Stomach Ulcer is an open sore in that develops on the lining of the stomach-mucosa. The acid released in your stomach to digest food is strong enough to damage itself so, your stomach lining secretes mucus to protect itself.
The most common causes are bacteria (Helicobacter Pylori) and Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Other factors that predispose an individual includes Excessive alcohol intake, smoking, untreated stress and High spicy and fat foods, high-salt diet.
Signs and symptoms
- Burning sensation in the center of the tummy
- Hypercalcemia or overproduction of calcium
- Fatty Food intolerance
- Nausea and or vomiting
- Feeling of fullness, bloating or bleeding
When Should I see my doctor?.
Call your doctor if your stomach irritation lasts longer than a week and any of the following occurs:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting blood
- Extreme drowsiness
- Passing out suddenly
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Mostly these occur in chronic cases of gastritis.
Treatment and prevention
Dietary changes can help prevent stomach ulcers from developing. It is advisable that people at risk of stomach ulcers should include more of the following nutrients in their diet:
- Fruits and vegetables: Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is key to a healthy digestive tract lining. These foods are rich in antioxidants, inhibit acid secretion, and contain cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
- . Fruits, legumes, and vegetables, such as oranges and tomatoes, contain high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C may be effective in helping to eradicate H. pylori, especially when taken in small doses over an extended period
- Probiotics: Food that contains active bacterial content, such as probiotic yoghurt, can help to reduce a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
- Fiber: Diets high in soluble dietary fiber reduce the risk of developing stomach ulcers.
- Selenium: This may reduce the risk of infectious complications and may also promote healing. Brazil nuts, yellowfin tuna, and halibut are recommended for their high selenium content.
- Zinc: This micronutrient is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and healing wounds. Oysters, spinach, and beef contain high levels of zinc.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they both cause the body to produce more gastric acid.
It is important to support a treatment plan with dietary changes for the most effective outcome, as opposed to relying only on diet.
Surgery may be an option if the ulcer continues to return, will not heal, bleeds, or prevents food from leaving the stomach. Surgery can include:
- removing the ulcer
- tying off bleeding blood vessels
- sewing tissue from another site onto the ulcer
- cutting the nerve that controls stomach acid production
Complications from stomach ulcers are rare, yet these complications require urgent medical attention.
- Internal bleeding. Internal bleeding may lead to anaemia, pale skin, breathlessness and palpitations.
- Gastric Outlet Obstruction. This may occur when the inflamed or swollen part obstructs the normal flow or passage of food through the digestive tract.
- It occurs when the lining of the stomach is perforated or splits open.