Peptic Ulcer Disease: Causes & Etiology

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Causes of Peptic Ulcer Disease

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol 
  • Steroids

Are generally considered as causes of peptic ulcer disease, but contrary to this belief they do not cause peptic ulcer disease directly. These agents are known to cause gastritis and thus delaying the healing of peptic ulcer.

The direct conditions or factors that are associated with the formation of Peptic Ulcer Disease are as follows:

  • NSAIDS : Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
  • Helicobactor Pylori Infection
  • Cancer of Stomach
  • Zollinger Ellison Syndrome [ZE Syndrome]
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Head Trauma
  • Prolonged Intubation with Mechanical Ventilation 

Most of the above mentions conditions are directly associated with the stress that body has to undergo and thus causing Peptic Ulcer Disease and we will discuss each of them in detail in separate article

Before we go any further, discussing about the causes of Peptic Ulcer Disease it is important to know that pathophysiology and etiology of the ulcer disease.

NSAIDS

NSAIDS are known to decrease the production of "Prostaglinds", a substance in the body which helps in secretion of mucous into the stomach which forms a protective barriers and protect against the acidic environment of stomach. Since NSAIDS decrease the production of Prostaglandins , the mucous production is also decreased and thus exposing epithelial cells of stomach to the acids of stomach causing ulcers.

STRESS

Stress related conditions like prolonged stay in ICU with intubation and mechanical ventilation or Head Trauma or burns causes constriction of blood vessels that supplies mucous cells of stomach. This reduced blood supply results in death of mucous cells and they get washed away, again exposing the stomach to acids of stomach and thus causing peptic ulcer disease.

The Physiology of acid production in stomach and their related pathological condition or diseases will be discussed in detail in subsequent articles will give you a better understanding of ulcers and disease associated with high production of acids and their involvement in causing peptic ulcer disease.

Few noticeable points should always be remembered. Single most important cause of Peptic Ulcer Disease and symptoms of peptic ulcer disease is Helicobacter Pylori Infection which almost accounts for 80-90 percent of duodenal ulcers and around 60-70 percent of stomach ulcers.While around 10% of ulcers disease does not have any known causes, thus idiopathic.