Ulcers are no Laughing Matter
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 and affect both men and women. Untreated,
sufferers can look forward to a long siege with them. 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 every be
necessary and new medications act faster and better and offer
more relief than ever before.
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 that typically comes between meals
or in the middle of the night. Food or liquids, including
antacids and milk, can provide some temporary relief, but
milk might not be all that good a remedy since it stimulates
production of hydrochloric acid and other digestive juices
which further aggravates the pain.
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. But, because
antacids interfere with absorption of some medications, be
sure to go over this with your doctor and get his approval.
You should never ignore any warning signs of ulcers. Ulcer
complications are serious and in some cases can be life-threatening.
If paid from ulcers persists after more than 10 to 14 days
of self-treatment or comes back when treatment ends, you should
see your doctor. 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 and may erode
completely through the wall of the stomach or duodenum. If
this happens and the stom§ach's contents flow into the
abdominal cavity, severe infection can result. A perforated
ulcer is an emergency that requires immediate surgery.
It has been determined that 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.
And 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 stom§ach's lining and cause gastrointestinal
Ulcers have frequently been the target for humor in describing
the stereotypical aggressive, pressured, goal-or-career-oriented
person. But for those who have them, ulcers are certainly
no laughing matter. Peptic ulcers strike 1 out of ever 50
Americans each year.
As research continues, there is now mounting evidence that
something other than smoking, drinking, spicy meals, or a
possible battle with the boss may be associated with ulcers.
It is now believed that ulcers are the result of a combination
of conditions, the dynamics of which researchers don't yet