Duodenal Ulcer Symptoms in Women, Men and Children
A peptic ulcer is basically an open sore on the inside. It is a generalized term for ulcers that arise throughout the digestive tract with their occurrences being limited to the inner lining of the stomach, upper intestine and esophagus. It was previously thought that they were the result of too much stress or a diet that was filled to the brim with hot and spicy foods; however that is no longer the accepted cause of peptic ulcers. Overuse of pain relievers or other medications and a bacterium called H. Pylori are the common causes.
A duodenal ulcer is a peptic ulcer that occurs in a specific location. The upper part of the small intestine is referred to as the duodenum, and a peptic ulcer occurring here is known as a duodenal ulcer. While duodenal ulcer symptoms are typically no different than any other type of peptic ulcer, they can vary from person to person and some may be more pronounced in children over adults or vice versa.
There is no differentiation between men and women when it comes to duodenal ulcer symptoms. Common indicators of the condition in adults are nausea, vomiting, loss of weight, lack of appetite, belching and weakness, according to The Johns Hopkins University. Some of these symptoms can mimic those of other digestive disorders and, since the symptoms of a peptic ulcer can come and go, it can lead to misidentification of some of these telltale signs.
Children encountering duodenal ulcers will experience some of the same symptoms as adults. However, there are some that are specific to little ones that will not appear in grownups, such as problems at feeding time. This may present itself as a lack of desire to eat or fussiness during feeding time. Frequent hiccupping is another common entry amongst duodenal ulcer symptoms in children, as noted by kidshealth.org.
The most common symptom of duodenal ulcers however is abdominal pain. And here again, there are some notable differences between pain encountered by children and adults in some cases. Most of the discomfort associated with duodenal ulcers occurs in the abdomen between the belly button and the breastbone. This stomach pain can feel like a gnawing or burning sensation. In adults however, this pain can be exacerbated by lifestyle factors. Both alcohol and smoking can increase the amount of pain experienced as duodenal ulcer symptoms. And, while stress as a cause for the condition has been ruled out by the medical community, The Johns Hopkins University points out that in studies, participants noticed an increase in discomfort with added emotional stress. So, while the stomach pain experienced by most affected with peptic ulcers is nearly universal, there are factors to consider that can change the severity of the discomfort from person to person.
It is important to understand that duodenal ulcer symptoms may present as those commonly attributed to other gastrointestinal troubles such as everyday indigestion. And, while it is rather easy to write off abdominal discomfort as a case of stomach bloating or a result of overindulgence, when signs of peptic ulcers are present, it is best to seek medical advice, particularly in children who may not be aware of the severity of their symptoms. This is because complications can occur as a result of duodenal ulcers. For instance, untreated peptic ulcer disease can lead to bleeding from damaged muscle walls. And, when duodenal ulcers occur at the bottom of the duodenum, narrowing can occur which can lead to obstruction. And, a perforated duodenal ulcer, one that creates a hole through the duodenum, can allow food and other matter to leak into the abdomen, and can be very serious.
Because of the risk associated with peptic ulcer complications, it is extremely important to pay attention to duodenal ulcer symptoms. Once identified, treatment can begin, and it varies depending upon what is causing the ulcers. If H. Pylori is the culprit, antibiotics are often employed. And, acid reducers and proton pump inhibitors are also medications commonly used to treat duodenal ulcers, according to The Johns Hopkins University. It is worth noting that restrictive diets have gone by the wayside as medical advancements have ruled out previous food related suspects for ulcer formation, although some still find that lifestyle changes and a duodenal ulcer diet that limits extra spice, alcohol and coffee are in fact useful.
Peptic ulcers are common gastrological ailments, and identifying them can be difficult as the symptoms are not concrete and are not uniform amongst sufferers. However, early identification and medical intervention are key to controlling the symptoms associated with them and preventing long term and potentially dangerous complications as a result of the internal gastric sores.