January 4, 2011

Gastric Ulcer Causes

Ulcers can happen throughout the entire digestive tract, but when they happen in the stomach specifically, they’re referred to as gastric ulcers. Gastric ulcer causes are numerous, but one cause is the most common.

H. Pylori

Helicobacter pylori is a corkscrew shaped bacteria that lives in the digestive tract. The bacteria is fairly common, and in most cases isn’t harmful. However, occasionally it can inflame the lining of your stomach, and disrupt the mucus layer which causes an ulcer.

H. Pylori can be transmitted from close contact, like kissing. It can also enter the digestive tract through contaminated water or food. It’s a fairly common infection, with half of the people who are over 60 contracting it, and one in five people under 30 getting it.

Other Causes

While H.Pylori is an extremely common cause of ulcers, it’s not the only cause. NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a big cause of gastric ulcers. Medications like Motrin, Ibuprofen, Asprin, Aleve and others can damage the stomach’s delicate lining, resulting in an ulcer. NSAIDs block the production of an enzyme that protects the stomach’s lining against damage and injury. Without this protection, the stomach is vulnerable to acids. If you have an ulcer, make sure your doctor is aware of that fact before he or she prescribes any kind of pain reliever, including prescription pain medications or over the counter NSAIDs.

Smoking is also pointed to as another main cause of ulcers. The nicotine found in tobacco is thought to increase the production of stomach acids, which eat away at the lining, resulting in a painful ulcer. Smoking also slows the healing process, which can be detrimental when trying to get over a gastric ulcer. If you are diagnosed with an ulcer, it is best to stop smoking so that your body can heal, and keep ulcers from recurring in the future.

Although it’s unclear whether excessive alcohol consumption can cause an ulcer, or merely exacerbate an existing ulcer, it should be avoided if you suspect that you have an ulcer or have a family history of ulcers. Alcohol eats away at the mucus lining of the stomach, making it vulnerable to damage and stomach acids. Monitor your alcohol consumption to ensure a healthy digestive tract.

Although stress can’t be pointed to as a sure fire cause of gastric ulcers, it can certainly worsen them. Stress causes the body to overproduce stomach acids which eat away at the body’s stomach lining. If you have an ulcer, or are susceptible to ulcers, take steps to dramatically reduce your stress levels. You can try taking a course on meditation, or practicing regular exercise to reduce your stress. Additionally, something as simple as taking a deep breath, listening to soothing instrumental music, or counting to 10 can often help you maintain a calmer attitude. Stress is thought to exacerbate a number of health problems, so reducing your stress level can do nothing but good for your body.

For more information on gastric ulcer causes, visit www.refluxremedy.com today!

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