August 26, 2009

Are Stomach Ulcers A Sign Of Gastritis?

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Stomach ulcers, more accurately known as peptic ulcers, are ulcers that form in the digestive tract and involve erosion of the mucosal lining. These ulcers are often a sign of gastritis, which is basically the inflammation of the mucosal lining of the stomach. Strictly speaking, most peptic ulcers are not really stomach ulcers – they occur not in the stomach, but in the duodenum. However, there is usually a strong presence of acid in the duodenum too, which is why peptic ulcers can be quite painful. The typical symptoms of peptic ulcers, apart from the abdominal pain, include abdominal bloating, nausea, and sometimes even vomiting. If the ulcer is bleeding or if the esophagus gets damaged due to frequent throwing up, the patient may even vomit blood. In severe cases, if the ulcer remains untreated and continues to get worse, the stomach or duodenum may get perforated. This is considered to be an emergency – it is extremely painful and requires emergency surgery.

Gastric Stomach Ulcer

The link between gastritis and stomach ulcers is a rather complex one, although there may seem to be an obvious connection at first. Usually, the gastritis itself begins with a bacterial infection, typically by a species of bacteria known as helicobacter pylori. If the infection continues unabated, the constant inflammation of the stomach lining (which is essentially chronic gastritis) affects the regulation of gastrin, a substance that in turn regulates the production of gastric acid. If the production of gastric acid increases, the excessive amounts of acid start to erode the mucosal lining, eventually resulting in the formation of ulcers.

Peptic Gastric Ulcer

When treating peptic ulcers, it is important to identify the cause of the ulcers in order to treat the problem effectively. If gastritis is the cause, then it becomes necessary to identify the cause of the gastritis itself. As mentioned earlier, this is usually the result of a bacterial infection. If this is the case, antibiotics will be needed, and must be taken diligently as prescribed. Once the infection clears up, the inflammation will subside, and the ulcers will gradually heal on their own. In the meanwhile, it is important to avoid any unnecessary irritations that will worsen the gastritis and the ulcers. Spicy food should of course be avoided, and in addition, it is important to eat regular meals and avoid keeping the stomach empty for long periods of time. Smoking should certainly be avoided, as should certain drugs, particularly non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, which are themselves a common cause of stomach ulcers.