The symptoms of peptic ulcers may vary slightly depending on its location, degree of inflammation, and the presence of a partial block of the duodenum.
Unfortunately, despite the appearance on the market of new drugs to reduce the acidity to help relieve the symptoms, these medications do not cure the root cause of this condition and have their own side effects and problems. The more common types of medicines used to treat ulcers, can eventually worsen the condition of the mucosa of the stomach and General health. The purpose of these drugs is the significant reduction in stomach acidity. However, this acid is a valuable chemical factor of digestion, and not the culprit of ulcers.
How to know whether you need to consult a doctor regarding the occurrence of ulcers?
Before you read the list of symptoms, it is important to get an idea about the basics of the anatomy of the digestive system, various types of ulcers and treatment options available.
What you need to know about the anatomy of the digestive system
The stomach has the shape of a kidney and is on the left just under the ribs. Before getting to the stomach, the food passes through the esophagus and the muscular valve – the lower esophageal sphincter. On the bottom edge of the stomach there is another sphincter, the pyloric sphincter which connects the stomach with the initial division of the small intestine – duodenum. Length of the duodenum is about 30 cm – it helps the body to regulate the amount of food coming from the stomach.
In the walls of the stomach there are glands which produce acid and pepsin, an enzyme that helps to digest food. In addition, the stomach produces mucus that protects the mucosa from acid. If the digestive tract forms an ulcer, that protection from acid can be destroyed. Often it is the result of infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Acid forms a crack in the inner lining of the duodenum (duodenal ulcer) or stomach (gastric ulcer).
These ulcers are called peptic ulcers or peptic ulcer disease. Some of their name depends on their location in the digestive tract. Sometimes these ulcers can heal by themselves. But in 35% of cases of stomach ulcers lead to serious complications, such as bleeding or perforation (perforation) of the stomach wall, if not treat them properly.
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Other complications include bleeding and inflammation of the stomach or duodenum, infection, narrowing or occlusion in which the duodenum moves from the stomach. In the latter case, slowing down the exit of food from the stomach until then, until it is blocked completely. This can cause vomiting.
How to understand whether you have an ulcer?
The symptoms of peptic ulcers may vary slightly depending on its location, degree of inflammation, and the presence of a partial block of the duodenum.Most of the symptoms usually felt in the area of epigastrium – the upper part of the abdomen right under the breastbone. Such symptoms include:
Aching pain or burning sensation in the middle or upper stomach between meals or at night
The feeling of fullness or bloating after eating small amounts of food
Increased symptoms when eating fatty foods
Weight loss, although you never tried
Loss of appetite
The consequences of a severe cases can be:
- Dark or black stool due to bleeding
- Vomiting blood (like coffee grounds)
- Severe pain in the middle and upper part of the abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting partially digested food due to blockage
Common and unusual causes of peptic ulcer
In some cases the symptoms of ulcers can be resolved by removing the causative factor. For example, drugs can affect the quality of the gastric mucosa, reducing the protection normally produced by the acid.
Drugs which have this effect include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen. Even covered with a gastro-resistant shell or other prescription drugs can increase your chances of increased production of acids and formation of ulcers.
Ulcers can cause:
- excessive consumption of alcohol,
- chewing tobacco,
- radiation therapy of the stomach.
Excessive acid production may also be a result of gastrinomas – tumors that develop in the cells that produce acid in the stomach. However, the most common cause of ulceration in the stomach or duodenum is the excessive growth of the bacteria H. pylori. These bacteria destroy the mucous membrane that protects the inner lining of the stomach from effects of stomach acid.
In 2005 the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to doctors Barry Marshall (Barry Marshall) and J. Robin Warren (J. Robin Warren) for opening of communications between bacteria Helicobacter pylori, gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
As “an unexpected discovery”, Marshall and Warren linked the inflammation and ulceration in the stomach by infection from bacteria. Although ulcers seem to heal in response to the decrease in the amount of gastric acid in the stomach, they often quickly reappear because the treatment does not reduce the level of bacteria and does not treat the inflammatory response. H. pylori causes chronic infection and inflammation, which may or may not be symptomatic. As a rule, the higher the acidity of the stomach is a bad medium for bacterial growth.
Treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPIS) reduces acidity and allows bacteria to flourish. Other studies also support the theory of excessive growth of bacteria as the causal factor for reflux disease.
The value of gastric acid
Stomach acid is necessary not only for the digestion and breakdown of food you eat, but also to protect the body from bacterial growth.
Gastrointestinal tract is home to the greater part of your immune system that protects you from invaders by producing acids and supporting the growth of colonies of beneficial bacteria – they act as your defensive army.
Environment in the stomach is usually very acidic (pH 4). It acts as protection against harmful pathogens, which are not able to survive in such acidic conditions. A large portion of it represented by hydrochloric acid and pepsin. With age, after 30-40 years, the stomach begins to produce less acid and provides less protection.
Regardless of the reasons for the decline in level of acidity – from age or ingestion of antacid drugs – there are secondary effects that can have a negative impact on your health.
• Excess bacterial growth
The lack of stomach acid increases the growth of bacteria in the stomach that may cause malabsorption of nutrients and lead to inflammation of the stomach wall.
• Malabsorption of nutrients
One of the most common causes of impaired digestive function and nutrient absorption is decreased production of gastric acid. This happens as people age and those long takes antacids. Acid breaks down proteins, activates hormones and enzymes and protects the intestines from overgrowth of bacteria.
The lack of acid leads to a lack of iron and minerals and an incomplete digestion of proteins. In addition, it may cause vitamin B12 deficiency.
• Reduced resistance to infection
Mouth, esophagus, and intestines – is home to good bacteria, but the stomach is relatively sterile. Stomach acid kills most bacteria that enter with food or drink, protecting the stomach and intestinal tract from the abnormal growth of bacteria. At the same time, it prevents the ingress of bacteria living in the gut, in the stomach.
Reduction of acidity in the stomach changes its pH and enables bacteria to develop from the outside. Some antacids reduce the acidity of the stomach by 90-95%, increasing the risk of Contracting Salmonella, c. difficile, and Giardia with Listeria.
Other studies have linked the medication to reduce the acidity with the development of pneumonia, tuberculosis and typhoid.
The intestinal microflora affects the whole immune system and increases the overall risk of infection.
PPIS and H2 blockers treat the symptoms and not the cause
When PPIS were first approved by the Office of food and drug administration (FDA), the term of use does not exceed six weeks. Today, however, we often meet people who take these drugs for more than 10 years.
And PPIS and H2-blockers may initially decrease the symptoms, because they reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach, and thus reduce the acidity, affecting the formation of ulcers. However, the decrease in acidity also promotes the growth of bacteria.
In addition, when you stop to accept these drugs against acidity, the latter will increase, leading to increased formation of ulcers from the effects of acid on the stomach wall. That’s why it is not recommended to leave the intake in one fell swoop. Taking these drugs must be reduced gradually. The right treatment takes into account the action that caused stomach ulcers.
You may need to reduce or stop the intake of NSAIDs and to reduce the consumption of alcohol or frequency of tobacco use. There are several methods that you can discuss with your doctor to determine whether your peptic ulcers with H. pylori.
• The urea breath test with isotopes of carbon
H. pylori converts urea to carbon dioxide. Ten minutes after administration of specific substances with urea to measure carbon dioxide in your breath. This test can accurately determine whether you have H. pylori infection; moreover, it is used to find out whether successful treatment.
A blood test will help to measure antibodies to H. pylori to determine whether you are impacted by this bacteria. The test can give positive results for several years after infection, so it cannot be used to determine the success of treatment.
H. pylori can be detected in the stool, so this analysis will help to determine whether you have the infection.
• Biopsy of tissues
This is the most accurate method to determine whether you have the infection. Using the procedure of endoscopy (outpatient) from the inner wall of the stomach pinch off a tissue sample.
Effective treatment options
If the test for H. pylori was positive, you have two options for treatment. H. pylori infection is in the intestines of many people worldwide, but the symptoms are not at all. Bacteria spread by mouth-to-mouth with contaminated food and water. Some diet and lifestyle give bacteria the opportunity to infiltrate into the bowel and cause symptoms of a peptic ulcer.
You can choose a combination of antibiotics to fight bacteria, but will soon discover that you need to make a choice in favor of other long-term strategies for long-lasting relief of symptoms. Alternatively, you can use the following strategies to facilitate health ulcer and to control the level of H. pylori in the gut, thereby tackling the root of the problem.
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Processed foods and sugars upset the balance of microflora in the digestive tract and promote the growth of pathogenic microbes. The use of these, ideally organic, foods is the first step towards restoring a healthy bowel. Reduce the consumption or totally abstain from those foods that you notice cause pain. As soon as the gut heals, many people refuse mints, coffee, alcohol, nicotine, and chocolate.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria to perezaselyat the intestine with beneficial bacteria. This will suit any traditionally fermented foods or a high-quality Supplement with probiotics. They will help to reduce the growth of bacteria H. pylori in the intestine in a natural way.published econet.ru
© Dr. Joseph Mercola
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