Peptic ulcers are crater like erosions in the lining of the stomach, the duodenum ( the part of the part of the small instestine just past the stomach), and rarely, the esopagus.
Duodemal ulcers are about three times more common than stomach (gastric) ulcers. Normally, glands in the stomach secrete acidand the enzyme pepsin (hence the name peptic ulcer) that help to break down foods in the digestive process. The stomach and the duodenum meanwhile secrete mucus to protect them against harm from pepsin and gastric acid. In peptic ulcers disease the digestive tract's defensive mechanisms break down, often as a result of infection with the bacterium Heliocobacter pylori. Consequently, even small amounts of stomach acid can cause corrosion.
Each year about 1 percent of Americans develop peptic ulcers, and overall, up to 10 percent of the population will have a peptic ulcer at some point during their lives. All ages may be affected (including children), although peptic ulcers most often affect those over 30.
Duodenal ulcers often occur between the ages of 30 and 50, and are twice as common among men. An ulcer is a focal area of the stomach or duodenum that has been destroyed by digestive juices and stomach acid. Most ulcers are no larger than a pencil eraser, but they can cause tremendous discomfort and pain. Stomach ulcers are more common after the age of 60 and are more commonly seen in women.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Desease (GERD)
Or Heartburn and Ulcers are the major acid-related agastrointestinal (GI) disorders. Gastroesophageal reflux refers to the backward flow of acid from the stomach up into the esophagus. Studies suggest that between 21% and 44% of the adult population report symptoms of heartburn on a monthly basis and 18% of these individuals use nonprescription medications for this problem. When GERD is left untreated serious complications can occur, such as severe chest pain that can mimic a heart attack, narrowing or obstruction of the esophagus.
Ulcer is a disease that unfortunately affects more and more people each year, because modern lifestyle helps this disease to appear and advance. Ulcer is caused by a bacteria called Heliobacter pylori, which billions of people are carrying. If a person that carries this bacteria lives a stressful life and eats a lot of spicy food (factors that help the bacteria quickly evolve) then he/she will most likely suffer from one of the many forms of ulcer. Ulcer occurs because this bacteria slowly eats the protective membrane around the lining of the stomach and exposes the sensitive tissue beneath it to the dangerous gastric acids inside the stomach. Therefore, ulcer causes an open wound in the stomach, esophagus or duodenum.