Causes of ulcers

Duodenal ulcer and gastric ulcer are delineated inflammatory processes of the mucous membrane of the stomach or duodenum. They are always accompanied by a loss of substance in the tissue, which breaks down ulcerated. Gastric ulcer in the jargon is called ulcer ventriculi, duodenal ulcer duodenal ulcer - both are often referred to simply as ulcer (ulcer). If ulcers occur again and again over the years, it is the chronic recurrent peptic ulcer disease. The gastric ulcer is less common than the duodenal ulcer.

Frequency of ulcers

Gastric ulcers are equally common in women and men, duodenal ulcers 3.5 times more common in men. The maximum age-specific disease incidence for the gastric ulcer is 60 to 65, and for the duodenal ulcer only 75 to 80 years. If direct relatives (children, parents, grandparents) have an ulcer or the blood type is zero, the disease risk for both forms of the peptic ulcer increases about 1.5-fold.

What is a stomach ulcer?

The gastric ulcer is a circumscribed mucosal defect that reaches the deeper layers of the stomach wall and is also referred to as an ulcer whose diameter can range from a few millimeters to more than three inches. Inflammation of the gastric mucosa lasting for weeks, months or even years, the so-called chronic gastritis, can lead to ulcers in the next step.

Development of ulcers

In the past, the disease was based primarily on an imbalance between aggressive (mucosal attacking) and defensive (mucosal protective) factors. This understanding of the disease has to be supplemented by a significant factor: For some years it has been known that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is significantly involved in the development of ulcers.

About 60 percent of the world's population carry the Helicobacter pylori pathogen in the gastric mucosa. It is a bacterium that produces enzymes involved in cell damage to the gastric mucosa. The ulcer can occur alone or multiple times. Another key trigger factor is psychosocial stress, which promotes aggressive mechanisms via an overexcitable autonomic nervous system, such as an increase in gastric juice production, in addition to unexplained biochemical influences.

Triggers and causes

However, these aggressive mechanisms are likely to be effective only with a corresponding inherited facility. Apparently, personality also plays a role in ulcer formation. In other words, psychosocial stress and conditioning on their own are not the only cause of ulcer, the personality-related nature of stress management is crucial: Ulcer patients suffer from feelings of guilt, frustration and a constant conflict tension. In any case, the mechanisms of ulcer formation seem to be multifactorial, that is, determined by many factors.

In gastric ulcer, in addition to biochemical factors and disturbed feedback mechanisms of hydrochloric acid secretion, abuse of painkillers and alcohol seems to play an additional role. In duodenal ulcer also circulatory disorders due to non-normal vascular nerve activity are suspected. Statistically, the blood group zero is heaped up with ulcer carriers; possibly the lack of blood group active substances is a promoting factor.

Ulcer diseases increase

It is clear that ulcer diseases of the stomach and duodenum are increasing in all industrialized countries. Modern lifestyle as well as physical and mental stress certainly play a role in the development. In addition, plant-specific features are important. Sensitive, nervous people of slim physique are particularly likely to suffer. It is also believed that the ulcers could be a pathological self-digestion of the stomach or duodenum wall due to the digestive enzymes present in the digestive juices.

Risk factors for gastric ulcers

The following factors increase the risk of disease for a peptic ulcer:

  • Foods contaminated with Helicobacter pylori
  • Drinking water contaminated with Helicobacter pylori
  • High age
  • Existing autoimmune diseases (for example the thyroid gland)
  • Chronic diseases that require regular and permanent use of painkillers and / or cortisone.

Excessive alcohol, nicotine and caffeine consumption additionally increase the risk of disease.

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