of Hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Transmission of H. pylori according to Gurney, Carvalho, Gonzalez, Galaviz & Sonstein (2014) states there is strong research supporting that H. pylori can be spread person to person through direct contact with saliva, vomit, or fecal matter (pg. 393). H. Pylori is more prevalent in crowded areas without reliable access to clean water. Other risk factors include poor hygiene, smoking, and close living conditions with someone who is infected with H. pylori. Symptoms of an ulcer include a burning sensation in the stomach and esophagus, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation and bleeding. Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease includes antibiotics to eradicate H. pylori bacteria; proton pump inhibitors are used to treat NSAID-induced ulcers and other ulcers not associated with the bacterial infection, smoking cessation and dietary modifications. Surgical management is recommended for ulcers that fail to heal after 12-16 months of treatments and the procedures include pyloroplasy, anrectomy or vagotomy.
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