Lower Digestive Tract Ulcers
Conditions that result in ulcers of the lower part of the digestive tract are listed below.
Some of the conditions that result in ulcers of the lower digestive tract are:
Intestinal and Anal Ulcers:
- Ulcerative Colitis: Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease where multiple ulcers are present in the large intestines. The patient may complain of blood in stools, frequent stools with mucus discharge, pain in abdomen and weight loss. The patient may also show the presence of inflammation at other sites like the eyes, outer covering of lungs, skin and joints.
- Infection: Infections like HIV, tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus and typhoid can result in bowel ulcers especially in complicated cases. Symptoms of the underlying infection are usually obvious in these cases.
- Cancer: Cancer can affect the bowels and result in ulceration. The patient may suffer from weight loss, blood in stools, abdominal pain and discomfort, changes in bowel habits and narrowing of stools. A biopsy through colonoscopy helps to diagnose the condition.
- Anal Fissure: A tear in the anal region can result in the formation of a fissure, which is very painful and can bleed. The pain is particularly more while passing stools.
- Drugs: Drugs like enteric coated potassium and NSAIDs can irritate the intestinal lining resulting in ulcers. A history of drug intake should be elicited in patients with intestinal ulcers.
- Reduced Blood Supply: Reduced blood supply to the colon can result in ulcerations. It could occur due to a number of reasons like following a cardiac problem, a clot in the blood vessels supplying to the intestines or inflammation of the blood vessels. The patient may show symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bleeding.
- Radiation: Radiation damages the lining of the intestines resulting in ulcerations. The patient may show symptoms of abdominal cramps, bleeding and mucus discharge. A history of prior radiation can be elicited from these patients.
Ulcers at Multiple Sites in the Digestive Tract:
- Crohn’s Disease: Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease that can result in ulcers anywhere from the mouth to the large intestines, though it more commonly affects the intestines. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and may include abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, pain while passing stools, diarrhea, weight loss and bleeding. Other organs like the joints, eyes and skin may also be involved.
- Definition and Facts about Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer) - (http://www.emedicinehealth.com/peptic_ulcers/article_em.htm)
- Peptic Ulcer Disease - (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/181753-overview)
- Field EA, Allan RB. Review article: oral ulceration – aetiopathogenesis, clinical diagnosis and management in the gastrointestinal clinic. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2003; 18: 949–962.