Elderly individuals tend to be more prone to internal troubles than younger people. One item they may experience is an ulcer. This guide will cover everything you need to know about ulcers in the elderly, including signs and treatment options on the market.
What Are Ulcers?
Ulcers are sores that often appear on the lining of your stomach or small intestine. However, some ulcers can come to life on other parts.
Ulcers are common, but they can be uncomfortable in the stomach and other parts of the elderly. Many items can cause an ulcer in an elderly individual. If you are taking care of someone, it’s vital to know what indications of an ulcer might look like in a person.
There are varying symptoms, cures, and causes of ulcers. Let’s dive into this trouble and further your understanding of ulcers in the elderly.
Where Can One Get Ulcers?
There are many different types of ulcers the elderly can get. The locations vary from the top of the body to the lower walking area. Let’s discuss a few spots on the body where an individual can get an ulcer.
Here are a few of the locations where ulcers exist:
● Small intestine – duodenal ulcers
● Stomach – gastric ulcers
● Esophagus – esophageal ulcers
● Throat – esophageal ulcers
● Leg – venous leg ulcers
They appear in more places than the stomach.
Many think ulcers only appear in the stomach – but they couldn’t be more wrong. Let’s examine some common ulcer signs to help you determine if an elderly person could have an ulcer.
Signs Of Ulcers
The best way to tell if an elderly individual is experiencing an ulcer is through the signs and symptoms they show. An ulcer is very uncomfortable, so it will quickly become clear if that could be the trouble in an older person.
Two indications are specific to ulcers. A duodenal ulcer may cause discomfort between eating or at night, while a gastric ulcer can cause harm when eating or drinking. The rest can show up for almost any ulcer.
Here are a few of the indications of ulcers:
● Stomach pain that wakes you up at night
● Feel full fast
● Bloating, burning, or dull hurt in your stomach
● aching or swelling in your legs
● Flaky, itchy skin
These symptoms can come and go for days, lasting for weeks. The discomfort typically lasts a few minutes to a few hours. It is obvious when a person is in pain with an ulcer.
In the worst instances, ulcers can tear. Here are a few symptoms that might come with that trouble:
● Vomiting blood
● Unexpected weight loss
● Blood in your stool or dark stools
● Pain in your back
These can be scary and even dangerous in an elderly individual.
The symptoms of an ulcer are caused by the impact it has on the body parts around it. But what causes an ulcer? What items in an older person’s life could cause them to develop this trouble at their age?
What Causes an Ulcer?
The common assumption was that ulcers came to life thanks to stress and other mental conditions. However, it has since been proven that other items can cause an ulcer in the body of an elderly individual. Let’s discuss a few of the most common factors that could contribute to ulcers in the elderly.
Here are a few of the most common causes:
● Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria
● Long-term use of aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen)
These are the most common causes of most ulcers.
Leg ulcers are the only type of ulcer caused by drastically different symptoms. Many of these have a direct impact on the elderly.
Here are a few of the most common causes of leg ulcers in an individual:
● Venous disease
● Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
● Peripheral arterial disease
● Previous leg ulcers
These troubles can lead to a leg ulcer in the future.
It’s critical to know the potential causes of ulcers in the elderly to potentially prevent them from happening. If an elderly individual has experience with previous leg ulcers or takes ibuprofen regularly, they could be more prone to ulcers in the future. If you can’t prevent them, it’s vital to understand how to treat them.
Treatment Of Ulcers
The two most common ulcers in the elderly are stomach and leg ulcers. If you are responsible for caring for an elderly individual, it’s critical to understand how to treat each type of ulcer. With this knowledge, you can help older individuals regain their quality of life without too much trouble.
Let’s discuss the treatment options for each of these ulcers. They are drastically different in how they need to be handled.
Stomach Ulcer Treatment
A stomach ulcer is best healed with antibiotic medicine. The treatment requires triple therapy to get rid of the excess stomach acid impacting and causing ulcers in the stomach. This treatment combines two types of antibiotics and protein pump inhibitor medicines for the best results.
The stomach ulcer is one of the only ulcers that require antibiotic treatment, thanks to the excess acid inside the stomach. An elderly individual will need to sustain antibiotics and other medicines for relief. Now, let’s move to the healing process for leg ulcers.
One of the best ways to handle a leg ulcer is to complete leg compression therapy. This process allows better blood circulation in your lower legs, which can be helpful for an elderly individual. It also helps to move the leg around. Elderly people may want to walk a few steps to bring blood flow and movement to the limb.
If the ulcer tears, you need to dress and clean the wound. All you need to care for the ulcer is a basic, non-stick bandage. You should undress and redress the leg ulcer every week to ensure it is covered with fresh material. In time, the leg ulcer will begin the healing process.
Now that we’ve gone over taking care of ulcers, how can you prevent them? What can you do to stop ulcers from impacting the elderly?
Again, the two most common ulcers to impact the elderly include stomach ulcers and leg ulcers. There are a couple of simple ways to keep these ulcers at bay, no matter how old you might be.
Let’s talk about some of the best techniques to keep stomach and leg ulcers away from the body. With these in mind, you can hold yourself and the older individuals in your life in good health.
Some stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium that is tricky to prevent. However, other stomach ulcers come from excess consumption of ibuprofen. It’s critical to keep this medication in check, especially for those who are elderly and potentially more vulnerable to stomach ulcers.
If you or someone around you consumes too much ibuprofen, ensure you scale back to prevent stomach ulcers from forming. Too much ibuprofen is one of two major causes of ulcers in the stomach, and it’s the one you can handle.
There are some causes of stomach ulcers that cannot be prevented. Leg ulcers are a little different – most of them are preventable. Let’s talk about a few ways to stop leg ulcers from occurring in your body. It can be a little easier to keep these in check.
Here are a few of the most common ways to stop leg ulcers from happening:
● Lose excess weight if you are severely overweight
● Treat underlying issues, such as deep vein thrombosis
These can improve the quality of life drastically.
It’s critical to know about ulcers for proper care of an elderly individual. Some causes can be prevented, while others can’t. The more you know about ulcers, the better care you can provide for the people that mean the most.