A peptic ulcer which is what ulcers in general are referred to as, come about in two common kinds - stomach/gastric ulcers or duodenal ulcers. An open sore or lesion, that takes form on either the skin/mucous membrane on any part of the body, is known as an ulcer. Usually where acids like pepsin and hydrochloric acid are present, in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, is where these ulcers emerge from.
When an ulcer is formed within the stomach, it is known as a gastric ulcer, and when it is present in the duodenum, that is the upper region of one's intestine, it is known as a duodenal ulcer. Besides lifestyle issues that bring about ulcers, there's a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, that also plays a role in creating an ulcer. Bad habits like smoking and drinking, even stress, are some reasons why ulcers take place, but we look into it much deeper, to find out what other causes come into focus, as well as the symptoms of ulcers in men.
Causes of Ulcer Formation
When tissue is destroyed, it is because of the stomach's acids and gastric juices that lead to open sores/lesions. Peptic ulcer diseases, which include the two types of ulcer problems mentioned above, arise due to the following causes.
- Surgery sometimes leads to ulcers.
- Radiation therapy in some cases.
- Caffeine is known to aggregate stomach ulcers, which may be a stimulant in promoting stomach acid formation.
- People who live together, and share the same kitchen/bathroom.
- When the stomach can no longer fend off hydrochloric acid and pepsin, it can lead to ulcer formation.
- Those who suffer from arthritis.
- Stool contamination, through fecal-oral transmission (eating or drinking foods/water with the H.pylori bacterium).
- If one were to have an increase of alcohol in the system, where the liver is overloaded with its effects over a period of time, it can lead to ulcers.
- Smoking is known to increase the chances of one getting ulcers, and slows down the process of an ulcer healing.
- Emotional stress is known to aggravate ulcer pain.
- Generalized anxiety disorder can bring about peptic ulcers.
- Intestinal bleeding from a previous condition, makes it easier for an ulcer to sprout up.
- The H.pylori bacterium can be carried through one's life, by being infected during childhood.
- The H.pylori secretes a substance that weakens the stomach's mucus layer - which protects the insides, allowing it to be open to damage caused by pepsin and hydrochloric acid, leading to excess acid secretion by the stomach.
- A condition called, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, can cause ulcers and even tumors in the duodenum and pancreas.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, like naproxen sodium, aspirin, celecoxib and ibuprofen are known to make the stomach susceptible to the damaging effects of stomach acids.
Ulcer Symptoms in Men
We look into the symptoms of ulcers in men, to help you distinguish between what is normal and what isn't. Get it checked out as soon as possible, should these symptoms of stomach ulcers in men persist for days or continue beyond a week.
- Burning sensation in the upper part of the abdomen
- Poor appetite
- Vomiting and nausea
- Tiredness and weakness
- Pain in the abdomen, hours after a meal
- Escalation of pain as nighttime and early morning come around
- Weight loss
- Severe condition leads to vomiting a dark kind of substance, that comes out in chunks
- Blood present in stool, or sticky looking feces caused as a result of bleeding ulcers
- Loss of energy
- Complications leading to bleeding, caused after an ulcer eats through muscle tissue and the duodenal wall, attacking one's blood vessels
- Swelling and scarring, narrowing the intestinal opening
- Inflammation of the peritoneum membrane lining the abdominal cavity (peritonitis)