Lamendola, health and fitness expert (see my photos below)
Peptic ulcers, which are in the stomach and the duodenum
(the first part of the intestine leading from the stomach), can occur at any age. They
affect both men and women. Untreated, sufferers can look forward to a long siege with
But today's peptic ulcer sufferers have a brighter prospect for relief than did
those of even a single generation ago. There is now less than 1 chance in 18 that surgery
will ever be necessary. New medications act faster and better and offer more relief than
The warning sign of active ulcers you will most likely experience (if you get any
warning at all) is a gnawing discomfort in the middle or upper abdomen, typically comes
between meals or in the middle of the night. Food or liquids, including antacids and milk,
can provide some temporary relief. Milk might not be good a remedy, since it stimulates
production of hydrochloric acid and other digestive juices.
Antacids blended from aluminum, calcium or magnesium salts, have long been the non
prescription drugs most people quickly reach for to get relief from their stomach pains.
The biggest problem with this approach is you let the problem continue to fester, instead
of taking the appropriate action to get rid of it. You should never ignore any warning
signs of ulcers, or take antacids as a substitute for proper care. Ulcer complications are
serious and in some cases lethal.
The passing of blood through the bowels may be caused by some other problem, but it can
also be an urgent warning of a bleeding ulcer. Bleeding ulcers can cause anemia or, if the
ulcer gets larger it may expand into a major blood vessel. A leak can turn into a
hemorrhage, with only minutes available for life saving emergency treatment.
Ulcers can also perforate or erode completely through the wall of the stomach or duodenum. If this
happens and the stomach's contents flow into the abdominal cavity, severe infection can
result. A perforated ulcer is an emergency that requires immediate surgery.
Smoking doubles a person's risk for ulcer disease. Physicians and researches have found
that ulcers heal a lot slower for smokers, and smokers also have a higher relapse rate.
Smoking is just plain deadly, no matter how you cut it. Maybe you can accept a doubled
risk for ulcers. You still become a poster child for risk of heart disease, bone cancer,
arthritis, pancreatic problems, back problems, sexual organ dysfunction, eye disease, gum
disease, and premature baldness. Just to name a few. This long list of diseases comes
about because of three factors.
- First, smoking is like injecting yourself (and those
around you) with a concoction of over 500 chemicals known to cause cell mutation.
the carbon monoxide from smoking displaces oxygen and causes cells to die--brain cells
- Third, tobacco is vaso-constrictive, which means it causes blood vessels to
shrink, and thus deliver fewer nutrients to such places as hair follicles, joints of the
spine, your heart, and sexual organs.
- You can see how seriously damaging smoking is. Bear in mind, no cigarette has the ability
to differentiate who is smoking it directly from the butt end and who is smoking it from
the lit end. The smoke from either end has all the same toxins. If you care about your
children, don't smoke around them.
You're definitely at risk for ulcers if you take aspirin and any of the other products
containing aspirin. High-dose Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Maproxen and Piroxicam are in wide use
today for many conditions, especially to relive pain and swelling among the millions of
people who have arthritis. These medications can irritate the stomach's lining and cause
Many bodybuilders use aspirin to gain an edge, and they seem to
get good results. However, other body builders do just fine without this crutch. Don't get
on an aspirin kick. If you take aspirin for more than a single day, you are either masking
an existing problem or creating a new one. Fix the existing problem by seeking proper
care. Aspirin does not cure anything.
Ulcers have frequently been the target for humor in describing the stereotypical
aggressive, pressured, goal-or-career-oriented person. While this behavior may aggravate
an existing ulcer, it doesn't cause an ulcer. A bacterium (helicobacter pylori)
causes ulcers, and you aren't going to get rid of an ulcer without medical treatment to
kill all the ulcer-causing bacteria. What you can do is lower your risk of allowing the
bacteria to flourish in the first place.
We covered the risk factors earlier. If you
suspect you have an ulcer, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. If you are
the kind of person who considers a trip to the doctor a waste unless you find something
wrong or get a normally scheduled test done, then do this. When you make your appt., ask
if you can schedule one other routine test, such as a blood sugar count or cholesterol
test. Such tests won't take added time from your doctor's schedule, and will help
establish a baseline or reveal problems you didn't know about.