An ulcer located in the stomach or duodenum is the result of an inflammatory / erosive process affecting mucous membrane of these organs. It is an acid-related disease and it causes pain and heartburn. In recent years has been demonstrated that in many cases of gastric and duodenal ulcer, stomach inflammation is due to a germ called Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can withstand stomach acidity, whose role in the ulcer, as well as in other important digestive diseases, was clarified at the end of the last century. The eradication of Helicobacter pylori at the gastroduodenal level usually results in the disappearance of peptic ulcer disease, preventing recurrences. The most widespread and rational therapy, according to modern scientific knowledge, involves the combined use of antibiotics and acid secretion inhibitors.


It is estimated that 10-20% of the general population suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is referred to as a "disease" (GERD) when reflux causes symptoms such as intense heartburn (retrograde pyrosis), often accentuated by chest pain and accompanied by soreness and regurgitation. Other times, the disease has atypical (extradigestive) symptoms, for example, coughing and laryngitis. This is due to the abnormal and persistent passage of acid from the stomach to the esophagus (reflux esophagitis). Esophageal mucus is particularly sensitive to acid and when the frequency and intensity of reflux takes on pathological significance over time, inflammation can produce irreversible damage to the esophagus, in the form of erosions and small ulcers, and the development of precancerous lesions (Barrett's esophagus).


Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the rectum and may involve part of or all of the colon. The causes of this inflammation are still unknown. The main clinical symptoms are diarrhoea, often with blood and mucus, and abdominal pain. Up to 35% of cases may have extra-intestinal symptoms such as joint pains and dermatological manifestations. The disease is characterized by acute episodes followed by periods of remission, during which it is clinically silent. The frequency of symptomatic episodes may vary from one or two attacks per year to several episodes that reduce healthy periods. If not treated properly, chronic inflammation can lead to irreversible intestinal disorders, and the possible development of cancerous lesions.

For this reason, and to avoid making the condition worse treatment continues also during healthy periods.


This is a "functional" disease, namely, an alteration in the functioning of the intestine and it affects women more frequently than men. It causes abdominal pain and swelling, changes in bowel movements (constipation, diarrhoea, or alternation of the two). The pain may be continuous or recurrent (colic) and may vary in its intensity. Often the same person, may experience different types of pain, even in relation to precipitating factors (type of food eaten, anxiety, stress, etc.).


Harrison's Principles Of Internal Medicine.