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Ulcers are sores on the lining of your digestive tract. Most ulcers are located in the duodenum. The duodenum is the first part of the intestine. These ulcers are called duodenal ulcers. Ulcers located in the stomach are called gastric ulcers. Ulcers in the esophagus are called esophageal ulcers.
Persons most commonly affected: Both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Stomach or Duodenal.
Symptoms and indications: Burning pain in the area of the lower chest and/or upper abdomen. The pain of an ulcer can last anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours. Additional symptoms that may be experienced are weight loss, a decrease in appetite, anemia, nausea, and vomiting. There may be times when the pain of an ulcer seems to be gone and then it suddenly returns. Pain associated with ulcers affect different people in different ways. Some people experience pain immediately after eating, while others may not be bothered for several hours. It is beneficial to figure out what may be responsible for producing excess stomach acid so these things can be avoided.
Causes and risk factors: Alcoholic beverages, caffeine, stress, smoking, medications, including asprins and NSAD's, and smoking.
Prevention: Avoid alcoholic beverages, caffeine, stress, and smoking. Drinks that often contain caffeine are soda, tea, and coffee. Chocolate also contains caffeine and should be avoided. Elderly are more susceptible to developing a stomach ulcer. People who do not eat regular meals or who are rushed during mealtime are also likely candidates for this type of ulcer. Avoid spicy foods if they cause heartburn. Stress increases the output of gastric acid. If you have an ulcer, reducing the levels of tension and anxiety in your life will go a long way towards healing the physical wound. Some drugs are nortorious for increasing acid production - most notably, asprin and the class of medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's).