H Pylori: What It Is And How It Contributes To Ulcers
While there are a handful of common causes for ulcers, including overuse of NSAID pain relievers and frequent smoking or alcohol use, there is a bacteria that can frequently be blamed for triggering the damage to the protective mucus of the digestive tract.
This bacteria is referred to as H. pylori, short for helicobacter pylori. It is a spiral-shaped bacteria that attacks the mucus of the stomach and upper small intestine. The resulting damage leads to holes in the coating that are vulnerable to irritation from the bacteria itself as well as the searing digestive acid.
Theres no definitive understanding as to how H. pylori is contracted, but it is a common bacteria that can be present in the digestive tract. Its thought to spread through saliva contact or through food and water.
The problem with stomach ulcers caused from this bacteria is that they dont always produce symptoms. As many as 75 percent of people with ulcers wont have symptoms.
On their own, stress and spicy foods wont cause ulcers, but when H. pylori is present, these factors can aggravate the condition and lead to the formation of an ulcer.
Bottom line: H. pylori is a bacteria that attacks the mucus of the stomach and upper small intestine, contributing to and causing ulcers. While it can often go undetected, it can be aggravated by outside factors such as stress and spicy food.
Diagnosis Of A Stomach Ulcer
Diagnosing a stomach ulcer is done using a range of methods, including:
- Endoscopy a thin flexible tube is threaded down the oesophagus into the stomach under light anaesthesia. The endoscope is fitted with a small camera so the physician can see if there is an ulcer.
- Barium meal a chalky liquid is drunk and an x-ray is performed, showing the stomach lining. These tests are less common nowadays, but may be useful where endoscopy is unavailable.
- Biopsy a small tissue sample is taken during an endoscopy and tested in a laboratory. This biopsy should always be done if a gastric ulcer is found.
- C14 breath test this checks for the presence of H. pylori. The bacteria convert urea into carbon dioxide. The test involves swallowing an amount of radioactive carbon and testing the air exhaled from the lungs. A non-radioactive test can be used for children and pregnant women.
Cabbage Can Help Prevent Ulcers
Scientists think that it may be the amino acid glutamine that gives cabbage its anti-ulcer punch. Glutamine helps to fortify the mucosal lining of the gut and to improve blood flow to the stomach, meaning it not only helps prevent ulcers but can also speed healing of existing sores.
Recommended dose: Eat two cups of raw cabbage daily. Add it to salads, coleslaw, and wraps. You can also drink raw cabbage juice, sold in health food stores. Drink a quart a day for three weeks ifyou can stand it!
Find out more easy ways to improve gut health.
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How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you might have a peptic ulcer, he will take a full medical history and perform a physical exam. Diagnostic tests you might take include:
- Lab test for H. pylori A blood, stool, or breath test may be used to determine whether H. pylori bacteria are present in your body.
- Endoscopy During this procedure, a hollow tube with a lens will be passed down your throat to your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This will allow your doctor to look for a peptic ulcer and take a biopsy if one is present.
- Barium swallow For this test, you will swallow a white liquid containing barium, which coats your digestive tract. A series of X-rays of your upper digestive system will be taken and the liquid makes the ulcer more visible.
Best Ways To Naturally Prevent Ulcers In Horses
What can you do to prevent ulcers from developing in your horse? Equine ulcers are all too common, with studies showing that up to 90% of horses will be affected by ulcers in their lifetime.
Stomach ulcers, also known as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome , are most common in horses. But ulcers can occur along the entire digestive tract.
When ulcers develop in the hindgut, they are referred to as Right Dorsal Colitis or colonic ulcers.
There are multiple distinct causes of ulcers in horses. When a horse develops gastric ulcers, it is usually due to several interacting risk factors including diet, exposure to stress, workload, environment, and more.
Unfortunately, recurrence is very common after treatment unless the root cause of the problem is addressed. This is why its important to look at your horses overall routine and feeding program to identify ways to reduce the risk of recurrence.
There are many ways to naturally reduce the risk of equine ulcers and support your horses gut health. With a few simple changes, you can significantly decrease the likelihood of ulcers and other ongoing digestive problems.
In this article, we will discuss natural strategies you can implement to prevent the potential onset of ulcers in your horse.
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Reduce Your Horses Stress Level
Stress is a major contributor to the development of ulcers in both humans and horses.
Why? Stress elevates circulating levels of cortisol and other thyroid hormones. Short-term elevation in cortisol is not a health concern and can be a good thing.
However, ongoing stress causes chronically elevated cortisol levels which can .
Prostaglandins are involved in mucous production in the gut.
In rats, high cortisol levels were not directly associated with ulcers. But the low prostaglandin levels that occurred in conjunction with high cortisol resulted in ulcers.
In horses, there is significant evidence that stressors including high-intensity exercise, traveling, and environmental changes are associated with higher incidence of ulcers.
Gastritis: How Can You Prevent Painkiller
When taken for a long time, painkillers like diclofenac and ibuprofen can lead to ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. But the risk of this happening can be clearly reduced by also taking medication to protect your stomach.
Many people who have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis regularly take non-steroidal in order to reduce pain or inflammation in the joints. Commonly used NSAIDs include acetylsalicylic acid , ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen.
One disadvantage of these medications is that they often cause stomach and bowel problems when taken for several weeks or months. Stomach ulcers or duodenal ulcers may develop as a result. These ulcers are collectively known as peptic ulcers. The duodenum is the first part of the intestine just behind the stomach.
NSAIDs reduce the production of the hormone prostaglandin. One of the things prostaglandin does is increase the production of gastric mucus and substances that neutralize stomach acid. If there is too little prostaglandin, the stomach lining becomes more susceptible to damage from stomach acid. It can then become inflamed, and eventually ulcers may develop.
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What Tests Are There For A Stomach Ulcer
If your doctor thinks you may have a stomach ulcer, the initial tests will include some blood tests. These tests will help to check whether you have become anaemic because of any bleeding from the ulcer. The blood test will also check to see that your liver and pancreas are working properly.
The main tests that are then used to diagnose a stomach ulcer are as follows:
- A test to detect the H. pylori germ is usually done if you have a stomach ulcer. The H. pylori bacterium can be detected in a sample of stool , or in a ‘breath test’, or from a blood test, or from a biopsy sample taken during a gastroscopy. See the separate leaflet called Helicobacter Pylori for more details.
- Gastroscopy is the test that can confirm a stomach ulcer. Gastroscopy is usually done as an outpatient ‘day case’. You may be given a sedative to help you to relax. In this test, a doctor looks inside your stomach by passing a thin, flexible telescope down your gullet . The doctor will then be able to see any inflammation or ulcers in your stomach.
- Small samples are usually taken of the tissue in and around the ulcer during gastroscopy. These are sent to the laboratory to be looked at under the microscope. This is important because some ulcers are caused by stomach cancer. However, most stomach ulcers are not caused by cancer.
And If I Am Afraid Of Fgds What Should I Do
You should not be afraid of this procedure. At first, modern endoscopes these are tubes with a diameter of 8-11 mm, which reduces discomfort during the examination. Secondly, the patient can always make an examination in a state of medication sleep .
You need to be afraid not of the EGD procedure, but of the complications that are caused by an undiagnosed ulcer / Photo: Collage: Today
And thirdly, you need to be afraid not of examinations, but of those diseases and complications that can not be diagnosed in time by abandoning the procedure. In addition to endoscopy, to confirm the diagnosis, they also use laboratory tests, aimed at detecting Helicobacter pylori infection and assessing the state of the body as a whole.
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What If A Peptic Ulcer Doesn’t Heal
Most often, medicines heal a peptic ulcer. If an H. pylori infection caused your peptic ulcer, you should finish all of your antibiotics and take any other medicines your doctor prescribes. The infection and peptic ulcer will heal only if you take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.
When you have finished your medicines, your doctor may do another breath or stool test in 4 weeks or more to be sure the H. pylori infection is gone. Sometimes, H. pylori bacteria are still present, even after you have taken all the medicines correctly. If the infection is still present, your peptic ulcer could return or, rarely, stomach cancer could develop. Your doctor will prescribe different antibiotics to get rid of the infection and cure your peptic ulcer.
Nutritional Supplements For Gut Health
Natural dietary supplements can be an effective way to enhance your horses feeding program and promote gastrointestinal health.
There are many well-researched options to choose from. Some supplements are beneficial for preventing gastric or hindgut ulcers while others support overall digestive health.
Options for supplements to reduce ulcer risk include:
- Tumeric and Devils Claw
- Herbal Blends
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So How Do They Work Exactly
Antioxidant-rich foods like cherries, blueberries, kale, and spinach boost your immune system to more effectively fight infections and even help ward off stomach cancer.
Whats more, mom was right about forcing you to eat broccoli. Research indicates that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, shows anti-H. pylori functionality.
Probiotic foods can be a little more complicated to work into your diet, but they are worth the effort! Clinical studies indicate loading up on foods like miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi are like kryptonite for H. pylori bacteria.
Best Foods To Eat When You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers may require lifestyle and dietary changes to manage them while they are healing. Acid reducing medications may also be beneficial. Previously, a bland diet was recommended for stomach ulcers but current research does not support that idea.
This includes oats, legumes, flax seeds, nuts, oranges, apples, and carrots. These foods are good for you because they can help prevent ulcers from developing.
Vitamin A rich foods
Foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and collard greens contain vitamin A. These foods increase the mucus production in your gastrointestinal tract, which some believe can help prevent ulcers.
Emerging research indicates that green tea can help fight off H. pylori.
This includes garlic, onions, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and snap peas. Research suggests that these foods can help protect your gut against chronic gastritis, H. pylori infection, and stomach cancer. These foods help inhibit H. pylori growth.
This tart juice can potentially reduce the risk of H. pylori overgrowth in your stomach and prevent inflammation.
There are certain foods that could irritate your stomach ulcer, and it might be a good idea to limit them. Those foods include:
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What About Supplements
If youre currently taking antibiotics for a stomach ulcer, you might want to add a probiotic. Probiotics can help counter the negative effects of antibiotics on healthy gut bacteria while also making them more effective. Your doctor can help you decide which probiotic works best in your treatment plan.
Other H. pylori-fighting supplements to ask your doctor about include:
- deglycyrrhizinated licorice
What Causes An Ulcer
For almost 100 years, doctors believed that stress, spicy foods, and alcohol caused most ulcers. Now we know that most peptic ulcers are caused by a particular bacterial infection in the stomach and upper intestine, by certain medications, or by smoking.
In 1982, two doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren discovered a certain kind of bacteria that can live and grow in the stomach. Both doctors went on to win the Nobel Prize for their discovery. The medical name for these bacteria is Helicobacter pylori . Today doctors know that most peptic ulcers are caused by an infection from H. pylori.
Experts believe that 90% of all people with ulcers are infected with H. pylori. But strangely enough, most people infected with H. pylori don’t develop an ulcer. Doctors aren’t completely sure why, but think it may partly depend upon the individual person for example, those who develop ulcers may already have a problem with the lining of their stomachs.
It’s also thought that some people may naturally secrete more stomach acid than others and it doesn’t matter what stresses they’re exposed to or what foods they eat. Peptic ulcers may have something to do with the combination of H. pylori infection and the level of acid in the stomach.
When H. pylori bacteria do cause ulcers, here’s how doctors think it happens:
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Signs You Have A Stomach Ulcer And Natural Remedies
As many as 1 out of every 10 people in the US and other western countries will experience a stomach ulcer at some point in their lives.
These irritating and often painful sores in the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine can be easy to treat, but if not addressed, can cause serious health problems.
The stomach and small intestine have protective mucus that lines them and keeps them safe from erosion from the very acid we need for healthy digestion. Ulcers happen when something weakens or alters this mucus coating, and the tissues become damaged from exposure to acid.
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How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
It’s not known exactly how common stomach ulcers are. They have become much less common since the 1980s because of much more effective treatments. So people with stomach ulcers now usually get better much more quickly.
The term ‘peptic ulcer’ is used to describe ulcers that are caused by too much acid in the stomach. This includes stomach ulcers and also ulcers in the first part of the gut known as the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are less common than duodenal ulcers.
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Cure : Supplements & Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcer
Home remedies and supplements, in this case, go hand in hand. Home remedies could provide instant relief from the pain and the symptoms. However, using the supplements on a long term basis could not only cure your stomach ulcer, but it could also promote digestive health, thereby preventing the occurrence of an ulcer.
Keeping Your Stomach Healthy
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