What causes Peptic Ulcers
associated with a stomach ulcer is a burning chest pain, which may last 2 or 3
hours and may be accompanied by indigestion, nausea, vomiting that may or may not
coincide with eating.
Ulcers affect men and women equally. However, the risk for women increases after
the menopause, which implies that oestrogen may have a preventative effect.
Peptic ulcers are caused by disruption in the normal balance of the protective mucus lining
and the corrosive gastric acid causing damage to the intestinal lining, leading
to ulceration. A range of factors may
cause ulcers including:
pylori – a bacterium associated with gastric conditions. It weakens the mucous membranes allowing the
acidic gastric juices to start eating away at the lining
Smoking – may
lead to reduced blood flow to the alimentary tract, and depletion of mucus
production. Tobacco will also aggravate
the problem due to the swallowing of tar particles.
aggravates the weakened stomach lining and acts as a chemical irritant and
increases the production of stomach acid
NSAIDS – eg
Aspirin. Over-use of NSAIDs gradually
wear away the mucosal lining. Aspirin
has a tendency to cause gastric hemorrhage due to its blood thinning
leads to over production of stomach acid and secretion of stress hormones,
which cause constriction of the blood vessels supplying the intestinal tract
drugs – reduce the turnover of the epithelial cells lining the intestinal
tract, and may lead to permanent damage.
regurgitation of stomach acid into the oesophagus due to a weak sphincter may
cause ulceration of the lower few centimeters of the oesophagus.
inflammation of the stomach lining due to any of the above, may lead to the
formation of an ulcer
eating, over eating, poor diet – these all put pressures on the already
weakened digestive system and will aggravate an existing gastric condition