A gastric ulcer, also known as a peptic ulcer, is a carter-like lesion in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. An ulcer results when the body’s defense of the lining of the stomach cannot secrete sufficient mucus to protect it against the strong acid essential for digestion. When there is not sufficient protection against the effect of digestive acids and enzymes, the stomach essentially starts to digest itself causing ulcers.
Gastric ulcer affect 5 million Americans annually; an estimated 10 percent of Americans will suffer from gastric ulcers at some time in their lives. It was once thought that ulcers were caused by anxiety and stress, but recent evidence shows that ulcers are actually caused by an infection of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria combined with the presence of stomach acid. Bacteria can be passed from person to person through close physical contact. Stress and anxiety are still considered contributing factor to the development of ulcers. Certain drugs, including aspirin, steroids and some anti-inflammatory medications, can also irritate the stomach and increase the risk for ulcers. Family history of gastric ulcers, alcohol consumption and heavy smoking increases risk. Symptoms of gastric ulcers include chronic burning stomach pain that begins 45 minutes after eating or at night. The pain is usually eased by taking antacids, vomiting or drinking water. Pain ranges in intensity from mild to severe and cause a sufferer to awaken in the night. Other symptoms may include lower back pain, headaches, a choking feeling, itching, nausea and vomiting. Self-Test for Ulcer: When stomach pain appears, swallow a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If the pain goes away, too little stomach acid is most likely the problem. If the pain increases, too much stomach acid may be present and gastric ulcers may be the problem.
POSSIBLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES, HELP AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
Those who suffers from ulcers should avoid food that promote acid in the stomach lining. these food include spices (especially black pepper, red or hot pepper and chili powder); caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees, teas and sodas; alcoholic beverages; citrus fruits and juices; chocolate; fried and fatty foods; tomato product and milk.
Each individual is affected by foods differently, so experimentation and personal judgement is necessary to determine if a particular food causes a problem.
Ulcers sufferers should also chew food thoroughly, stop cigarette smoking, avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime and stop using aspirin and substances that contain aspirin. Some arthritis medications can also irritate the stomach, so avoid using these drugs if possible. Eat a diet rich in fiber, especially from fruits and vegetables; this may reduce your risk of developing an ulcer in the first place and may speed your recovery if you already have one. The vitamin A may be an added benefit from these foods. Foods containing flavonoids, like apples, celery, cranberries (including cranberry juice), onions, and tea may inhibit the growth of H. pylori and quit smoking.
Receive treatment for alcohol abuse; your doctor can help get you appropriate care. Reduce stress with regular use of relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or meditation. These practices may also lessen pain and reduce your need for the damaging NSAIDs discussed.
To incorporate any one of these techniques into your daily activities, consider taking a class; Some barely information suggest that, if you have an ulcer, a formal program may be more beneficial than listening to tapes on your own at home.
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