Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Medical or Self-Management of Peptic Ulcer Disease?

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Medical or Self-Management of Peptic Ulcer Disease?

Article excerpt

Medical or Self-Management of Peptic Ulcer Disease?

Regardless of what course of treatment one decides upon, a proper medical diagnosis should be the priority. Too many people embark on a path from which they leap to conclusions and then decide to treat their self-diagnosed ulcer with antacids.

Symptoms similar to peptic ulcer could be caused by unrelated factors. A competent physician will take a meticulous history, will note every symptom and the character of pain and will consider weight loss, change of bowel habits, and incidence of bloating and gas.

Also, because there are basic differences between the pain of duodenal ulcers and that of gastric ulcers, the information given to a professional can be highly significant.

Many anxious sufferers have mistaken hunger pains for ulcer pains. Others ignore subtle evidence while pursuing the misconception that all ulcers are constantly painful.

Modern medical management of ulcers no longer includes a bland diet, hourly feeding, and the use of milk for the purpose of depressing gastric secretion and providing gastric motor rest.

Because of the lack of evidence that such procedures were helpful, physicians now look upon such regimens with disfavor. Frequent feedings, for example, interfere with normal acid production and result in increased production of acid at night, when sleeping patients are unable to neutralize it.

Increased consumption of milk could result in an imbalance of calcium levels in the blood, causing milk-alkali syndrome, a condition that elevates other chemical levels and results in side effects such as dizziness, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, weakness, lethargy, headache, and behavior disorders.

Bland diets result in vitamin-mineral deficiencies, depriving the patient of much-needed nourishment and energy to deal with stresses of pain and prolonged treatment. …

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