WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STOMACH ULCERPosted by Olamilekan Oderanti
There are over a hundred thousand cases of Stomach ulcer in Nigeria, yearly. Although rare amongst teenagers (14-18), it is common amongst young adults (19-40). A very low percentage(1-5) of ulcer patients die of ulcer complications. However, it does not make the ulcer all good.
What then is a Stomach Ulcer?
A Stomach Ulcer (Gastric ulcer) is a type of peptic ulcer. It is a painful sore in the linings of the stomach. This sore comes about when the thick-layered mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced. Thereby allowing digestive acids to eat up the tissues that line the stomach and then causing a sore (ulcer).
What could cause a Stomach Ulcer?
The rumour that “ulcer is caused by eating late” is nothing but a myth. The three basic causes of Stomach Ulcers are:
Bacterial Infection: A certain bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the cause of most stomach Ulcers. Once this bacteria enters into the body, it directly attacks the linings of the stomach and that brings about a sore in the stomach.
NSAIDs: Excessive use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g Ibuprofen and aspirin is the second cause of stomach ulcers. These drugs block the Cox-1 enzyme and disrupt the production of prostaglandins in the stomach. certain prostaglandins are important in protecting the stomach lining from the corrosive effects of stomach acid. The absence of these prostaglandins is what gives rise to a reduction in the stomach’s lining.
The Zollinger-Ellison syndrome: Though a rare cause of stomach ulcer, what this syndrome does is that it increases the body’s production of acids. Excessive production of stomach acids is harmful to the stomach and could give rise to a sore.
Symptoms of a Stomach Ulcer.
It is possible to have an ulcer and not even know. There are however many symptoms of Stomach Ulcer. But, the commonest is a burning pain in the middle of the abdomen.
This pain gets severe when the stomach is empty. It could last for minutes or even hours. So, you should report this to your doctor once noticed. A diagnosis would be run and you’ll know your status.
How to treat a Stomach Ulcer.
Treatments for Stomach Ulcers vary with the causes. Hence, only a doctor can tell which is best for one. For some people, it might be as simple as taking antibiotics, while for others, it might be as complex as undergoing surgery.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer are bound to reduce once treatment commences. But then, one should stay glued to prescribed medications to ensure that all causes are eliminated and there’s no room for a resurface.
Dangers of not treating a Stomach Ulcer
A stomach ulcer that is not well managed or treated could lead to stomach cancer which is more grievous with more complications and a higher possibility of death.
Since one of the causes of a Stomach Ulcer is the presence of H. pylori, certain foods help fight off this bacteria and even boost the body’s own healthy bacteria. These foods include:
- Olive oil
- Probiotic-rich foods e.g Yogurt
- Leafy greens e.g spinach.
You can check for Foods to eat and avoid here.
It is important to avoid spicy and sour foods while trying to treat a Stomach Ulcer.
N: B To prevent a Stomach Ulcer,
- Properly wash your hands as often as possible.
- Clean foods well and cook thoroughly.
- Limit or stop the use of NSAIDs.
The fact is “The pains of stomach Ulcers become super intense when the belly is empty.” With or without Stomach Ulcer, use Ordereat to fill your belly as often as possible.