How to deal with stomach ulcers?
Stomach ulcer is a dangerous disease that cannot be left untreated. One of its features is the periodic attenuation of the main symptoms, which can mislead the patient, undermining his health for years. What are the reasons for the development of this disease and how should it be properly treated?
What is a stomach ulcer?
A stomach ulcer is a common disease of the digestive system, which is characterized by the presence of defects (ulcers) on the mucous membrane of the specified organ.
The disease has a cyclical nature of the course: periods of exacerbation are replaced by persistent remission, which greatly complicates the diagnosis and treatment of the ulcer. Statistics say that men aged 20-50 are most susceptible to this disease. The disease is also seasonal, with most diagnosed cases occurring in the spring and fall.
The main reasons for the development of stomach ulcers include damage to the inner wall of the stomach by the microbe Helicobacter pylori. This microorganism belongs to conditionally pathogenic microflora and is present in the body of most people.
However, in order for an ulcer to develop, additional factors must be present, among which the greatest importance is given to frequent stress and anxiety. This is because they contribute to malfunctioning of the nervous system, causing spasms of blood vessels and gastric smooth muscles. Poor blood circulation leads to a deficiency in the normal nutrition of soft tissues, which become defenseless against the action of the aggressive acidic environment of gastric juice. As a result, an ulcer may form on the stomach wall.
In addition, the development of stomach ulcers is affected by:
- genetic predisposition;
- unbalanced nutrition (predominance of spicy and heavy foods in the diet);
- abuse of alcoholic beverages that reduce the protective properties of the gastric mucosa;
- smoking (interferes with proper digestion);
- long-term use of certain medications.
The defeat of the microbe that causes stomach ulcers occurs in a contact way: through dishes, bedding, while visiting public toilets, and also if personal hygiene is not followed. Once in the body, the causative agent of the disease begins to actively produce substances that contribute to the disruption of the normal secretion of protective mucus, which leads to the formation of lesions.
The main symptoms and manifestations of an ulcer
The main symptoms of peptic ulcer disease include painful sensations. The range of their manifestations is quite wide: from sharp and severe pain to barely perceptible. This symptom usually appears during meals. Moreover, it was noted that the higher the ulcer is located on the wall of the stomach, the earlier it appears. The defeat of the upper parts of the main digestive organ causes painful sensations half an hour after eating, medium – after an hour, and if the ulcer is localized in the lower part of the stomach – after several hours.
Skipping meals also contribute to the development of painful sensations, so it is necessary to follow the diet. The pain may worsen with intense physical activity or the use of strong alcoholic beverages.
A stomach ulcer causes painful sensations of varying intensity. When it is localized on the upper walls of the stomach, the pain is usually mild and is accompanied by heartburn and belching. The defeat of the middle sections leads to pain of moderate intensity and frequent nausea. An ulcer located in the lower parts of the stomach causes painful attacks mainly in the evening and at night. Their duration can be up to 30-40 minutes. Other symptoms of this location are intense salivation and prolonged heartburn.
Diagnosis and treatment of ulcers can be difficult due to the wandering nature of the pain. Since they are not always concentrated in the area of the affected organ and can be given to:
- the left half of the sternum;
- lower back;
- right ilium;
- right hypochondrium.
Therefore, the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease can often be confused with manifestations of cardiovascular diseases. In addition to the manifestations described above, this disease corresponds to:
- heaviness in the stomach after eating;
- nausea and vomiting;
- loss of appetite;
- pain on palpation of the stomach;
- increased gas formation;
- white coating on the tongue;
- intense salivation;
- weight loss.
A particularly alarming symptom is vomiting with blood, which indicates gastric bleeding. This state also corresponds to a drop in pressure, an increase in heart rate, a general breakdown and even loss of consciousness. If such phenomena appear, you should immediately seek medical help.
Prevention and treatment of ulcers
The prevention of peptic ulcer disease is usually divided into: primary (aimed at stopping the disease) and secondary (helps to reduce the risk of re-infection and ulcer development).
Primary prevention measures for stomach ulcers include:
- the patient has an individual set of dishes, tableware and bedding, as well as towels;
- rejection of bad habits;
- timely treatment of dental diseases;
- treatment of all existing chronic diseases and hormonal disruptions;
- organization of a balanced diet;
- exclusion from the diet of spicy, smoked or very hot dishes;
- adherence to the correct daily routine;
- regular exercise.
Secondary prevention of peptic ulcer disease includes:
- undergoing scheduled medical examination (twice a year);
- adherence to a diet developed by a gastroenterologist;
- performing prescribed physiotherapy procedures;
- taking medications;
- control of the state of chronic foci of infection;
- regular delivery of the necessary laboratory tests.
Diagnosis of stomach ulcers involves mandatory gastroscopy – a procedure that allows you to determine the exact location of the lesion, its size and depth.
Ulcer treatment depends on the degree of ulceration of the gastric mucosa, the duration of the disease, and other factors. The therapy is complex and includes:
- taking the necessary medications;
- adherence to the prescribed diet;
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle;
- lack of frequent stressful situations;
- physiotherapy treatment.