Early Warning Signs Of A Stomach Ulcer And How To Prevent It

Date March 16, 2018 16:41

Stomach ulcers is a common medical condition which can affect many people. It is a type of peptic ulcer that transpires in the form of small holes or sores in the lining of stomach or small intestine. It induces burning and cutting pain in the abdominal area and affects approximately 1 out of 10 Americans. They are caused by the stripping down of a lining which protects both stomach and intestines affected by the acid production during digestion.

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Risk factors to look out for

Our bodies produce acid to digest food and protect itself from harmful bacteria. The stomach and intestines are shielded by a layer of protective mucus, which can be worn down due to the following risk factors:

  1. Frequent use of such anti-inflammatory drugs as ibuprofen and aspirin.
  2. Excessive alcohol and tobacco intake.
  3. Poor hygiene, which can cause various harmful bacteria.
  4. Use of steroids.
  5. Genetics.
  6. Age. Stomach ulcers most frequently affect people over 50, but can be developed at any age.

It is important to pay attention to your lifestyle and any changes that it may cause in your general condition.

The major risk factor is an overproduction of stomach acid, which can be inherent in many people. In this case, it is advised to minimize the intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Doctors can often suggest effective alternatives to NSAIDs, which are much better for the condition of stomach and intestinal lining.

Alerting symptoms

Stomach ulcers are treatable, but it’s important to be aware of the symptoms that accompany their development. The sooner you can detect first warning signs, the better your chances are to minimize the risks and stop the condition from spreading further.

Most common symptoms include:

  • acid reflux;
  • stomach pain;
  • indigestion;
  • weight loss;
  • nausea;
  • heartburn;
  • loss of appetite.

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Sometimes, aforementioned symptoms might not show up or be experienced lightly. However, there are more troubling factors signaling about the problem:

  • sharp stomach pain;
  • bloody stool or vomit.

In case of detecting a combination of listed symptoms, it is advised to seek medical consultation as soon as possible. Remember, ulcers are easily treatable especially at the early stages.

When to see a doctor

As previously mentioned, the combination of symptoms that most often occur with ulcers must alert the person. Any unusual discomfort which happens after food intake, such as stomach pain and heartburn, is a bad sign, especially if it starts to occur more and more often.

Everything must be done to avoid ulcers that progress and bleed. It will be visible in stool or vomit and accompanied by severe pains. In the worst case scenarios, surgical treatment might be involved, which is why it’s so important to look out for the primary symptoms of stomach ulcer.

There is, however, a way to avoid the development of an ulcer by controlling diet and lifestyle. Try to avoid previously mentioned risk factors, such as excessive alcohol and NSAIDs intake. In addition, a proper diet can significantly reduce the risk of disease development and stabilize digestion. Consider including more of the following products in your daily diet:

  1. Probiotic yogurt protects the body from harmful bacteria.
  2. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory qualities.
  3. Foods with high fiber content generally reduce the risk of stomach ulcer development.
  4. Vitamin C is the most powerful antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables which can stop bacteria.
  5. Foods rich in zinc, such as beef, oysters, and spinach, overall support the immune system.

Pay attention to any changes in your body and be attentive to yourself; you will be alerted of the issue before it has a chance to become a serious problem.

Source: HealthLine, MedicalNewsToday, WebMD

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.