A Consultant Public Health Physician, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, has urged stomach ulcer patients to seek appropriate treatment, noting that dieting cannot cure the health condition.
Dr. Anyaike who is also the National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme, said stomach ulcer is a wound on the walls of the intestine, stressing that the wound cannot heal with mere dieting.
Anyaike said it is risky for people to trivialise stomach ulcers, warning against self- medication.
According to him, some people have lost their lives to stomach ulcers, as a result of self-medication and their refusal to seek help from experts.
“It’s very wrong for someone to say that there is no drug for a stomach ulcer.
“For the wound to heal, the person has to take a drug. It is not true that you will just take food for the wound to heal.
“Ulcer is a wound on the walls of the intestine. The wound cannot just go like that without treatment,” the physician explained.
Dr. Anyaike noted that a stomach ulcer could cause internal bleeding if left untreated.
He said, “That is why some of those suffering from it die of internal bleeding. So, some people die of bleeding ulcers. That is why people should stop commonising it. There is no scientific evidence to show that ulcer has no treatment.
“So, how does the ulcer come about? Your body secretes a kind of fluid sometimes that is acidic. If it doesn’t see any food, it will start corroding the walls of the gut and if it corrodes the walls of the gut, that is how the wound starts. Although there is also a worm said to usually cause that too.
“Now, when you eat food and the food touches that place, you will start having pain.”
The expert said people suffering from stomach ulcers usually experience pain when the food that they eat touches the wound.
Dr. Anyaike said there are basic things that those battling ulcers could do to avoid the wound escalating.
“They should make sure that they prevent anything that will touch the wound; they should take something that will reduce the effects of acid.
“And they should take some treatments, antibiotics and others that can help in the healing of the wound.
“When people say there is no drug for ulcers, I do not think it is correct information.
“Any drug that will help the wound to heal takes care of it. The wound cannot just go like that without treatment.
“That is why if you are sick of ulcer, you have to go to the hospital and they will give you drugs and those drugs will reduce the pain and then give room for healing”, the physician added.
The physician advised people struggling with the health condition to avoid stress.
He said, “If you have an ulcer, you must make sure you don’t stress yourself.
“Eat well and avoid things that will trigger it. Take something mild, like milk, to reduce the effect of that acid.
“Eat at intervals and don’t keep your tummy empty. If you keep your tummy empty, once you take food, it will go and trigger the pain there.”
According to an online portal, the most common remedy for stomach ulcers is a combination of antibiotic drugs to kill the H. pylori bacteria and medications to get rid of acid in the stomach.