In January of 2019, news broke that formerly popular rapper, Lord of Ajasa was suffering from peptic ulcer disease and was raising funds for surgery for the condition. If you were like many others, you probably weren’t sure what peptic ulcer is and that surgery can be required for it. Here are some more information and facts to help you better understand peptic ulcer disease.
4 facts about peptic ulcer disease in Nigeria.
1. The most common symptom related to peptic ulcer disease is heartburn.
Heartburn is a feeling of burning in the center of the chest. Many people have this symptom but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have an ulcer. It may just be a simple acid overflow from the stomach. To have an ulcer, the lining of the stomach or intestine must be damaged to a certain degree. Hence Peptic ulcer disease is the loss of the lining of the intestine usually due to acid from the stomach.
2. Painkillers can contribute to it.
Tablets like Aspirin, Diclofenac and Ibuprofen can contribute to causing peptic ulcer disease as they reduce the body’s own protection from the acidic environment of the stomach. These tablets are collectively known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). The tablets are quite effective in reducing fever, pain and inflammation from diseases. When they are taken too much, however, they damage the lining of the stomach and intestine and can lead to ulcers forming. It’s important to only take them for a short time and not abuse them as they can also damage the kidneys when abused.
3. Peptic ulcers can create a hole in the intestine.
Sometimes when an ulcer is severe it can cause the intestine to perforate. When this happens, it makes the sufferer very sick with severe pain in their belly and several other symptoms. This hole is usually repaired by surgery. Another reason for surgery may be bleeding from an ulcer. This bleeding can manifest as vomiting blood or having a very dark stool that looks like tar. If any of these symptoms are present, especially with a history of heartburn, it’s important to visit your doctor urgently.
4. A bacteria known as H.pylori contributes to peptic ulcer.
This bacteria is able to survive the acidic stomach and cause an ulcer to form. Tests to find the bacteria can be done easily and when positive treatment given with a regimen of anti-acid medications and antibiotics. Anti-acid medications are of several types. typically they block your stomach from producing too much acid.
The discovery of the H.Pylori bacteria was quite remarkable as many scientists couldn’t believe that a living organism could exist in the stomach. You see the stomach is very acidic with a pH of 2. If this acid were to be thrown on your face it would disfigure you. This level of acidity kills must bacteria. There was however an Australian doctor who had done research to discover this bacteria. Despite his work showing the existence of the bacteria, many people didn’t believe him. They simply thought that it was impossible for anything to survive such a highly acidic environment in the stomach. So he did the unthingkable. He swallowed a cup full of the bacteria. Soon after he began to experience very bad ulcer symptoms and test showed that he did indeed have the bacteria in his stomach. He treated himself successfully with antibiotics and went on to win the Nobel prize for medicine.
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