Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcer refers to the open and painful sores that develop on the stomach lining. It is a type of peptic ulcer. Peptic ulcer affects both the stomach and the small intestine. Stomach ulcer can easily be cured but may become severe if not properly treated.

Stomach ulcer occurs when the layer that is protecting the stomach lining from the acid present in the stomach breaks down and thus, allows the stomach lining to become damaged.

This usually occurs because of

1. An infection with the bacterium Helicobacterpylori (H. pylori).
2. The long use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen.
3. Stomach Cancer – rarely

 

CAUSES OF STOMACH ULCER

It is commonly thought that stomach ulcer is caused by certain lifestyle factors, such as spicy foods, stress and alcohol. These factors may make the symptoms of ulcer worse but are not the cause the ulcers. It is also commonly thought that smoking increases the risk of developing stomach ulcers and may make treatment less effective.

SYMPTOMS OF STOMACH ULCER

1. Stomach pain

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2. Burning sensation in the chest

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3. Loss of appetite

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4. Weight loss

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5. Indigestion

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6. Vomiting

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7. Pain that increases after eating

 

DIAGNOSIS OF STOMACH ULCER

Stomach ulcer is usually diagnosed by the doctor after a test called Gastroscopy.

 

TREATMENT OF STOMACH ULCER

The treatment of stomach ulcer depends on the cause of the ulcer. Most ulcers are treated with a prescription from the doctor but in some cases, surgery is required. It is necessary to treat an ulcer early. With treatment, most ulcers heal in a month or two.

 

COMPLICATIONS OF STOMACH ULCER

Smokers have been found to have more complications from ulcers.

Complications include:

1. Bleeding which may cause fatigue, vomiting blood, passage of black tarry stools, breathlessness and pale skin.
2. Severe abdominal pain
3. Obstruction of the passage of food that may lead to unexplained weight loss, consistent vomiting, feeling full or bloated after eating very little food.

 

DIET FOR PEOPLE WITH STOMACH ULCERS

1. Eat a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and fibre.

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2. Take more honey

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3. Eat food rich in glutamine such as chicken, eggs, fish, spinach and cabbage.

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