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Cleansweep RN
Case Study of the Week: Peptic Ulcer

When a physician verbalize about GI bleeding, he is usually not talking about an external wound that results in visible bleeding from one or more GI organs, but rather means something more specific. Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract means that some part of the body represented in the diagram above is bleeding internally, either slightly which may or may not be very serious or heavily which may have serious health consequences. GI bleeding is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease. There are many possible causes of GI bleeding, including hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The test used most often to look for the cause of GI bleeding is called endoscopy. It uses a flexible instrument inserted through the mouth or rectum to view the inside of the GI tract.

Peptic Ulcer is the most common GI disturbances nowadays. So, first we should know what is Peptic Ulcer? What are the signs and symptoms pertaining to this disturbance, and how can we prevent and manage this? Well, we will be acquainted with the answer as we deepen our discussion about this ailment. A Peptic Ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or your duodenum, the first part of your small intestine. A burning stomach pain is the most common symptom. Most of patients manifest pain which may come and go for a few days or weeks. The pain is usually dull, gnawing ache which comes and goes for several days or weeks and occurs 2 to 3 hours after a meal. Most client complaint that they experienced pain during the middle of the night—when there stomach is empty and was relieved by eating or antacid medications.

But many people especially those who are not in medical field don't know the reason behind peptic ulcers. It happens when the acids that help you digest food damage the walls of the stomach or duodenum. The most common cause is infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that is responsible for the majority of peptic ulcers. They weaken the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum, which allows acid to get through to the sensitive lining beneath. Both the acid and the bacteria irritate the lining and cause a sore, or ulcer. Another cause is the long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Stress and spicy foods do not cause ulcers, but it can worsen them. Management includes medicines to block stomach acids or antibiotics to kill ulcer-causing bacteria. Not smoking and avoiding alcohol can also help. Surgery may help for ulcers that don't heal.

How can we treat Peptic Ulcer Disease? Peptic ulcers are treated with drugs that kill the bacteria, reduce stomach acid, and protect the stomach lining. Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria. Two types of acid-suppressing drugs might be used: H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors. H2 blockers work by blocking histamine, which stimulates acid secretion in other hand proton pump inhibitors suppress acid production by halting the mechanism that pumps the acid into the stomach. Metrodinazole (antibiotic), Ranitidine (H2 Blocker), and Omeprazole (Proton-pump) are most common drugs used to treat ulcers. GI bleeding can be an emergency condition requiring immediate medical attention. Intravenous fluids and medications, blood transfusions, drainage of the stomach contents through a nasogastric (NG) tube, and other measures may be required. Once the condition is stable, a physical, including a detailed abdominal examination, will be performed.

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