Stomach ulcers also known as gastric ulcers occur when there are open sores in the lining of the stomach. They are usually painful due to the amount of acids present in the body. When acid runs against the sore, you feel sharp pains in your stomach.
Causes of Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria called helicobacter pylori. You can also get ulcer from too much intake of aspirin, ibuprofen and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory.
They are often treated by the use of antibiotics and other medications that help to reduce the production of stomach acids.
Usually, the stomach produces a thick mucus coat to control the effect of pepsin on the stomach lining. When this process is disturbed, the lining of the stomach becomes exposed to this acid and develops sores.
Food helps to flush out some of these acids, because it is used to breakdown the food into the bloodstream. However, upon digestion, these acids become active again.
Symptoms of Ulcer
There are some indicators that a person is suffering from ulcer. The most common ones include;
- Abdominal Pain and stinging burning feeling in the stomach
- Bleeding during vomiting or while urinating
- Dehydration and weakness of the body
Ulcers can lead to more complicated issues such as GI tract lining perforation, kidney problems, internal bleeding etc. However not all cases of ulcer can lead to these. Ulcers can be effectively managed and treated to prevent further harm.
Managing and Treating Ulcer
If you have any pains or symptoms of ulcer, you should endeavor to see a doctor. A doctor would ask further questions and possibly carry out a physical examination to find out if you actually have an ulcer. He would then prescribe certain drugs that would help treat the ulcer and reduce the probability of future occurrences. Most ulcer treatments aim to fight H.pylori bacteria, reduce the pain and boost the immune system.
- Reduce intake of NSAIDS: NSAID means non steroidal anti inflammatories. It is best to reduce intake of NSAID such as ibuprofen when treating pains and fevers. Too much ingestion of these can cause pains in the sores of the stomach lining. NSAIDs alter how the acids in the stomach and the digestive enzymes function. The NSAIDs reduces the production of the chemical that helps to protect the stomach lining from acids.
- Don’t be Stressed Up: Stress and worry are not good for ulcers. Anxiety has been linked to affecting the way the brain responds to the digestive system, making it more likely to be affected by the bacteria that causes ulcer. It is best to manage stress by exercising, meditating and practicing other relaxation techniques that help to calm our nerves and make us happy.
- Watch Your Diet: Eat natural foods that have more nutrients as opposed to processed and canned meals. Do not skip meals, eat regularly in a day. Trying to make up for a whole day of going without food by eating large portions in the evening does not cut it. It can help worsen Ulcer symptoms and be very inconveniencing. Sometimes spicy foods make your symptoms worse, but this isn’t so for everyone. Stay away from excessively peppery meals, alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods etc. Ensure to eat foods rich in minerals and vitamins. Watch your diet, drink a lot of water for a healthy system.
- Build Your Immune System: Try not to practice habits that would lower your overall immunity. Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and eating poor diets as these could cause inflammation in the body as the digestive system is prone to the H. Pylori bacteria. This bacterium is contracted through unclean water, saliva and other bodily fluids. Smoking also makes ulcer more difficult to heal and extremely painful too.
Key things to Note about Ulcers
- Ulcers can develop either in the duodenum, esophagus or stomach.
- Men are more likely to develop duodenum ulcers in the small intestine than any other kind
- Women are more likely to develop an ulcer than men
- Also, ulcers are more likely in people between the ages of 55 and 65, because with old age comes the reduction in immune system and susceptibility to inflammations, coupled with the fact that over the counter medications are more frequent
Ulcers can be managed to prevent complications. In its early stages it can be cured using PPIs. It is however best to naturally manage the illness and have a pain free life. Do this by watching your diet, drinking enough fluids, exercising frequently and reducing intake of over the counter pain relievers. Eat smaller bits of food throughout the day to give the acids in your stomach something to feast on. With all these precautions and necessary actions, ulcers can be effectively managed for a healthy lifestyle.