Are you having frequent complaints of heartburn? Or experiencing regular tummy aches? If so, you might be dealing with a peptic ulcer.
According to the NCBI, yearly, around 3000 people that suffer from gastric and duodenal ulcers do not make it. Technological advancements in the medical industry have allowed for a new and better cure for such medical complications. One such treatment is stem cell therapy. Stem cells are a type of cell that has not yet fully differentiated. They can greatly help heal wounds such as ulcers. They can also help regenerate tissues, repair damage, and form new blood vessels.
Read on to learn about peptic ulcer disease, its symptoms, causes, and treatments. We will also cover how stem cells can help with this disease.
What exactly is peptic ulcer disease?
The human body has a natural defense mechanism called the immune system. It protects the body against pathogens and other harmful substances. When this defense system is compromised, it may increase stomach acid production, which results in an ulcer. The immune system also plays a crucial role in healing peptic ulcers by producing white blood cells that can fight off infection or bacteria inside the stomach lining.
Peptic ulcer disease is when the lining of the stomach or duodenum (upper small intestine) becomes inflamed and develops holes. The ulcer can be painful, and sometimes bleeding occurs from it.
It is caused by stomach acid and pepsin (a digestive enzyme) that leak from the stomach into the duodenum. Too much acid in the stomach or too little protective mucus in the duodenal lining can be the cause. These peptic ulcers can be found in either the esophagus or the stomach.
The various forms of peptic ulcer
What is peptic ulcer disease? To better answer this question, let us look at its two types.
This type occurs in the stomach and can be caused by long-term use of medications usually prescribed for other conditions, such as acid reflux disease or heartburn. It can also be caused by a bacterial infection such as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Changes in the gastric mucosa due to alterations in the stomach’s defense mechanism are responsible for erosions and ulceration.
The most common place for these peptic ulcers is at the higher end of the small intestine, a duodenum. Duodenal ulcer results in persistent abdominal pain that can be alleviated within days through proper treatment.
Signs and symptoms of illness
The main symptoms of peptic ulcers are abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. There may be a burning sensation in the upper abdomen. This can occur on an empty stomach or in between meals. Potential patients in the early mornings particularly experience it after having coffee or a glass of orange juice.
Taking pertinent medicine such as antacids can reduce the pain for a short while, but the ulcer often reappears. The discomfort can last a few minutes, hours, or even weeks. Sometimes, it may not be constant but will momentarily come and go.
Some more of the peptic ulcer disease symptoms include:
- Dark or bloody stool
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Bloating after eating
- Feeling full quickly after eating only a little food
Reasons why you might get a peptic ulcer
The stomach’s acid causes the disease, and enzymes irritate and erode the esophagus lining, stomach, or duodenum.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can cause peptic ulcers. Your body produces a chemical that helps to protect the stomach lining and small intestine from stomach acids and enzymes. NSAIDs stop your body from making those chemicals and make your body susceptible to the disease.
Other common peptic ulcer disease causes may include:
- Gastritis is caused by infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
- Use of corticosteroids, such as prednisone
- Smoking or alcohol use
- Radiation therapy
- Hiatal hernia
- Lack of stomach acid
- Poor diet
- Stomach cancer
Common methods used to treat stomach ulcers
If you experience the symptoms stated above, it is incumbent upon you to visit the doctor. If your doctor suspects an ulcer, a breath check or stool test will help determine if you have the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. If an ulcer is found, the doctor will prescribe you the relevant medicines, such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. The medicine or treatment’s goal is to strengthen your stomach lining or reduce the amount of stomach acid that builds up in your stomach.
The common peptic ulcer disease treatments include:
- Proton pump inhibitors(PPI) to reduce acid.
- Antibiotics if helicobacter pylori bacteria cause the disease.
- Bismuth protects the wound from stomach acid and kills bacteria.
- Carafate coats the stomach lining and protects it.
- Antacids for temporary relief.
- Lifestyle changes such as dieting.
- Surgery to remove part of the stomach.
While treating your peptic ulcer, avoid NSAIDs. If you continue to use these, the ulcer will be more difficult to heal. Even if it goes away, it may end up returning.
How can stem cell therapy aid ulcer patients?
Peptic ulcer disease is a chronic condition that can be cured with the help of stem cell therapy.
Stem cells are a group of cells that are derived from one original stem cell. Further, stem cells are generated from the existing ones. These are grown in the lab and frozen for storage.
Stem cells are immature cells that can develop into any kind of cell in the body. The idea is that these cells will help the body heal, including in cases where the stomach lining has been damaged by acid or other substances.
As a peptic ulcer treatment, stem cell therapy is one of the most promising avenues because it stimulates the growth of new cells and regenerates damaged tissue, which leads to increased protection from acid reflux and other problems that come with this condition. This regenerative medicine is shown to substitute scarred tissue with freshly produced healthy tissue.
Stem cell therapy helps stimulate tissue repair, improving the rate at which the perforations are healed. The anti-inflammatory properties in the stem cells aid in reducing the swelling caused by ulcers.
Stem cell therapy has revolutionized the way many health conditions are being treated. Stem cell injection has shown promising results in wound healing and regeneration of injured tissue, which directly helps recover from the effects of ulcers. If you suspect you have the disease, book a doctor’s appointment instantly to get safe peptic ulcer treatment and discuss the stem cell therapy for your case.
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