Bleeding ulcers are found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and can prove to be very bothersome for you causing abdominal pain and discomfort. But have you ever wondered as to why do they occur. There are several risk factors that can lead to bleeding ulcers, and this article discusses some of the main risk factors.
The gastrointestinal tract consists of all the organs that are responsible for the input and output of the food that we eat, the energy that we produce and the waste material that we excrete out of our body. So, the gastrointestinal tract begins from our mouth from which we eat, followed by the esophagus, the stomach, the intestines (both large and small) and the rectum. Bleeding ulcers usually tend to occur in these organs, each with a different terminology based on the organ they have started to occur on. For example, bleeding ulcers on the esophagus are known as esophageal ulcers, the ulcers on the stomach are known as gastric ulcers and the ulcers on the small intestine are known as duodenal ulcers.
These ulcers emerge as peptic ulcers, which seem like open sores inside the GI tract and can convert into bleeding ulcers if left untreated or if exposed to certain elements that can prove to be dangerous under this condition. You will be surprised to know that almost 95 million people in the United States suffer from some or the other form of digestive problem. As far as bleeding ulcers are concerned, they usually tend to go unnoticed as most of the time, they may become asymptomatic. If you too have been suffering from digestive problems, with or without any symptoms of bleeding peptic ulcers, then you need to be aware of the risks and triggering factors of bleeding ulcers.
Factors that Can Increase the Risk of Bleeding Ulcers
Not all peptic ulcers can lead to bleeding. But then, if you have peptic ulcers (or even if you don’t), there are certain risk factors that can actually put you under more risk of developing bleeding ulcers. The point to be noted is that when it comes to bleeding ulcers, they are difficult to identify as you cannot see any external bleeding in a visible manner. A bleeding ulcer in your body causes internal bleeding which may go unnoticed for a long time! The most common symptoms would include bloody stool, blood vomit, severe pain in the abdomen, weight loss and weakness. Have a look at the factors that can put you under the risk zone.
Physical or Emotional Stress
Stress is the reason for almost all the possible health issues one suffers from… including bleeding ulcers! Though it is not the sole reason behind their occurrence, it is definitely a very significant triggering factor for the same. There can be different type of stress that you might undergo. It could be a physical injury or it can be an emotional factor which can cause the ulcers to bleed, or even trigger the formation of ulcers.
Using Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
NSAIDs are one of the main reason for bleeding ulcers in humans. The continuous use of these drugs actually causes severe irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, especially the stomach and can cause bleeding ulcers. If you are on these drugs for a long time, you need to speak to your doctor about the same and try going for some alternate therapy so that you can exclude yourself out of the ‘red zone’ for developing bleeding ulcers.
Helicobacter Pylori Infection
Another most common reason for bleeding ulcer is the infection caused by the Helicobacter Pylori, or the H. pylori bacterium. Now the point to be noted here is that this bacterium is usually present in the stomach lining, however, it is not always that this causes ulcers in people, but yes, it does increase the risk factor. There are many antibiotics that can fight against this bacterium and can cure the ulcers.
Smoking and Alcohol
You are also under the risk of developing bleeding peptic ulcers if you are a regular consumer of alcohol and smoking. Apart from the damage that smoking and alcohol as it is do on the human body and mind, another risk that they put you under is the transmission of the H.pylori bacterium, which can be spread by sharing same cigarettes, utensils, and kissing. Alcohol also irritates the stomach lining by increasing the amount of acid which can cause the ulcer to bleed or trigger its formation.
Eating Too Spicy Food
Eating a lot of heavy and spicy food is also known to develop ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract as it irritates the lining due to excessive spice. So if you have been dealing with digestive problems, then it is a must to avoid eating heavy and spicy meals.
Make sure that you live a healthy and active lifestyle which doesn’t involve smoking, drinking, eating spicy food and taking a lot of stress. Also make sure that you don’t consume a lot of NSAIDs as well and get in touch with your healthcare specialist in case of any health concern related to the same as untreated bleeding ulcers can lead to serious complications which may prove to be fatal if immediate hospitalization and blood transfusion is not done. So, take care and have a safe tomorrow.