Health Tips for Seniors

Diseases of the abdomen

Abdominal Diseases

Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer, Duodenal Ulcer). A peptic ulcer is a painful sore in the stomach or its outlet, that looks like a canker sore of the mouth, with its crater-like appearance varying from the size of a matchhead to an inch or more in diameter.

Fig. 75. The stomach brings joy to all people at all ages, but it is a victim of modern “push.” Ulcers are believed to be a result of too much stress and “hepped-up” living in a world with an uncertain future. The usual active ulcer appears as an enlarged cold sore or small “volcano.”

We have these ulcers, because the stomach, unlike anywhere else in the body, is continually secreting acids that retard and prevent the healing of sores or ulcerations. Thus is an ulcer born. Pain of an ulcer is easy to identify. It is a burning sensation in our upper abdomen, that goes away with eating or drinking especially milk or alkali. The pain returns when the stomach is empty and the ulcer again becomes a clear target for stomach acids to attack.

Ulcer crater
Fig. 76. Peptic ulcer is known personally by millions of people. Occurring mostly in men, its burning pain characteristically is relieved by drinking milk, soda or other alkalies.

Bleeding ulcer
Fig. 77. Bleeding of some degree eventually occurs in nearly all peptic ulcers, mostly when the base is being eaten away by stomach acids.

Perforated ulcer
Fig. 78. Perforation of the peptic ulcer is caused by severe erosion-digestion of the ulcer base by stomach acids in unusually great amounts. The hole leads into the free abdominal cavity.

Ulcer is a disease of adult life and is about four times more common in men than in women. It occurs and recurs most frequently in the springtime and fall, a fact which has never been explained, but even love and taxation have been offered as possible explanations!

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