While every disease has its own share of myths and believes attached to it, stomach ulcer is by far one the most widely misunderstood diseases. There are several complex mechanisms involved in the digestive system.
This makes it a little difficult to understand numerous reactions that involve the usage of a host of hormones and enzymes in our digestive tract. An imbalance in the secretion of enzymes or functioning of one or more organs in the digestive system can throw every single metabolic process out of gear, leading to disastrous changes.
The formation of stomach ulcer is one of the most commonly developed diseases observed in large sections of the society cutting across geographical barriers. The formation of ulcers is complex and intricate. An injury to the digestive linings immediately exposes the underlining tissues to harsh and strong enzymes. A prolonged exposure leads to development of wounds, finally causing ulcerous formation in the region.
With endless myths surrounding this stomach ulcer, it is crucial for us to understand the nature of the disease and receive appropriate treatment rather than believing several “theories” that do not necessarily have a scientific backing. So read on to discover about the common myths associated with stomach ulcer and educate your family members too:
Myth 1: Spicy food is the primary cause for developing stomach ulcer.
Spicy foods have not been proven to “cause” stomach ulcer. However, if you already have ulcers in your stomach linings, consuming an extremely spicy diet can lead to aggravation of the existing disease condition. Therefore, it is important for you to understand that spicy foods are only responsible for making the disease condition worse but are not responsible for triggering ulcer formation.
Myth 2: Stress triggers stomach ulcer.
Again, stress is not responsible for causing ulcer formation. In almost all the cases, ulcers are caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori. In patients where there is no incidence of bacterial infection due to Helicobacter pylori, the cause for ulcer formation could be excess and regular consumption of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. Stress is only known to aggravate ulceration by stimulating stress hormones but does not cause ulcer formation, unlike popular belief.
Myth 3: Stomach ulcer is not treatable.
When diagnosed early, stomach ulcer is very much treatable. Treatment depends on the causative factor. If you are suffering from bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori, your doctor would prescribe antibacterial medications to ease the condition. It is important for you to complete the course even if you feel better.
Discontinuing the medications midway will lead to recurrence of bacterial infection, making the condition worse. If using drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. is the causative factor, discuss with your doctor appropriately and keep him informed about your medicinal condition to receive alternative medications that do not have the same effect as these drugs in your body.
Smoking and drinking alcohol bring about various degenerative changes in your body, including aggravation of stomach ulcers. They release several harmful and irritating substances that damage the linings of the digestive tract, increasing the chances of ulcer development.
Consuming a balanced diet with reduced spice is helpful in preventing the pain associated with ulcer. Positive lifestyle changes, avoiding alcohol, controlling your smoking habits coupled with medications are adequate to prevent recurrence of the disease condition.
Photo Credit: Ulcerdisease.net