SENIOR HEALTH

PROJECT
Ulcers

Johnny Roelofsen

Senior Health
Mr. Cariveau
November 24, 2014

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Have you ever known someone who has experienced the effects of ulcers located
anywhere throughout the body? Has someone ever told you that stress was the reasoning behind
the problem of a stomach ulcer? Well I myself have found that doctors have proven this myth
wrong. Not only is a peptic ulcer not caused by stress, but some say ulcers are the result of eating
spicy foods in which is another myth busted and set straight in the description and information
regarding ulcers included below.
A peptic ulcer or just a plain ulcer is described as sore in the lining of the stomach,
duodenum, mouth, or esophagus. The ulcers’ appearance resembles a crater and is found on the
skin or mucous membrane of the organ or region of the body that it has inhabited. Most ulcers
that occur are found in the duodenum and are called duodenal ulcers.
The severity of ulcers ranges from the location of the ulcer, size, and additional outside
substances that come in contact with the wound. One’s body can experience anything from
stomach pains, if the ulcer is found in the stomach, to complete breakage of the stomach, which
is better known as perforation. Another happening in the body that could result from ulcers is
complete obstruction of the stomach. This entails an ulcer blocking food from continuing on
through the stomach which then results in one experiencing the effects of nausea, vomiting, and
even weight loss if certain nutrients aren’t properly digested. If someone with ulcers then goes on
to experience vomiting of blood, feeling clammy and/or weak, feeling sudden pain, they should
realize that the need to seek medical attention is greatly encouraged.
Signs and symptoms that may be brought up to your doctor most often include pain
because of acid affecting the wound and then aggravating it to the point where it becomes
noticeable. The occurrences of pain involving an ulcer can be noticed in an area from one’s belly
button to their clavicle. The time of which one experiences pain can range anywhere from night

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to when one’s stomach is empty, to sporadically occurring at random times over the course of the
week. The source of the pain all depends upon when stomach acids interfere with the sore.
Severe signs and symptoms include dark stool which typically means bleeding of an ulcer is
occurring in the upper portion of the intestines and appetite changes. Taking an over-the-counter
antacid or acid blocker will only reduce and relieve the pain for a short period of time.
After one meets up with his or her doctor, the treatment recommended for ulcers includes
eliminating the H. pylori bacteria. The H. pylori bacteria is the ultimate cause of an ulcer. The
bacteria lives in the lining of either the stomach or small intestine and normally doesn’t affect the
happenings inside these organs, but occasionally the bacteria can produce inflammation in the
membrane and result in an ulcer. The treatment used to get rid of the bacteria is called triple
therapy because it involves taking three different medications. The first two medications are
antibiotics, and the last medication is bismuth subsalicylate. The antacids are then encouraged
after treating the bacteria to reduce acid, but should not be used to treat ulcers alone. The entire
treatment process will take anywhere from two to three weeks, and in severe cases, treatment
will last up to eight weeks.
After treating ulcers for the first time, one needs to look into controlling and regulating
the amount one smokes, uses aspirin, ibuprofen, drinks caffeine, alcohol, and eats spicy foods.
All of these actions can result in more damages to the lining of the stomach and esophagus. If
one does not take the proper steps necessary in order to prevent the damage in the lining of the
stomach, esophagus, or small intestine, he or she can expected to see various complications that
may go on to affect the life of the patient for the rest of his or her life. Some of the long-term
complications that one may expect to see if peptic ulcers is left untreated include: internal
bleeding, infection, and even scar tissue. Two of these complications are then linked directly to

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experiencing vomiting on a regular basis. So when it comes down to it, managing one’s
condition relies heavily upon avoiding cigarettes, alcohol, and various foods that can irritate the
protective lining of the various organs involved in the gastrointestinal tract.
There is ultimately no genetic predisposition for encountering and experiencing ulcers
because it is caused by a bacterium. Some researchers used to believe that the inheritance of a
high amount of stomach acid could be at fault for contracting the medical condition, but stomach
acid only comes into play in regards to irritating the ulcer, not causing it.
Ways to prevent oneself from contracting the condition involve avoiding too much person
to person contact. There is no clear evidence about how the H. pylori bacteria spreads, but in
most situations avoiding sharing bodily fluids with another individual in smart decision for
preventing transmission. Also one can reduce the chance of experiencing ulcers by taking pain
relievers in proper doses and with food. This prevents damaging of the membranes which in
return will prevent ulcers.
I have a very personal circumstance that influenced me to choose to do this research on
ulcers. It all started when I was in the sixth grade. We were cleaning out the basement in my
basement (dust, spider webs, junk, etc.) The next day I woke up with a nasty spider-bite between
my pinky and ring fingers. In order to rid myself of the itching annoyance I scratched. I
scratched until this spider bite was scabbed over. Now being so contagious, impetigo, had found
its way into that open sore. At this point you are probably thinking “what the heck does this have
to do with ulcers?!?!” bear with me. So this impetigo infection was all over between my two
fingers at this point. So we decide to go to the clinic and check this out. So this part always
confused me, but the simple way to put it is the doctor at the clinic prescribed me with the wrong
meds! The combination of the two meds caused a defeasance in stomach lining in my stomach

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causing multiple ulcers to form in my stomach. This whole thing took me out of school for a
whole month and was the most painful thing I have ever endured. During this whole thing I
never understood why this was happening, so I decided to take this chance to research and learn
what was happening to me.

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Works Cited
Berman, Kevin, MD, PhD. "Ulcers: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library
of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20 Nov. 2012. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
"Peptic Ulcer." Definition. Mayo Foundation, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
"Ulcers | Overview." Ulcers. American Academy of Family Physicians, May 2014. Web. 22 Nov.
2014.