Ask the doctor: Why are my stomach ulcers not healing?

Ask the doctor: Why are my stomach ulcers not healing?

Ask the doctor: Why are my stomach ulcers not healing?

Ask the doctor:why are my stomach ulcers not healing?

Almost everyday here in Kampala, i hear a person say they have ulcers(stomach ulcers) which apparently requires them to eat more often and not miss their meals lest they get to feel the pain that results. For almost no good reason, they’re almost always ladies. It’s also true though medically that females are more likely to develop these conditions.

Anyway stomach ulcers, medically called ‘Peptic ulcer Disease(PUD)’,are simply sores(small wounds) on the lining of your stomach. Sometimes these sores can be on the lining of the upper part of the small intestine, in which case they’re called duodenal ulcers.Regardless of type, these ulcers affect the person in the same way with symptoms like this:

  • stomach pain
  • burning sensation in the chest
  • when the conditions become severe, you get worse symptoms like these:

  • bleeding from the sores
  • early satiety: l.e you easily get satisfied, with a feeling of fullness.
  • unexplained weight loss
  • painful swallowing
  • recurrent vomiting
  • anemia

Of course it should be important for you to know what can cause you to get ulcers(PUD) and the most common causes are:

  • bacteria: in this case H.Pylori;this bacteria is the commonest cause found in most patients. In most people, this bacteria infects them during childhood in some unknown way and it stays there until it can cause infection. H.Pylori can be passed from one person to another through saliva, fecal matter, vomit, etc. It can also spread through consumption of contaminated water or food .
  • Prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS). These drugs include ibuprofen, diclofenac, e.t.c

So you get some of the symptoms above and decide to seek treatment from wherever; health worker, herbalist, e.t.c. You take the remedy given and shortly after while, the symptoms come back and you wonder why your ulcers ain’t healing. From my observation from most patients; this is why your ulcers are not healing:

  • you’re taking the wrong medication e.g unspecified herbs. Herbs rarely target all the causes of ulcers and are thus poorly prescribed by the herbalist.
  • you’re taking part of medication and not the whole of it;The doctor prescribes about 3 different types of drugs, and you decide to take only one or two of them simply because you\re getting immediate relief.
  • You’re taking the ulcer medication for a shorter time period than is recommended e.g the doctor may prescribe for you drugs to be taken for a course of 10 days, and because you get relief after 4 days, you decide to stop the medication.
  • You’re still taking NSAIDS and have not told your doctor about it. As we have seen above, prolonged use of NSAIDS e.g ibuprofen, diclofenac, e.t.c usually results in development of stomach ulcers. If you’re on treatment for ulcers and you continue to take those drugs,chances are that you’ll get poor treatment results.Before you’re started on treatment, endeavor to tell the doctor all the drugs you’re taking so that a functional regimen is prescribed for you.
  • Your ulcers have developed into cancer. Yes, stomach ulcers untreated can often develop into stomach cancer, which changes the picture of your management because more aggressive approaches have to be taken to ensure that you can get healed.And believe you me, you don’t want to get to this point.
  • You have not stopped some of your detrimental habits like smoking and drunkenness. Smoking and drunkenness have an effect of continuing to irritate the stomach walls and therefore with ulcers, these habits have to e controlled.

If you are on treatment for ulcer disease, we recommend that you avoid the following substances for better treatment results:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac, etc.
  • aspirin
  • alcohol
  • caffeine e.g coffee, tea

In conclusion, we advise that whenever you develop symptoms similar to those of peptic ulcer disease, please endeavor to see a doctor or contact one of our doctors on for professional health advice and prescription. You can also always seek a second opinion about your treatment from our doctors or ask a question.

About the author

Samuel Kagamba is a medical doctor,computer programmer and entrepreneur; very passionate about developing technologies to improve healthcare delivery in Africa.Off duty, he loves soccer and making new friends.Follow him on twitter
@samuelkagamba or email him at facebook account: Samuel Kagamba.

Samuel Kagamba – who has written posts on Aferdoc Blog.

2 thoughts on “Ask the doctor: Why are my stomach ulcers not healing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *