An ulcer occurs when the breaking of the skin or mucous membrane begins to lose its tissue. Unfortunately, ulcers of the skin and body can pus and open, causing discomfort and pain. The different types of ulcer are highlighted below.
Types of Ulcer
The most common type of ulcer is usually found in the stomach. However, stomach ulcers are not the only ulcers found in or on the body. Some of the most common and also less known ulcers include:
- Peptic Ulcer: Stomach or Gastric ulcers are the most commonly known peptic ulcers. These types of ulcers are caused by an inflammation of the stomach lining. The accumulation of stomach acid eats away at the stomach and problems with the digestive tract allow a peptic ulcer to form into an open sore.
- Stress Ulcer: It may sound silly, but the onset of anxiety and stress can cause ulcers. Physiological stress is the cause of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal area. Sometimes this type of ulcer can occur overtime and the build up is slow until the ulcer explodes.
- Bleeding Ulcer: A bleeding ulcer can be defined as any ulcer that has broken or popped and the lesion begins to grow. Bleeding ulcers can have serious complications if left untreated. Inflammation of the stomach is usually the first sign of problems that can lead to a bleeding ulcer.
- Mouth Ulcer: Infants and children are the most susceptible for contracting mouth ulcers. Ulcers in the mouth are usually common and with a little antibiotic, they clear up quickly. Stomatitis is one of the most common forms of mouth ulcers.
- Pressure Ulcer: This type of ulcer occurs when you sit on a bony area of your body for an extended period, for example sitting on your buttocks. Often elderly people and those who wheelchair stricken suffer the most from pressure ulcers because they cannot get up without help.
- Esophageal Ulcer: When the lower part of the esophagus becomes infected an ulcer may form. Small but painful sore attaches to the lining of the esophagus which can cause pain and discomfort.
- Refractory Ulcer: Sometimes there are ulcers that cannot be cured regardless of the treatment plan. Most of the time ulcers that cannot be cured lead to serious health problems such as stomach cancer.
- Duodenal Ulcer: The bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori can cause an infection in the body that leads to duodenal ulcer. The healing process can be a month or two with the use of antibiotics. This type of ulcer is grouped in with gastric and peptic ulcers. This type of ulcer lines a section beyond the stomach and involves the small intestines.
Depending on the type of ulcer one suffers from, the symptoms and causes can vary. Some of the symptoms to look for include:
- Stomach pain
- Sleep problems
- Discomfort after eating
- Abdominal pain
- Bad Breath
- Weight gain or loss
Different types of ulcer can be diagnosed using simple methods. Often a physical examination by a medical professional is the best way to start a diagnosis. Some of the other methods to detect ulcers of various types include:
- X-ray with and without the use of Barium
- Endoscopy biopsy
- Test for Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans
- Blood test
Treatment of an ulcer can vary depending on the types of ulcer you may have, severity and discomfort. Some of the treatments used for ulcers include:
- IV ulcer medication
- Blood Transfusion
- Change of diet
- Ulcer medication
There may not be any 100% factor to stop ulcers from occurring, but the following tips and tricks can help prevent ulcers from popping up in the future.
- Stop smoking
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Do not abuse the use of pain medication
- Exercise daily
- Cut down on caffeine
- Avoid excess alcohol consumption
- Decrease intake of spicy foods
- Drink lots of fluid