If you have been diagnosed with an ulcer then you may wonder, how can a gastric ulcer damage the pancreas? The answer lies in the ability of the gastric ulcer to spread beyond the confines of the stomach and intestines to other organs of the body. When this occurs, gastric ulcers can cause several other complications in other systems.
- Complications. A gastric ulcer may damage the pancreas or other internal organs if complications such as penetration, perforation, bleeding or gastric obstruction develop. These types of complications occur more often in the elderly, with up to half of all gastric ulcer patients over the age of 70 experiencing complications or co-morbid conditions such as cancer.
- Penetration. This is one type of complication which can develop from a gastric ulcer. Penetration is when the ulcer spreads into surrounding organs. It commonly occurs in the liver or pancreas. Symptoms when a gastric ulcer damages the pancreas include pain and inflammation.
- Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is the result of gastric ulcer penetration. The main symptom is intense and long-lasting pain. This pain may increase with movement or a change in position.
- Treatment. Gastric ulcer treatment can involve the use of several types of medication including histamine-2 blockers, antibodies, antacids and others. If you are experiencing problems with gastric ulcer damage to the pancreas, treatment will be focused on relieving pain through the use of various medications. If drug therapy is not effective in eliminating the gastric ulcer, surgery may be required.