Saturday, January 21, 2012

Health Alert: Peptic Ulcer

When I was in 3rd year college and my schedule was very hectic because that was the start of our hospital duty and so I began to skipped meals especially breakfast to b e always on time and ended up eating at school with cold coffee and bread and that was my daily routine then. Then one day I have a terrible stomach ache and vomited for like 4 times and almost got dehydrated but thank God  my aunt gave me a medicine  and so they insisted to have me checked up to know was is my illness. The doctor performed the IAPEPA or the Inspection, Auscultation, Percussion and Palpation and after the assessment my doctor said that I have acute gastroenteritis (this is an inflammation of the stomach and the intestines). The symptoms of this are diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain and vomiting which was all evident to my experience. After my doctor assessed me, she gave me a medicine to prevent the progress of the disease. But when I was in my last year of college, it got worst and again I went to another doctor and scared as he gave me the result, he told me that I have peptic ulcer.

So peptic ulcer are sores that develop in the mucosal wall of the stomach, pylorus, duodenum or esophagus.
It has been associated with bacterial infection, such as helicobacter pylori (which was explained by my doctor with the use of a picture of our stomach), and is present in 70% of patients or persons with gastric ulcers and 95% with duodenal ulcers.  Its frequency ranges from 40 and 60 years old but nowadays this may develop as early as 16 years old or those who are still in school especially during college days.

  An image which shows an erosion in the circumscribed area of the mucous membrane.

The most common peptic ulcer is duodenal ulcer and its symptoms may last for days, weeks or months and may subside only to reappear without any cause (this usually happens to me). The symptoms are dull, gnawing pain and a burning sensation in the mid epigastrum or in the back (I usually wanted to massage my back area when these symptoms occur).  The pain is relieved by eating or taking alkali but once u have taken it the pain returns again (as for me, my savior for pain is an antacid which I have in my bag everytime I go out). I have also experienced burping with a sour eructation and constipation is always there if you have a disease like this.

My doctor explained to me that if I want to verify that I have really an ulcer, he told me that we can use endoscopy (visualization in the gastrointestinal tract). But of course I got scared so I decided not to have the procedure and take the medicines instead...hehe 

In order to prevent having an ulcer, it can be through medications, proper diet and home remedies.

Here are my tips to prevent an ulcer:
  •  Managing stress- stress can trigger pain
  •  My doctor also told me to avoid smoking( may interfere with the healing of your ulcer) and I don’t really smoke
  •  Avoid intake of alcohol, I don’t also drink alcoholic beverages  
  • Avoid eating spicy foods( I can’t help it, I just love spices)
  • Avoid drinking citrus juices or fruits- can increase the acid in your body
  • Proper diet- now I have to take 3 meals in a day. No milk or cream because they are potent acids stimulators and thus can trigger pain.
  • Take your medications on time
  • Drink atleast 8 glasses of water
  • Bring an antacid with you when you’re out of town, at work or at the mall.

I hope you can learn from my article and be very cautious with your health because as they say”Health is Wealth”

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