Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach. Both stomach and duodenal ulcers are sometimes referred to as peptic ulcers.
Ulcers can also occur in part of the intestine just beyond the stomach these are known as duodenal ulcers.
The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain in the centre of the abdomen.
The pain associated with a stomach ulcer is caused by the ulcer itself and stomach acid that comes into contact with the ulcer and irritates it.
The pain can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
When to seek medical advice Symptoms can develop if a stomach ulcer suddenly causes serious complications, such as internal bleeding. These include:
vomiting blood – the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance similar to coffee grounds
passing black tar-like stools
a sudden, sharp pain in your stomach that gets steadily worse and does not improve.
Crohn's disease is a long-term condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system.
Inflammation can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the back passage, but most commonly occurs in the last section of the small intestine or the large intestine (colon).
Common symptoms can include: diarrhoea abdominal pain
fatigue (extreme tiredness)
unintended weight loss
blood and mucus in your faeces (stools)
The exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. However, research suggests that a combination of factors may be responsible. These include:
the immune system
Ulcerative colitis is a long-term condition, where the colon and rectum become inflamed.
The colon is the large intestine (bowel), and the rectum is the end of the bowel where stools are stored.
Small ulcers can develop on the colon's lining, and can bleed and produce pus.
The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
recurring diarrhoea, which may contain blood, mucus or pus
abdominal (tummy) pain
needing to empty your bowels frequently
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is thought to be an autoimmune condition. This means the immune system – the body’s defence against infection – goes wrong and attacks healthy tissue.
The most popular theory is that the immune system mistakes harmless bacteria inside the colon for a threat and attacks the