Gastric ulcer can be explained as the damage to the stomach or duodenum due to stomach acid and digestive juices. This damage to tissues can also lead to tissue loss. It is even possible that this tissue loss goes deep and causes wounds called inflammation.
Of course, this discomfort can cause very serious complaints for the patient. These complaints can become severe enough to negatively affect the quality of life and sleep quality of the person. Examinations also reveal that the problem of ulcers is more common in the spring months. We will also explain what symptoms are present in the case of stomach ulcers, who experiences it more common and how to treat them. However, it is useful to focus on the reasons beforehand.
What Causes Gastric Ulcer?
In general, we can say that the cause of gastric ulcer is the reduction of the mucus layer that protects the duodenum and the stomach. The mucus layer acts to protect the stomach and duodenum from digestive enzymes. However, due to the reduction of this layer, these tissues remain vulnerable. When we look at the causes of gastric ulcers, we can list the most common ones as follows:
- Unbalanced and unhealthy diet
- High salt consumption
- Swallowing food with little chewing
- Being hungry for a long time
- Consuming enough food to overfill the stomach
- Consuming unhygienic foods
- Genetic factors
It should be noted that smoking and alcohol consumption can also lead to gastric ulcers. In some patients, we can say that the drugs used for different reasons can also cause ulcers. One of the most important causes of ulcers in our country and around the world is the bacteria called “helicobacter pylori”. These bacteria can also damage the gastric mucosa and cause this problem in a short time.
What are the Symptoms of Gastric Ulcer?
Symptoms may not be the same in every patient. In some patients, the symptoms of stomach ulcers appear at an extremely mild level, while in some patients they can be severe enough to affect their night sleep. Therefore, it is possible to state that although the symptoms are similar, the severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. We can give a short list of commonly observed symptoms:
- Burning in the stomach
- Pain in the stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vomiting gives relief to the patient’s stomach
- Weight loss
- Bloating and gas problem
- Do not feel hungry often
- Feeling stomachache after eating
It should be noted that with all these symptoms, some patients experience back pain. Some patients even feel a mild pain in their stomach, and they may say that they have a more severe pain in their back. Of course, even if only one of these symptoms is seen, it is necessary to consult a doctor without wasting time. In this way, necessary examinations can be made. Appropriate treatment options for the patient are started immediately and the patient can be relieved in a short time.
How is Gastric Ulcer Treatment?
After the patient is diagnosed with a gastric ulcer, the most appropriate treatment planning is made. Medication is generally considered appropriate for treatment. These drugs are H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors. Their aim is to reduce stomach acid and thus to minimize complaints. By reducing the effect of the natural acid of the stomach on ulcers with medications, the complaints of the patients can be eliminated to a great extent. In particular, protein pump inhibitors are preferred drugs with the effect of reducing the acidity in the stomach. It can be said that these drugs have a stronger effect than H2 receptor blockers.
Of course, with the treatment, patients must definitely follow a diet. Within the scope of this diet program, which is also called “ulcer diet” among the people, patients should definitely avoid certain foods. Here are some examples of foods that should be avoided:
- Sour foods
- Onion foods
- Hot foods
- Spicy foods
- Foods high in sugar
- Foods high in fat
- Acidic drinks
In addition to all these, if patients pay attention to their daily water consumption and prevent their stomach from being empty for a long time, much better results can be obtained from the treatment. In a sense, we can say that in order for the treatment to be successful, patients also need to follow the ulcer diet because this diet is also very important in terms of reducing the complaints of patients.
Who Can Have Gastric Ulcer?
We can say that duodenal ulcers are more common than gastric ulcers in our country. When the rate of occurrence between women and men is compared, it turns out that it is seen 3 times more in men. We can say that it is a common disorder especially between the ages of 30 and 50. When people over 60 are examined, it is understood that stomach ulcer disease is more common in women after this age. We can also state that it is commonly seen in people who do not pay attention to their diet and have an unhealthy diet.
One of the frequently wondered factors is the link between stress and ulcers. Excessive stress or prolonged stress almost prepares the ground for ulcers. However, it can cause the existing ulcer to turn into a longer-lasting discomfort. Therefore, it can be mentioned that there is a close relationship between ulcers and stress.
Does Gastric Ulcer Turn Into Cancer?
One of the questions frequently asked by patients is about the risk of ulcers turning into cancer. Unfortunately, there is a risk of gastric ulcer disease turning into cancer. However, it is necessary to mention a critical element in this regard. Let us point out that the stomach ulcer is not the onset of cancer. In other words, ulcers and cancer do not mean the same. It should not be considered that someone who has an ulcer problem is at the onset of cancer. It should only be noted that there is a possibility that the ulcer will turn into cancer in the later period. For this reason, it is important that patients be treated immediately and followed closely.
How Is Gastric Ulcer Surgery?
About 40 years ago, when there was no stomach medication, the only alternative we had was to surgically remove the antrum, which is the acid-producing part of the stomach, but with the production and use of protective drugs, gastric surgeries have decreased significantly over time. First of all, in case of stomach ulcer, the patient does not need to be operated immediately. Of course, surgery is also a treatment option. However, surgical intervention is not required, as a successful result is obtained mostly with drug therapy. On the other hand, sometimes problems such as bleeding, narrowing or obstruction may occur.
However, the problem of perforation in the stomach can also be seen. In such cases, surgical intervention is inevitable. The operation is performed under general anesthesia and it is not possible for the patient to feel pain or pain during the procedure. We can say that the recovery period is not very long.
What Is Good For Gastric Ulcer Pain?
There are some points that need to be considered in order to relieve gastric ulcer pain in patients. Let us tell you about these points immediately:
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Make sure to have breakfast in the morning
- Pay attention to water consumption during the day
- Do not eat fried, overly sweet and salty foods or fatty meals
- Minimize tea and coffee consumption
- Consume 3 meals a day
- Make sure the portions are small
- Prevent the stomach from emptying for a long time
- Always consume yoghurt or milk during the day.
- Prefer steamed foods in the evenings during periods when the pain is very high.
How is a Gastric Ulcer Diagnosed?
The gastric ulcer complaints mentioned above are not enough to diagnose gastric ulcers. The easiest diagnosis is to perform gastroscopy on the patient. The reason why it is passed as endoscopy among the people is that the colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedure is called endoscopy.
During the gastro procedure, the endoscopist visually evaluates the stomach. If there is a problem, it takes biopsy (a small stomach piece) from that area of the stomach. The pathologist evaluates this biopsy piece. Treatment is arranged according to this pathology report.
Is Diet Important in the Treatment of Gastric Ulcers?
Ulcer is a disease caused by the destruction of the stomach because increased acidity in the stomach, gastritis not treated on time, liver dysfunction or insufficient bile acid, coronary artery heart diseases, frequent consumption of foods that are difficult to digest, excessive caffeine intake due to beverages such as tea and coffee, excessive consumption of alcohol and carbonated beverages. Individuals with ulcer disease should pay attention to the following nutrition rules.
- Food should be chewed well.
- The consumption of spices and spicy foods should be limited.
- Alcohol and carbonated drinks should not be consumed.
- Smoking increases stomach movements. Therefore, smoking should not be allowed.
- The drugs used in the treatment of ulcers can cause constipation problems. For this reason, a large amount of fiber (20-30 grams per day) should be provided.
- Salted and pickled foods such as pickles should be consumed very rarely, as they will adversely affect the stomach mucus layer. Adding extra salt to meals should be avoided.
- The consumption of beverages with high caffeine content such as tea and coffee should be reduced. 1-2 cups of coffee a day and tea should not be consumed more than 3-4 cups.
- The consumption of processed meat products with high salt content such as salami, soudjouk, sausage and bacon is strictly not recommended.
- Fatty foods such as fried, pastry and sauces with high fat content such as ketchup and mayonnaise should not be consumed.
- Meals should not be consumed too hot or too cold.
- Meals should be chewed very well and consumed slowly.
- An adequate and balanced diet should be followed. The time between meals should not exceed 2-3 hours.
Can a Patient with Gastric Ulcer Fast?
Long periods of fasting in patients with gastric ulcer during the fasting period may increase stomach acid and unfortunately lead to perforation of the stomach (peptic ulcus perferation). For this reason, patients with gastric ulcers should definitely fast under the supervision of a doctor.
Do Medications Cause Gastric Ulcers?
Some drugs unfortunately increase the acid secretion in the stomach, which causes the formation of ulcers in the stomach or the progression of the ulcer. These drugs, generally rheumatic drugs, aspirin, painkillers cause side effects on the stomach.
Our recommendation is to follow the doctor’s recommendations as well as taking these medicines full.
What Medication is used for Gastric Ulcer?
Drugs that reduce the acidity of the stomach, which we call H2 receptor, are used. However, recently, new drugs have appeared on the market, which is why these drugs are recommended to be used with the recommendations of the doctor.
What is the Difference between Gastric Ulcer and Gastric Reflux?
Gastric reflux is a condition that mostly concerns the esophagus (pharynx tube). Although the symptoms are the same, reflux patients have more severe symptoms such as burning in the throat, heart attack-like pain, bitter water in the mouth, such as sleeping on a high pillow at night, and because of the high rate of conversion to cancer in the future, patients who are resistant to treatment are recommended to undergo surgery.