5 Facts about Stomach Ulcers that Everyone Should know
You must be well aware of the fact that your whole alimentary canal has consisted of layers of different types of tissues. The inner lining of the stomach is covered with protective substances such as bicarbonates, mucous, and prostaglandins. These substances all together are known as mucosal defense as it protects the inner lining of the stomach from harmful substances. The stomach is continuously exposed to these harmful substances such as bile, microbes, and the stomach’s own acid. Stomach Ulcers are the sores in the lining of the upper intestinal tract. This condition is so common and old that there are many myths, followed even in today’s world, created around what really causes stomach ulcers. In this blog, we aim to focus on 5 facts about stomach ulcers that everyone should know about.
Symptoms and signs of stomach ulcers
20% of Patients with stomach ulcer disease happen to be asymptomatic which means they don’t feel any symptoms at all. However, some patients do suffer from symptoms and signs of stomach ulcer disease. These signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Dyspepsia: It is the most important symptom to know about stomach ulcers. This symptom is actually a set of symptoms that include:
- Improper digestion
- Discomforting feeling above the belly button area
- Burning sensation
- Pain within 15-30 minutes of eating
Less common symptoms
- Abdominal fullness
- Nausea and vomiting
It is very common in people to be diagnosed with stomach ulcers during getting tested for some other medical condition.
Complications in Stomach Ulcers
Bleeding in stomach ulcers is the common complication that comes with this disease. The blood from these ulcers gets digested leading to the symptom of black, tarry stool. When the blood from these ulcers flows rapidly, the gastrointestinal tract is unable to digest it leading to the symptom of red bloody stool. Oftentimes, these patients develop iron deficiency leading to anemia.
Surprising cause of stomach ulcers
It is after the excruciating research of scientists, namely Dr. Marshall and Dr. Warren, that we now know the stomach ulcers cause which happens to be the most prominent in patients. Most stomach ulcers are caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori are found in 50% of the total population and remains the most common cause of stomach ulcers.
Previously it was thought that, due to the stomach being an acidic environment, it is free from any bacteria. H. pylori has unique features such as its covering of urease enzyme which protects it from gastric acid in the stomach.
It is still not known to the full reasoning why only certain populations develop ulcers from these bacteria but we know that added factors such as heredity, other medical problems, intake of certain medications, smoking, etc., all play a role in the development of stomach ulcers in an individual.
This stomach ulcer cause can be treated with simple antibiotic medicines which is a modern achievement for it was a disease that previously needed to be surgically treated.
Stress doesn’t cause stomach ulcers
Since the early discovery of stomach ulcers, doctors and other professionals thought stress is the only cause of stomach ulcers. In those times, patients were given antidepressants or other stress relieving medicines. Also, another myth of spicy food is the other major cause of stomach ulcers became a notion too. We now know that there is no convincing study to show that stress and spicy ulcers are the causes of stomach ulcers.
Painkillers can cause ulcers
It is seen that, in particular, certain pain relieving medications are used to reduce inflammation in joints to work with H. pylori to develop more severe stomach ulcers. These medications mostly belong to the category of OTC medications. Two of the most common drugs like these are aspirin and ibuprofen.
Stomach ulcers can surely be prevented or reduced in their effects. From the above blog, we can conclude that eating healthy and clean food reduces the chances of intake of H. pylori, which is a stomach ulcers cause. Also, if you are taking any over the counter medication, it is important to discuss its role in potentially causing stomach ulcers.
Proper advice from a health care professional is the most effective way of protecting yourself from the devastating complications of stomach ulcers.
To know more about stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions, contact Alfa Gastro and Liver care center.