Stomach Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment bring to your perusal what you should know about stomach ulcers and guides you against them.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers
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A stomach ulcer also known as gastric ulcer, is a painful sore in the stomach lining of the digestive system which occurs when the thick layer of mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This enables the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer.
Stomach ulcers may be easily cured if early diagnosed, but they can become severe without proper treatment leading to more serious health challenges.
Causes of Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers may be caused by one or a combination of these factors:
- Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
- Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.
- Also, a condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing the body’s production of acid which therefore disrupts the balance of the digestive system, though such cases are rare.
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Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer
There are some symptoms widely associated with stomach ulcers and most times, the severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer and the nature of the patient involved.
Among the symptoms is the most common being a burning sensation or pain in the middle of the abdomen between the chest and belly button. The pain becomes more intense when the stomach is emptily lasting for some time.
Other common signs and symptoms of Stomach Ulcers in humans include:
- Experiencing a dull pain in the stomach from time to time
- weight loss, even when feeding well
- Loss of appetite due to pains
- Irregular nausea or vomiting
- Feeling easily full
- Burping or acid reflux
- Pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids causes a serious distortion in the balance of the stomach and digestive system at large.
- Anemia which symptoms could be tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
- Dark, tarry stools.
- Vomit that’s bloody or looks like coffee grounds.
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Remedies of Stomach Ulcer
To prevent the spread of bacteria that might cause a stomach ulcer, it is advisable to wash your hands with soap and water on a regular basis. Also, be sure to clean all of your food properly and cook it thoroughly as needed.
Again, maintaining a high standard of personal and food hygiene is a panacea to achieving this. To prevent ulcers caused by NSAIDs, stop using these medications, or reduce their intake.
If you need to take NSAIDs, you should carefully follow the recommended dosage. Avoid alcohol while taking these medications. And always take these medications with food and enough water.
If your stomach ulcer is a result of H. pylori, you need antibiotics and drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs block the stomach cells that produce acid and serve as a good remedy in this case.
Your doctor may recommend additional treatment like:
- H2 receptor blockers (these are drugs that also block acid production)
- Probiotics (these are useful bacteria that may have a role in killing off H. pylori)
- Ismuth supplement
Symptoms of an ulcer may fade away quickly with proper treatment. But even if your symptoms disappear, you should continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor or nutritionist to avoid further complications in the future, especially in cases of H. pylori infections, to ensure that all bacteria are eliminated.
Before now, it was believed that diet could cause ulcers but we now know that while the foods don’t cause or prevent stomach ulcers, eating a healthy diet can be of help to your intestinal tract and general health, lowering the risk of ulcers.
In general, it is advisable to eat a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Some of these foods play a role in eliminating H. pylori.
Foods that may help fight off H. pylori and or boost healthy bacteria in the body. Some body’s own healthy bacteria include Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and radishes. Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale.
Probiotic-rich foods, such as sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, yogurt (especially with lactobacillus and Saccharomyces), apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, olive oil.
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Also, since people with stomach ulcers may have cases of acid reflux disease, it is advisable to stay away from spicy and sour foods while an ulcer is gradually healing.
Additionally, the following items may help reduce the effects of H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for many stomach ulcers.
However, these suggestive supplements are not intended to replace prescribed medication or your current treatment plan. They include:
- Glutamine (food sources include spinach, chicken, egg, fish, and cabbage).
I wish you live healthily and be less prone to ulcers.