Gastric ulcer is one of the most common diseases in the world. In addition to pain, this disease has other symptoms such as burning and inflammation. Sometimes the disease is caused by taking certain medications or it has a source of infection.
If a person is suspected of having a gastric ulcer, using modern diagnostic methods, it can be easily diagnosed and treated.
Getting proper nutrition through your diet which contains vitamins and minerals and other healthy nutrients does not have to be complicated.
What is a Gastric ulcer?
Gastric or peptic ulcer is an open ulcer which is formed in the gastric membrane. This sore can also be formed in the duodenum. Both duodenal and peptic ulcers are sometimes referred to as gastric ulcers.
Gastric ulcer Symptoms
The most common symptom of a gastric ulcer is burning or pain in the stomach, but this condition is not always painful. Some people may experience other symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, loss of appetite, weakness, and weight loss. Sometimes a wound can be noticed only if there is a complication such as bleeding.
The pain caused by this disease can spread from the middle of the abdomen to the neck, navel, or back. It may last from a few minutes to a few hours and often starts after eating. You may also wake up overnight with severe pain.
Consuming indigestion medicines(anti-acid drugs) in some cases may help to temporary pain relief, but if the wound does not heal, the pain will come back.
Gastric ulcer Causes
When the protective layer of the gastric mucosa decomposing by stomach acid, a gastric ulcer occurs, which leads to damage to the lining of the stomach.
The main causes of this disease are consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and diclofenac can cause this complication, especially if taken for a long run or in high doses. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat pain, fever, inflammation and swelling. If you already have a gastric ulcer or have had it in the past, you may be advised not to take these medications.
Helicobacter pylori infections
Helicobacter pylori infections usually have no symptoms. These bacteria live in the stomach lining.
They can affect people of all ages, but in some cases, these bacteria irritate the gastric mucosa, and as a result, expose the patient to stomach acid damage.
These infections can break down stomach tissue against the acid produced by digestion, which causes damage to the stomach lining and lead to ulcers.
Diagnosis and prevention of gastric ulcer
Among the ways to accurately diagnose gastric ulcers are:
Urea Respiration Test: You are given a special drink that contains a chemical which is broken down by Helicobacter pylori. Respiration is then analyzed to determine if you have H. pylori infection.
Stool test: This type of sampling is used for bacterial infections.
Blood test: This sample is taken check antibodies to H. pylori. Antibodies are proteins that are naturally produced in the blood and help fight infection.
Gastroscopy: Some people have a gastroscopy to look directly into the stomach. This is done by passing a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) with a camera at the end into the mouth and down the stomach and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A small tissue sample may also be taken from the stomach or duodenum to test for H. pylori bacteria.
However, to prevent this disease, one should avoid stress, drinking alcohol, spicy foods and smoking. Also, eating foods that contain micronutrients to strengthen the stomach and digestive system can help prevent the disease.
Treatment of gastric ulcer
Treatment of gastric ulcer depends on the cause. Going through healing process, the wounds may heal within a month or two. If the disease is caused by a bacterial infection of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics and a drug called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) are prescribed.
If stomach ulcer is caused only by anti-inflammatory drugs, only one PPI course is prescribed. After considering the amount and timing of anti-inflammatory drugs, it is recommended that you use painkillers instead. PPI is sometimes used instead of a drug alternative called H2 receptor antagonists. In some cases, a drug called an antacid is prescribed to relieve symptoms in the short time.
Useful foods for gastric ulcers
Foods such as yogurt, milk, honey and asparagus have good bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics alter the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract. They help fight or treat H. pylori infection.
Apples, pears, oatmeal and other foods rich in fiber are good for this disease for two reasons. Fiber can reduce the amount of acid in your stomach while reducing bloating and pain. Research has also shown that a high-fiber diet can help prevent ulcers.
There is evidence that vitamin A can help reduce the symptoms of the disease and can also play a role in preventing it. Foods high in vitamin A include spinach, carrots, cantaloupe and beef.
Vitamin C can be a good protector against this disease. It also plays a key role in wound healing. This nutrient is found in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis and broccoli.
At what age does a gastric ulcer appear?
Gastric ulcer can affect people of all ages, including children, but the average age of people with the disease is between 30 and 60 years. Studies show that men are more likely to get this disease.
The role of micronutrients in treatment of gastric ulcer
The treatment regimen and adjustment of calorie intake per day should be done according to the patient’s needs and with the aim of improving his nutritional condition. Nutrient intake varies in the acute phase or recovery phase of the disease. In the recovery phase body needs more protein and some micronutrients such as vitamins A and C, zinc, selenium, fiber, natural antibiotics and probiotics.
Probiotics are a type of bacteria that have living microorganisms. Clinical data have shown that some probiotics are effective in the treatment of different diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. One of the eating habits that may help reduce the incidence of gastric ulcer infection is the addition of probiotics to the diet. They have the ability to reduce bacterial load and infection in animals and humans and are useful in improving the symptoms of indigestion.
Antioxidants and fiber
The best way to kill bacteria is to consume antioxidants. According to some studies, vitamin C has an important effect on eradicating bacteria in patients with gastric ulcers. These studies have shown that taking a little vitamin C for a longer period of time is better than consuming a large amount for a short period of time. Therefore, it is recommended that patients with gastric ulcer take a maximum of 500 mg of vitamin C per day for three months.
Reports have shown that a large number of people with gastric ulcers did not have diets high in fiber and antioxidants. According to the World Health Organization, these patients should consume 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day because it reduces the concentration of bile acids in the stomach. Fiber can reduce bloating and thus reduces discomfort and pain in the gastrointestinal tract.
Gastric ulcer is a disease that can occur at any age. This is due to the overuse of anti-inflammatory drugs and thus the development of a specific type of infection that affects the stomach tissue. Symptoms include stomach pain and heartburn. Accurate diagnosis of this disease has been made possible using new technologies and various tests.
There are a variety of medications available to treat this disease, but people can strengthen their stomach, treat and even prevent the disease by taking dietary supplements and eating the right foods containing probiotics, antibiotics and fiber.