Do you or someone you know have an ulcer?
Well . . . let's take today and discover the world of living with an ulcer.
What's it really all about???
Well . . . ulcers are simply "sores" that are slow to heal or keep returning. They can take many forms and can appear both on the inside or outside of the body. But today we're focusing on "stomach" and "small intestinal" ulcers. (which are in the same category of ulcers)
The most common causes of a stomach (peptic) ulcers are 1. an infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori, which we've spoken about in many other Health tips). 2. long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin IB and Aleve.
Now . . . many ulcers eventually heal on their own, but can reoccur if the cause of the ulcer is not eliminated or treated. And if ulcers keep coming back . . . the body has an increased risk of developing a serious complication such as bleeding or a hole in the wall of the stomach or small intestine.
Okay . . . so even though "stress" itself doesn't "cause" an ulcer . . . it can "cause" a "flare up" of one. And this is due to the release of extra "acid" produced and released in the stomach.
So how does all this happen???
Well . . . the bacteria from H. pylori or the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can break down the stomach's defense system against the acid it produces to digest our food. And with this . . . it allows the lining of the stomach or the small intestine to become damaged and form an ulcer.
so what are some symptoms we should look for???
Well . . . that would be . . . a dull pain in the stomach, sudden weight loss due to not wanting to eat because of the pain, nausea or vomiting, bloating, burping, acid reflux, heartburn or feeling easily full.
And what about foods that can cause discomfort with an ulcer???
They would be . . . coffee, chocolate, spicy food. alcohol and acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes.
Okay . . . with that being said . . . how does conventional medicine treat an ulcer???
Well . . . to reduce the stomach acid . . . they use "proton pump inhibitors" which block the action of the part of the cells in the stomach that produce the acid. With some of these drugs being . . . omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
So I guess the next question we need to ask is this . . . what are the long-term side effects of taking these drugs??? Because they don't cure the problem . . . they're just making life more comfortable to live.
Well . . . it's noted that proton pump inhibitors have potential adverse effects such as the risk of fractures, pneumonia, Clostridium difficile diarrhea, hypomagnesemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic kidney disease and dementia.
Oh man . . . that doesn't sound good!
Now . . . proton pump inhibitors are generally taken for 2 to 8 weeks, with doctors sometimes prescribing them for a longer period of time.
But . . . the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that proton pump inhibitors such as over-the-counter drugs should "ONLY" be taken for a single 14-day treatment, once every 4 months.
So how can they be prescribed to us for long periods of time? How can this be right???
And these proton pump inhibitors aren't even curing us!
So tomorrow we'll continue talking about natural ways to not only give us some relief from the pain and discomfort . . .
But . . . help to heal and/or cure the causes of an ulcer.
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