Gastric Ulcer

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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December 29, 2010

Gastric Ulcer Symptoms

Gastric ulcers can be painful, and sometimes fatal if the symptoms are ignored. An ulcer occurs when the lining of the digestive tract becomes damaged, and a hole or tear occurs due to injury or trauma. An ulcer can happen anywhere in the body’s digestive system, but when it happens in the stomach, it’s labeled as a gastric ulcer.

Gastric ulcer symptoms are slightly different than ulcer symptoms located in other portions of the body. For example, eating doesn’t generally relieve pain as it might with other ulcers. In fact, eating may cause pain. The pain can be a dull ache located in the upper chest area, possibly below the breastbone.

Other symptoms of a gastric ulcer include:

  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss that wasn’t part of a planned diet program
  • Waking up in the night with pain. Only about 3 out of every 10 people with a gastric ulcer will experience this symptom, and it generally occurs 3 or 4 hours after dinner. Eating late meals will exacerbate it.
  • Vomiting, and vomiting blood, which may look like coffee grounds
  • Blood in the stool, which would look like a black or tarry substance
  • Some people may not have any symptoms at all

Causes

Gastric ulcers have a few causes, but one thing in particular is pointed to as the main cause,┬áHelicobacter pylori. H. pylori is a corkscrew shaped bacteria found in most everyone. It’s unknown why it causes problems in some people and not others. An H. pylori infection occurs when the bacteria grows in the lining of the stomach, causing it to be easily damaged by stomach acids and other digestive enzymes. An H. pylori infection is generally cleared by a course of antibiotics, followed by additional testing to make sure the infection has been eradicated.

Pain killers are another main cause of gastric ulcers. Pain killers stop the body’s production of an enzyme that protects the stomach lining, making it more susceptible to damage. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Aleve and Ibuprofen as well as Aspirin and prescription pain killers can all be pointed to as causes of gastric ulcers.

Another thing thought to cause gastric ulcers is smoking. The nicotine found in cigarettes is thought to increase the presence of acids in the stomach, making the lining more susceptible to damages. Smoking also slows the body’s natural healing process, making it difficult to recover from an existing ulcer.

Alcohol can also erode the stomach lining. Although, it’s unclear if alcohol will actually go so far as to cause an ulcer, or just worsen an existing ulcer, it should generally be used in moderation.

Stress is another thing that can’t be pointed directly to as a certain cause for ulcers, but it will definitely worsen an existing ulcer. Stress is thought to be the cause of a wide range of health problems, so whether it caused your ulcer or not, it’s beneficial to try and get your stress levels under control. Reduce your stress by putting some instrumental or calming music on in the background at work, or enrolling in a meditation class. These techniques will help you relax and allow your body to heal much faster.

For more information on gastric ulcer symptoms, check out The Reflux Remedy Report at www.refluxremedy.com.

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Symptoms of a Gastric Ulcer

A gastric ulcer happens when the lining of the stomach becomes damaged or torn in some way. Some people may never experience symptoms of a gastric ulcer, while others will have intense pain and bleeding. If left untreated, a gastric ulcer can sometimes be fatal, so always seek medical attention if you suspect you have a gastric ulcer.

What would I feel if I had a gastric ulcer?

As stated before, some people won’t have any symptoms of a gastric ulcer. But, if you do experience symptoms they can include:

  • Blood in your stool that would look like a black or tar-like substance
  • Vomiting, potentially vomiting blood that may resemble coffee grounds

If either of these symptoms is occurring, seek medical attention immediately.

These can be signs of a bleeding ulcer, and should be treated as quickly as possible to prevent further complications:

  • Nausea
  • Weight loss that wasn’t part of a planned diet and exercise routine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain after eating
  • Dull pain in the upper chest, near the breastbone
  • Pain that wakes you up in the night

What can I point to for causing my gastric ulcer?

The most common cause of gastric ulcers, or ulcers located in the stomach, is the H. pylori bacteria. It’s a fairly common infection caused by regular day-to-day contacts, like kissing. It can also be found in some foods and contaminated water. Some people who have the bacteria don’t even know it, while in others it goes into overdrive and multiplies in the stomach lining, making it vulnerable to corrosive stomach acids. Your doctor can perform tests to see if you have H. pylori. If you do, a course of antibiotics is generally prescribed, followed by additional tests to make sure the bacteria has been killed.

Another common cause of gastric ulcers is pain killers. If you have chronic pain, like joint pain or headaches, you need to be aware that pain killers can have some pretty serious consequences when taken regularly. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) inhibit the production of a protective enzyme in the stomach. Without this enzyme, the stomach lining is vulnerable to stomach acids and other digestive elements that are meant to break things down. Aleve and Ibuprofen are a few NSAIDs that should be taken in moderation, along with Aspirin and prescription pain medications. If you have an ulcer or are susceptible to them, your physician should be aware of it so he can prescribe your medications accordingly.

A few other things that are thought to worsen ulcers are alcohol and stress. Both cause the body to produce an excess of stomach acids, which leads to ulcers. While a direct link can’t be made between either and a cause of ulcers, they are defiantly blamed for worsening ulcers and making it more difficult for the body to heal from an ulcer. Eliminate these factors by lowering your alcohol consumption and focusing on relieving stress in your life.

Gastric ulcers can be a very painful condition. For more information on symptoms of a gastric ulcer, their causes and healing them, read The Reflux Remedy Report at refulxremedy.com today!

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December 28, 2010

What Can I Eat With a Stomach Ulcer

If you have a gastric ulcer, you might be wondering, what can I eat with a stomach ulcer?

A stomach ulcer happens when the lining of the stomach becomes traumatized or injured in some way. This can be a result of a bacterial infection called H. pylori, stress, smoking, pain killers, or alcohol.

Eating and certain types of food can exacerbate a stomach ulcer and cause additional pain. Some people may find it helpful to watch what they eat if they have an ulcer.

Foods to eat

Certain foods are easier for your stomach to digest and may help make the eating process slightly less painful where an ulcer is involved. Focus on:

  • Whole grain, seedless breads
  • Low acid fruits and vegetables
  • Lean, unseasoned meats like pork, beef and poultry
  • Fish
  • Low fat dairy products in moderation

Foods to avoid

Other foods won’t necessarily cause a stomach ulcer, but they can certainly worsen it, or delay the healing process. Stay away from these types of foods:

  • Fatty breads like croissants
  • Fruits and vegetables that are high in acids, like tomatoes and all types of citrus including grapefruit, oranges and lemons
  • Heavily seasoned foods like beef, pork, poultry and fish
  • Whole milk and dairy products high in fat content

These are difficult to digest and cause the body to produce additional stomach acids to accommodate the digestion process, which can irritate an ulcer

  • Fried foods, like fast food
  • Fatty desserts like cake and ice cream

Things that might help

In addition to what to eat, there are methods you might practice to keep pain at bay when trying to let a stomach ulcer heal.

For example, eat smaller portions more frequently. This keeps your stomach from being bombarded by a huge amount of food, which creates pressure in the stomach and can result in a buildup of acid. This will aggravate your ulcer and cause more pain. Smaller amounts of food helps the stomach?s digestion processes go more smoothly, and can keep pain at bay.

Additionally, try to avoid pain killers. A stomach ulcer can be pretty painful, but taking a pain killer can majorly worsen the condition. Whether it’s an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like Ibuprofen or Aleve, Aspirin, or a prescription pain medication, these drugs can inhibit the body’s production of protective enzymes in the stomach, making the lining terribly vulnerable to harmful acids. If you have an ulcer, seriously restrict your intake of pain killers in order to allow your body to heal.

Another way to help an ulcer heal is to reduce your stress levels. While stress hasn’t been proven to cause an ulcer, it is thought to worsen one, by subjecting the already irritated stomach lining to additional acids. If you feel like you’re getting too stressed out, take a walk, add regular exercise to your routine, take a few deep breaths, or enroll in a course on meditation. Practicing a few simple strategies now can help you have a healthier mind and body in the future.

Hopefully by now you understand better what you can eat with a stomach ulcer. If you’d like more information, head over to refluxremedy.com to find out what can cause a stomach ulcer and additional treatment options.

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