|| Healthy Living gets the
hard facts about ulcers
Nausea and vomiting are early signs of ulcers. This condition is mainly caused by chronic infections or the use of anti-inflammatory medications. Healthy Living this week found out that the infection is transmitted in many ways.
Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
Ulcers are commonly associated with excruciating pain and discomfort when eating certain foods. Many street theories exist as to what is the cause for stomach ulcers. Gastroenterologist, Dr. Mark Musa, defines what really causes ulcers and what we can do about them.
Dr. Mark Musa, Gastroenterologist
An ulcer is a defect or a break in the lining of the stomach and it goes deep in the muscle layer so it leaves a crater in the stomach almost like a deep sore on the lining of the stomach. The two main causes is a chronic infection with a bacteria called the helicobacter pylori or h-pylori and this leads to chronic inflammation of the stomach and eventually ulcers form. The other main forms are medications and the common medications that do it are the anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, naproxen that we use for muscle and joint pain.
For years, people have believed that stomach ulcers are caused by untimely eating, weight factors, spicy food, and stress. While these are definite aggravators for ulcers the main culprit as was recently discovered is an infection.
Dr. Mark Musa
Twenty years ago before they realized that h pylori played such a huge role in peptic ulcers, it used to be thought of that people with type a personalities or a bit anxious or driven use to have a higher incidence of ulcers but that in many studies has been disproven. If you look at it in developing countries like Belize you’d probably have a prevalence like eighty percent of the adults having H Pylori, you would probably have an incidence of eighty percent of adults don’t have stomach problems so other factors awake the bacteria to cause damage to the stomach. So out of that eighty percent maybe fifteen percent would go on to develop gastritis, inflammation of the stomach and ulcers. It’s a very common infection and we don’t know exactly but it is transmitted multiple ways through contaminated food, water with close contact with people so more of a chronic infection; it’s not like your common gastroenteritis.
Like gastroenteritis though, nausea and vomiting is one symptom associated with stomach ulcers. Other symptoms include heartburn, bloating and most commonly a burning sensation in the upper middle abdomen below the chest bone. More worrying symptoms, the kind that means get to your doctor ASAP includes:
Dr. Mark Musa
Prolonged loss of appetites, you start losing weight, signs of bleeding either found incidentally if they are anemic or the patient may actually vomit blood or notice that their stool has become black or dark because four to five percent of stomach ulcers may be cancerous.
Cancer would be the worst case scenario but other complications include bleeding and perforation of stomach. Diagnosis is best conducted through an endoscopy when the case is already severe some forms of treatment can be applied during this process as well.
Dr. Mark Musa
For younger people, less than forty, if you’re symptoms are stable it needs investigating, but there is one approach where you do what is called test and treat where there are other ways you can test for the h-pylori. You can do a blood test and if the H-Pylori is present you can treat it.
Most importantly is that you seek treatment or further investigation should you still maintain symptoms of ulcers.
Healthy Living broadens its knowledge about stretch marks
Hazards: A Warning on Mixing Herbs and Medicine
Researchers are warning that popular herbs and supplements, including St. John’s wort and even garlic and ginger, do not mix well with common heart drugs and can also be dangerous for patients taking statins, blood thinners and blood pressure medications.
Average Aussie smoker spends $300,000 in a lifetime on cigarettes
The average Aussie smoker spends a whopping 300,000 dollars in his or her lifetime on cigarettes.
And, smoking an average 20 cigs a day means that a smoker will have puffed his way through 400,000 cigarettes by the age of 65, and 500,000 cigarettes by the time he dies.
Healthy Living: The pains of wisdom teeth and their removal
This week’s edition of Healthy Living looks at the wisdom teeth. It appears anytime past the
Healthy Living gets inside your migraine
There are different types of headaches, but one of the worst, is the migraine headaches. The symptoms may vary and include dizziness, weakness and even hallucinations. Healthy living this week looks at the two main classifications of migraines.
Big Benefits Are Seen From Eating Less Salt
In a report that may bolster public policy efforts to get Americans to reduce the amount of salt in their diets, scientists writing in The New England Journal of Medicine conclude that lowering the amount of salt people eat by even a small amount could reduce cases of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks as much as reductions in smoking, obesity and cholesterol levels.
Recognizing Key Diabetes Symptoms
When you have diabetes, your body has a problem with the production or effective use of the hormone insulin. Insulin is necessary to help your body use glucose — the sugar that is your body's most important fuel — and clear it from your bloodstream. If this system is not working, glucose builds up in your blood, which can result in a variety of symptoms and health complications.
New Health Rule: Quit Worrying About Your Health
Have you had your five to nine servings of vegetables today? Exercised for an hour? Cut back on saturated fat and gotten eight hours of sleep?
Dictating the rules for healthful living has become a cottage industry, with Web sites, talk shows and books (and health columns like this one) devoted to the dos and don’ts of staying healthy.
But when it comes to achieving these goals, many of us feel we are falling far short. Whether you’re a busy parent who can’t find time for exercise, a chronic dieter struggling to lose 20 pounds or a multitasker who gets by on six hours of sleep, it is virtually impossible to follow the rules.
MORE> NY Times
© SAN PEDRO DAILY, PO Box 45, San Pedro Town, Belize.