We all know someone who has Peptic Ulcer Disease or ‘Ulcers’ as they are commonly called and while you might think that you know all there is to know about it, here are 3 facts about ulcers that might surprise you.
The first fact is that not all ulcers show symptoms
This might be the most surprising fact about ulcers. According to various studies, about 70% of people with ulcers may not show any symptoms. This means that there are a lot more people with ulcers who have no idea they have it! Ulcers that are asymptomatic are usually small in size. Elderly patients as well as people who frequently use Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) also may not show symptoms.
The second fact about ulcers is that they could cause bleeding and other fatal complications
Just like we said that some people with ulcers may not have any of the pains and other symptoms associated with it, Ulcers can also cause severe bleeding and even death. These complications can get so bad as to require hospitalization and even a blood transfusion in rare cases. Most people don’t believe this fact about ulcers when they hear it but it’s true! Passing out bloody stool or vomiting bloody or dark brown vomitus might be an indication that the ulcer is worsening and requires a visit to the doctor. Please, stop ignoring your ulcer pains because they are manageable and see a doctor to get treated before it becomes a threat.
The third fact about ulcers is that they are not caused by hunger
Most mothers are fond of telling their children to eat so as to prevent ulcers. Well, it might surprise you to know that ulcers are not caused by hunger. Hunger can, however, make ulcer pains worse. Ulcers are caused by a combination of H. Pylori infection and prolonged use of NSAIDs. Other factors like taking alcohol, smoking and stress may contribute to worsening the ulcer as well.
Don’t joke with your ulcer
If you have an ulcer, the last thing you want to do is ignore it or neglect it because you can manage the pain. We encourage you to see a doctor regularly and ensure you complete any medications that you are given.
If you want to know more about the types of food that can help to control ulcers, click here.
Till my next post,
Dr Omotola Oke.