Sunday, March 29, 2009

Health Tips for March 29

Health Tip: Warning Signs of Peptic Ulcer

A peptic ulcer is a sore that occurs in the lining of the stomach or small intestine.

A bacterium, called H. pylori, causes the sore to form. While the foods you eat don't cause peptic ulcers, foods can aggravate these sores.

Peptic ulcers can be treated with antibiotics and acid-reducing medications.

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse lists these common warning signs of a peptic ulcer:

  • Dull pain in the abdomen.
  • Abdominal pain that fluctuates, but often occurs on an empty stomach or several hours after a meal.
  • Abdominal pain that subsides after eating or taking antacid medications.
  • Loss of weight and lack of appetite.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Feeling bloated or frequent burping.

Health Tip: Treating an Ulcer

Ulcers are sores that occur in the lining of the digestive tract. They can be triggered by factors such as bacteria, medication or excess production of stomach acid.

If you have an ulcer, here are things you should discuss with your doctor to promote healing, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Medications can help ulcers heal. Antibiotics are prescribed to thwart bacteria, and other medications may be taken to help reduce stomach acid.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Don't take anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in your diet. If you do have some, try to make sure it's after you've eaten a meal or snack.
  • Don't eat foods that seem to aggravate your ulcer. Examples may include chocolate, coffee, certain herbs and spices, and some spicy foods.
  • Eat several small meals throughout the day, rather than one big meal.

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