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A peptic ulcer is a condition when there is an open sore in the lining of the stomach or intestine. In many ways it is similar to a sore in the mouth. When the ulcer occurs in the stomach it is called a "gastric ulcer". When it occurs in the duodenum it is called a "Duodenal ulcer." An ulcer occurs when the lining of these organs is corroded by the acidic digestive juices which are secreted by the stomach cells. Normally, glands in the stomach secrete acid and the enzyme pepsin (hence the name peptic ulcer) that help to break down of food in the digestive process. The stomach and duodenum meanwhile secrete mucus to protect them against harm from pepsin and gastric acid. In peptic ulcer disease the digestive tract's defensive mechanisms break down, often as a result of infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

Causes:

Excess acid was considered the major cause of ulcer disease. Acid is still considered significant in ulcer formation, the leading cause of ulcer disease is currently believed to be infection of the stomach by a bacteria called "Helicobacter pyloridus" (H. pylori). Another major cause of ulcers is the chronic use of anti-inflammatory medications, commonly referred to as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Ibuprofen also including aspirin. Cigarette smoking is also an important cause of ulcer formation and ulcer treatment failure.

Symptoms:

Upper abdominal burning or burning stomach pain or hunger pain one to three hours after meals and in the middle of the night. These pain symptoms are often promptly relieved by food or antacids.

Care and Guidance:

The goal of ulcer treatment is to relieve pain and to prevent ulcer complications, such as bleeding, obstruction, and perforation. The first step in treatment involves the reduction of risk factors (NSAIDs and cigarettes). The next step is medications. Antacids neutralize existing acid in the stomach but these can give just temprory relief. H2 blockers are effective in ulcer healing, they have limited role in eradicating H. pylori without antibiotics. Therefore, ulcers frequently return when H2 blockers are stopped. Generally, these drugs are well tolerated and have few side effects even with long term use. So a proper diagnosis and treatment can successfully handle the situation.
The liver is one of the important and largest organs in the human anatomy (Body) and is essential to the proper functioning of our complete body. The liver synthesizes proteins, bile, acids, and cholesterol. it is the Primary organ which maintain balance of many nutrients and chemicals like glucose, fat, cholesterol, vitamins, and hormones and aids in the excretion of many waste products such as bilirubin, cholesterol, poison, and drugs. Liver disease is thus a serious condition that can be cured if it is cared for in the early stages.

Causes:

Excessive alcohol consumption over many years is a leading cause of liver disease. Too much alcohol can make a normal liver swell with fat, causing a condition called fatty liver. If the fat becomes inflamed, it can lead to either alcoholic hepatitis, a liver problem that causes serious but often reversible liver damage. Exposure to Industrial Chemicals, Toxin Substance, Aerosols and Excess Intake of NSAIDs (Pain Killer) can also Harm your liver proper Functioning.
Viral hepatitis can lead to serious liver problems and is the most common type of liver disease. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver. The three types of hepatitis viruses - hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C - can all be prevented.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

There are four stages for any malfunction of liver such as inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer.
1. Inflammation
The liver can get inflamed due to certain conditions, use of alcohol and certain chemicals. The conditions that can cause liver inflammation are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Autoimmune Hepatitis, and Wilson's disease. Extensive alcohol use also causes inflammation of the liver. Some drugs and industrial pollutants may affect the liver. Inflammation is characterized by redness, swelling, heat and possible pain in the liver.
2. Fibrosis
The second stage of liver disease is fibrosis or scar tissues. After the liver has been inflamed for a long period, connective tissues of the liver accumulate. At this stage the liver functions slowly degrade.
3. Cirrhosis
The third stage of liver disease is called cirrhosis. When liver has been damaged due to inflammation and fibrosis, it does not function properly. Accumulation of scar tissues blocks blood flow through the liver, preventing it from functioning normally. Some of the symptoms of end stage cirrhosis are edema, bruising and bleeding, jaundice, gallstones, and an increase of toxins in the blood, enlarged blood vessels, and diabetes.
4. Cancer
If liver disease is not treated in the earlier three stages, cancer may develop. Liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma, affects approximately 4% of patients with cirrhosis. A liver transplant is one of the options for treating liver cancer.

Care and Guidance:

Early Stage Liver Diseases can be treated by taking preventive actions and Medications, Vaccine for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B viruses are available. moreover patients should be property investigated to diagnose the disease at an early stage. Most of the times the disease is detected at an advanced stage and cure them, is not possible.

What is Jaundice?

Jaundice is described as yellow discolouration of the eyes, which may be accompanied by deep yellow coloured urine. Usually patients have decreased appetite. Jaundice per se is a symptom but not a disease. There are many causes of jaundice.
  • Hepatic causes (Inflammation in liver)
  • Post Hepatic causes (Obstructive causes)

Hepatic Causes / Hepatitis:

Inflammation in the liver is hepatitis and is the most common cause of jaundice. The common causes of hepatitis are:
(a) Viral Hepatitis ( Hepatitis A, B, C, & E ):
This is the most common cause of jaundice in the community. In majority of patients the disease has got a self- limiting course. Very few patients have a fatal course and need for hospitalization. Hepatitis B & C are transmitted via infected blood and the liver completely recovers, However, some patients of HEPATITIS B & C GO INTO CHRONIC HEPATITIS AND CIRRHOSIS.

How can Hepatitis B and C be prevented

HEPATITIS A & B can be prevented by VACCINATING the person against it. There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and C can be prevented by using SAFE AND SCREENED BLOOD, which is negative for these viruses.
(b) Alcoholic Hepatitis:
Alcoholic hepatitis is caused by EXCESS DRINKING of alcohol for a prolonged period of more than 10 years. This is a serious condition and can lead to complications which can be:
  • Jaundice.
  • Blood in vomitus.
  • Black colured stools.
  • Swelling of feet and abdomen.
  • Coma.
This condition can be prevented by limiting the quantity of alcohol intake to 2-3 pegs/ day. Those who drink daily should refrain from drinking at least 2 days in a week. This gives time for the liver to recover from the toxic effects of alcohol.

Obstructive causes:

The Common causes of obstructive jaundice are:
  • Stone in the bile duct.
  • Cancer of the pancreas.
  • Cancer of the bile duct and the gall bladder.
These patients should be property investigated to diagnose the disease at an early stage. Most of the times the disease is detected at an advanced stage and cure them, is not possible.
Ulcerative Colitis is a condition characterized by DIARRHEA, BLOOD AND MUCOUS in stools and PAIN while passing stools. This gradually leads to weakness and anemia. The ulcerative colitis is characterized by ulceration of the inner lining of the large bowel. There are numerous ulcers and the extent of ulceration varies from patient of patient.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis:

  •   Blood in Stools
  •   Mucous in stools.
  •  Loose stools.
  •  Joint pains and swelling.
  •  Weakness, lethargy, shortness of breath after a walk because of anemia.

Diagnosis:

The correct diagnosis is the 1st step to right treatment. All patients with blood in stools and diarrhea are not necessarily suffering from ulcerative colitis, which has to be differentiated from other diseases. COLONOSCOPY is performed to arrive at the correct diagnosis.

Care and Guidance:

Ulcerative Colitis follows a prolonged course with periods of activity ( relapse) and inactivity ( remission). A majority of the cases respond to medical treatment and do not require surgery. Patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis should be on a regular follow up. If the disease is MORE THAN 10 YEARS old and has involved the whole of the colon then chances of COLONIC CANCER INCREASE. These patients should be REGULARLY SCREENED for the same.