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Stomach Ulcer

stomach ulcer

DEFINITION

A stomach ulcer involves an erosion in a person's gastrointestinal tract. An ulcer may also be referred to as a, 'Peptic Ulcer.' The most common form of ulcer is a duodenal ulcer which occurs within the first foot of a person's small intestine, just beyond their stomach. Ulcers which form in a person's stomach are referred to as, 'Gastric Ulcers.' Ulcers are neither cancerous, or contagious; duodenal ulcers are nearly always benign, and stomach ulcers may become malignant. Stomach ulcer disease affects millions of citizens in America each year. The size of the ulcer a person may experience ranges from between an eight of an inch to three-quarters of an inch.

Stomach ulcers can be a symptom of other conditions or disease, and are common in mastocytosis. Bleeding from stomach ulcers can cause a person to experience iron deficiency anemia. Children may also develop stomach ulcers. Approximately twenty-million Americans develop at least one stomach ulcer during their lifetime. Greater than forty-thousand Americans have surgery due to persistent problems or symptoms related to ulcers each year, while approximately six-thousand Americans die every year from stomach ulcer related complications.

A person's stomach is a bag of muscle which mixes and crushes food with pepsin and hydrochloric acid. Should the lining of the person's stomach or duodenum experience damage, the pepsin and acid work on the lining of their stomach in the same manner as they would food, breaking the lining down as they would to digest it. Too much pepsin and acid may damage the lining of the person's stomach, causing an ulcer. Damage may also come from other causes, making the person's stomach more susceptible to what might otherwise be ordinary levels of gastric acid.

Persons who remain untreated for ulcer could experience a bleeding ulcer. A bleeding ulcer is one that has eaten into the person's blood vessels, causing the person's blood to seep into their digestive tract. The person may also experience a perforated ulcer, a form of ulcer that has essentially eaten a hole in the wall of their stomach or duodenum, allowing partially digested food and bacteria into the hole, causing inflammation. Persons with untreated ulcers may also experience an obstruction or narrowing of their intestinal opening which prevents food from leaving their stomach and entering their small intestine.

CAUSES

Peptic ulcers are directly caused by the destruction of either the intestinal or gastric lining of a person's stomach by hydrochloric acid, a form of acid that is present in the digestive juices of the stomach. An infection, caused by the Helicobacter Pylori bacterium, is believed to play a role in causing both duodenal and gastric ulcers. The bacterium can be transmitted from person to person via food that has been contaminated, as well as through water.

An injury to the gastric mucosal lining, in combination with a weakening of the person's mucous defenses, can also cause a gastric ulcer. Excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid, psychological stress, as well as genetic predisposition, are contributing factors to either the formation or worsening of duodenal ulcers. Chronic use of anti-inflammatory medications, as well as cigarette smoking, can worsen duodenal ulcers, or cause treatment to fail.

A person's stomach defends itself from pepsin and hydrochloric acid through the creation of a mucus coating which shields their stomach, production of bicarbonate, and circulation of blood to their stomach lining in order to assist in both cell renewal and repair. Should any of these functions which protect a person's stomach experience impairment, an ulcer may form. Caffeine stimulates the secretion of acid in a person's stomach, aggravating pain associated with an existing ulcer. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxin, or piroxicam, can interfere with the stomach's ability to produce both bicarbonate and mucus, as well as affecting the flow of blood to a person's stomach, hindering cell repair and causing the stomach's defense mechanisms to fail.

Alcoholic cirrhosis has been linked to increased risk of ulcers, while heavy drinking has been shown to delay the healing of ulcers. While emotional stress may not cause ulcers, people who have ulcers report that emotional stress has increased the pain they experience in association with ulcers. Physical stress increases a person's risk of developing gastric ulcers.

SYMPTOMS

The main symptoms related to an ulcer include burning and a gnawing sensation in the stomach which last anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. The pain associated with an ulcer is often interpreted as indigestion, hunger, or heartburn. Some persons experience the symptoms right after eating; others may not experience symptoms until several hours later. Persons with ulcers may have pain that awakens them at night. Some people experience pain for weeks, followed by weeks where they do not have pain at all.

A stomach ulcer affects the nerves which surround it. The nerves that are affected become agitated, causing the person pain. Stomach ulcers may cause hemorrhages due to erosion of a major blood vessel, or a tear in the wall or the person's intestine or stomach. The result may be peritonitis or an obstruction of the person's gastrointestinal tract due to either swelling or a spasm in the area of the person's ulcer. The risks of developing an ulcer can include:

* Chronic disorders such as liver disease, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis
* Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids
* Improper diet, irregular or skipped meals
* Stress may be a contributing factor
* Excess alcohol consumption
* Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
* Family history of ulcers
* Type O blood
* Smoking

Persons who have an ulcer may or may not experience any symptoms. Symptoms associated with an ulcer can include:

* A gnawing or burning pain in the abdomen
* Blood in vomit or stool
* Loss of appetite
* Loss of weight
* Weakness
* Tiredness
* Vomiting
* Nausea

With our many years of experience, our centre provides effective treatment with combinations of natural herbs which is very effective in curing this illness. Please mail us your problems and we will get back to you soonest possible.

                                (Wong Medical Centre)

No. 54, Jalan Pasir Putih                      14 & 16 Jalan Lapangan Siber 1

Taman Shatin                                        Bandar Cyber

31650 Ipoh                                             31350 Ipoh

Perak                                                     Perak Malaysia

Contact No. : 012-4520077                      012-5036040   /  05-3114022

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