In the U.S., about 25 million people develop gastric and duodenal ulcers at least once during their lifetime.
Stomach ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine.
Ulcers that occur in the upper area of the small intestine, which is called the duodenum, are called duodenal ulcers.
Helicobacter pylori – the bacterium linked to ulcers, has been implicated in stomach cancers. But infection with H. pylori alone does not lead to stomach cancer; other factors, like genetic susceptibility, are also necessary for the condition to develop.
Women and older people are more likely to develop these ulcers. A recent study shows that young men are more likely to experience duodenal ulcers, while older women have more gastric ulcers.
The usual signs of a peptic ulcer are: Burning pain; The vomiting of blood — which may appear red or black; Dark blood in stools or stools that are black or tarry; Nausea or vomiting; Unexplained weight loss; Appetite changes.
There are many treatments for gastric and duodenal ulcers. Usually, only medication is required. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to kill the H. pylori bacteria. But some strains are resistant to antibiotics.
Ulcers – even small ones – can cause serious health concerns. Ulcers can prove deadly. A number of conditions can arise from pressure ulcers, including sepsis and cellulitis.
Sepsis occurs after a pressure ulcer allows infection to enter the bloodstream, causing widespread organ failure.
Cellulitis refers to an infection localized in the skin and connective tissue around the sore; it’s a painful and potentially fatal condition.
Note: See your doctor if you have persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.