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Your Ulcer Questions Answered

Mar 21, 2008
Ulcers strike more than one million people in the United States alone and more than a billion people around the world. The problem with that calculation is that it is probably short of the amount of people that are actually affected by ulcers.

Many people that have ulcers never realize they do because their symptoms mimic other ailments such as acid indigestion and heartburn. But not knowing you have an ulcer can be a danger to your health. Knowing the signs of ulcers such as pain after eating, nausea and vomiting can help you know how to proceed.

It is a real pain that can turn out to be devastating to your health if you do not take the proper steps to treat the ulcer and find out the underlying reason you may be getting ulcers. Hopefully this article can walk you through understanding the basics of an ulcer and if you find yourself with an ulcer, at least you will know something about it.

Are there different types of ulcers?

Yes, there are a quite a few different types of ulcers that a person can become afflicted from and the ulcer names are generally taken from where on the body the ulcer has occurred. There are duodenal, stomach, esophagus, body and various other types of ulcers that can be caused by different things occurring to and within the human body.

Where are ulcers found?

Ulcers are generally found on the skin, also known as bedsores, and found in the gastrointestinal tract. The areas in the gastrointestinal tract can be the esophagus, the duodenum, the upper portion of the small intestine and of course the stomach.

How do doctors know you have an ulcer?

Doctors can diagnose an ulcer in two ways. They can have you drink a special liquid and then x-ray your body to determine whether or not there is an ulcer present. They can also perform an endoscopic procedure where an endoscope is inserted into the gastrointestinal tract.

The endoscope is a small lit camera that allows the doctor to observe the tract without surgery. If he or she finds an ulcer they will probably take a small biopsy of the area to ensure that the H pylori bacterium is not present.

What is Wagner's classification?

Wagner's classification is a scoring system to determine in small stages how far the diabetic ulcer has progressed. The scores range from 0 to5 and have sub stages marking the different progressions the ulcer will take. It starts with clear skin and eventually makes its way to gangrene.

Does stress give you an ulcer?

No, stress cannot give you an ulcer. It was a common belief for many years that stress was the primary cause of an ulcer. This is not true. But, stress can exacerbate the problem by causing more stomach acid to be present. It is the digestive fluids that irritate and eat through the protective inner lining once the ulcer has penetrated the mucous shield.
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