Ulcers Are No Laughing Matter

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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

You should never ignore any warning signs of ulcers. Ulcer
complications are serious and in some cases can be life-threatening. If pain
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 haemorrhage, 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 stomach'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 stomach's lining and cause gastrointestinal

Ulcers have frequently been the target for humour 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
fully understand.

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