How To Manage Ulcer
Ever had that prickly sharp pain below your abdomen or that hot chesty pain?
Today, we will be talking about ulcer
Ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach (peptic ulcer) or duodenum (gastric ulcer) or oesophagus (gastric ulcer). In a lamn man term, its simply a wound in the gastrointestinal tract. |It’s just as painful as the external wounds we experience and even worse than it since its along the tract with which we eat.
Ulcers Can Be Caused By:
1. Helicobacter Pylori (a bacteria)
2. Frequent use of Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
3. Lifestyle e.g smoking, drinking
5. Genetic factors
The Symptoms Of Ulcers:
– Abdominal pain & bloating
– Nausea and poor appetite
– Acid reflux or heartburn
– Feeling full when eating.
– Vomiting blood
1. Endoscopy (done using am endoscope)
2. GIT x-ray using barium
If you experience any of the symptoms above, its best you visit a physician or the nearest health practitioner.
First line of the treatment is to stop the risk factor; either the cigarette you are smoking or the NSAIDS you are taking, stop its use.
Antacids: These are drugs that neutralize acid in the stomach. Yes. Its necessary to neutralize the acid because the pain we feel most times is as a result of the acid on the sore (imagine that happening on an external wound). Eg are the mist mag suspensions
H2 blockers: okay…let’s see it in a non pharmaceutical way again, the body operates with functionality of the power house aka the brain. The brain is the central processor and it carries out it’s activities using many transmitters. So for the stomach to produce acid (to digest food), the brain signals a transmitter called histamine to stimulate acid secretion. Thus the H2 Blockers they normally block histamine release thus decreasing acid secretion and hence the pain e.g Cimetidine, Ranthidine e.t.c.
Proton Pump Inhibitors: They are similar to H2 blockers because they also reduce acid secretion. The histamine from the brain actually stimulates the proton pump (the acid pump) to pump the acid. So the PPI (proton pump inhibitors) actually block the acid pump reducing acid flow and thus the pain. The PPIs are more effective in reducing acid secretion than the H2Blockers e.g omeprazole, esomeprazole.
Misoprostol and Sucralfate: These agents actually coat the ulcer surface. More like they cover and act like plasters for the ulcer. Yes, you read misoprostol (a wonderful drug but not healthy for girls). We would discuss misoprostol soon enough.
Antibiotics: In a situation where the ulcer is as a result if Helicobacter pylori (as seen from a test result) then antibiotics are the best treatment! See a physician for proper prescriptions.
Let me tell a small story. I had a friend who died from ulcer due to negligence and failure to treat on time. He died immediately he ate pepper even when he had serious ulcer. Help your friend and help yourself too!
Foods to avoid as an ulcer patient would be treated soon enough!