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When stomach pain may mean danger

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Stomach pain could signify alot of things. However more often than not, stomach pain is a sign of trouble.
A stomach ulcer is a small erosion in the gastrointestinal tract but it is not contagious or cancerous. It is caused by destruction of the gastric or intestinal mucosal lining of the stomach that develops ino a wound.
"Normally when one smells food, acid                                                                                   is produced. Its this acid that digests food, but may also erode the stomach lining thus creating wounds which are called ulcers", Dr. Macrine Nyisomeh, a wellness consultant at International Hospital Kampala said.
Dr. Nyisomeh  adds that the common symptoms of stomach ulcers is the burning sensation in the upper abdomen going to the chest and most specific people relate it to meals. The burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach area that last between 30min and 3hours is interpreted as heart burn, indigestion or hunger. In some people, the pain occurs immediately after eating and in others until hours after eating.
Recurrent vomiting, blood in the stool and anemia are other symptoms. Ulcers affect the nerves surrounding it, they become agitated and cause a great amount of pain. "In the early years, ulcers used to block the stomach outlet which required an operation", said Dr. Macrine. Discomfort like too much gas in the stomach and a full stomach every time one eats little food may occur in cases of ulcers. "If you experience such symptoms, visit a trained personnel to get the required check ups when it is early enough", she says.
In an interview with  East African Business Week last week, Dr. Macrine said taking irregular meals increases on the chances of getting ulcers. "Taking too much oily foods like chips, sausages, chaps and other oils leads to the production of more acid  in the stomach which will increase your chances of developing ulcers.", she assures.
Pointing out smoking and alcohol as one of the causes, eating heavy meals especially very late in the night may increase on the chances of one developing ulcers. Most people from families with a history of stomach ulcers are at a high risk.
"This is because families eat the same foods and they have the same eating habits", Dr. Nyisomeh said, excess alcohol consumption, improper diet, and irregular or skipped meals increase on one's chances of developing a stomach ulcer. Stress does not necessarily cause ulcers but may be a contributing factor. Smoking is an important cause of ulcer formation and ulcer treatment failure.
The pain of ulcers may be relieved by drinking milk, eating and resting, taking frequent meals and avoiding periods of hunger and over eating, avoid caffeine containing foods and beverages, citrus fruits and chocolates.         
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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 May 2011 17:00 )  

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