Everything you need to know about stomach ulcer --- Contributed by @zoneboy

in air-clinic •  10 months ago

I can’t say about other countries, but in Nigeria, the locals believe that ulcer is caused by the lack of food, when you don’t eat at the appropriate time. You hear the elderly ones telling the children Won’t you go and eat or else you will have ulcer. Individuals with ulcer are advised to stay away from hot-peppery dishes.


What is Stomach Ulcer?

Gastric_Ulcer.png
BruceBlaus, Gastric Ulcer, CC BY-SA 4.0

Normally, when you eat food, the stomach produce strong acid that aids in digesting the food. In order to protect the body tissues from this strong acid, a thick layer of mucus is secreted that lines the stomach.

When this mucus is not effective again, the acid can cause damage to the stomach tissue, then the individual may develop ulcer.

Stomach ulcers are painful sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach or the small intestine Source


Causes

Stomach ulcer is mainly caused by Helicobacter pylori and long term use of certain painkillers and aspirin.


Symptoms

There are lots of symptoms associated with stomach ulcer, but the most common one is

  • Burning stomach pain- it is the most common symptom of an individual having stomach ulcer. A burning pain is felt between the individual chest and belly button. Having an empty stomach or taking spicy foods makes the pain worse.

Other symptoms include

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Belching or bloating
  • Anemia
  • Bloody vomit
  • Weight loss Source

Risk factors

There are certain behaviours that increase the chances of having stomach ulcer.

  • Frequent consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Hypercalcemia

Individuals at risk of having stomach ulcer should include the following in their diet

  • Probiotics
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc Source

Diagnosis

Diagnosing depends on how severe the ulcer is

  • Laboratory tests- stool, blood or breath test may be conducted to ascertain if Helicobacter pylori is present

  • Endoscopy

  • Barium swallow Source

Prevention

  • Maintaining good personal/food hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is advised. Cleaning and cooking all foods thoroughly.

  • Limit pain relievers intake- reduce the amount of pain relievers you take. You can consult with your doctor for advice on the lowest dosage that will be effective for you.

Treatment

The cause of stomach ulcer will determine the type of treatment to be administered.

  • Killing Helicobacter pylori- If the bacterium is present in the digestive tract, antibiotics such as metronidazole, amoxicillin, tetracycline may be recommended by the doctor.

  • Reducing acid production- Histamine blockers also known as acid blockers such as nizatidine, famotidine may be prescribed to reduce the amount of strong acid present in the digestive tract.

  • Antacids- Antacid neutralize the stomach acid thus providing rapid relief. Source


References

Ref 1 | |Ref 2 | Ref 3 | |Ref 4

Thank you for reading


Blog contributor: @zoneboy

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this is a very good read. i'm better informed about this now.

this is a valuable infor thanks for educating us

Health is wealth. Thanks for sharing this vital information

And @stach.pay keeps producing awesome articles... Some people also say that Ulcer can be caused by too much pepper in the system...since am not a doctor, I believe its still linked to the causes you mentioned...thiz was informative, thanks!

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@sparklez, you can see the causes. Taking spicy/peppery foods only makes the case worse. Peppery foods don't cause ulcer.