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Whitehall of Deerfield - Healthcare Center

Avoiding stomach ulcers

For many years, people believed that stress or spicy foods were the reason stomach ulcers developed. But in the mid-1980s, this idea began to change as researchers investigated this painful condition and found different reasons that ulcers form. Here is what you need to know about stomach ulcers and how to avoid them.

What is a stomach ulcer?

There is a thick layer of mucus that forms a protective layer in the stomach so that the digestive juices do not eat away at the tissues that line the stomach. When this protective layer is reduced, the digestive juices can wear away the stomach lining and form a painful sore known as a stomach or gastric ulcer. This may sound awful but if treated early, ulcers can be cured.

What causes ulcers?

Researchers have found that in about 80% of ulcers, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is present and believe it is the reason ulcers form. When this bacterium is treated with a prescription medication, the ulcer goes away.

The other common cause for ulcers is the long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. These medications interfere with the body’s ability to protect the stomach from gastric acids making it possible for ulcers to occur.

Although stress and diet are no longer considered as the sole reason ulcers develop, both lifestyle and  spicy foods can irritate an ulcer that has formed and make it more serious.

What do ulcers feel like?

In most cases, the pain from an ulcer feels like a burning sensation in the middle of your abdomen. The pain typically is more intense when the stomach is empty. The burning feeling can last a few minutes or several hours. Other symptoms might include weight loss, nausea, heartburn, a bloated feeling or burping.

When should the doctor be consulted?

If you think you have an ulcer, see your doctor as soon as possible. If left untreated, bleeding from the ulcer site can occur. The ulcer can also go through the wall of the digestive tract and affect other organs. If the inflamed issues begin to swell, a blockage can occur. These are all life-threatening conditions so take the time to see the doctor before the ulcer becomes serious.

How are ulcers treated?

If detected early, most ulcers can be treated with a prescription. In some cases where the ulcer has created more damage, surgery to repair the ulcer may be needed.

How can ulcers be prevented?

To begin, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water before eating. Carefully clean your food and be sure to cook it properly. These are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the bacteria that causes ulcers. There are also some foods that play a part in fighting Helicobacter pylori if it is present in the body. These foods include broccoli, cauliflower, apples, berries, olive oil and leafy greens like spinach. Foods with probiotics including sauerkraut, kombucha and yogurt are also helpful in eliminating harmful bacteria and boosting helpful bacteria.

If you are taking anti-inflammatory medications regularly, try to limit their use. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage. Take these medications with food and liquids as recommended. Avoid drinking alcohol when taking anti-inflammatory medicines.

Taking care of the whole patient

The human body is like a wonderful machine where everything works together. But when a medical event or surgery occurs, the balance is disrupted. It is important to be able to treat the medical issue as well as the imbalances that may be present. Improperly taking anti-inflammatory medications and developing an ulcer is just one of the many issues that may occur. For a recovery that is both safe and effective, consider recovering in a short-term care facility where all your needs will receive timely attention by experienced professionals.

Glenview Terrace has long been considered as one of the best choices for short-term care on the North Shore. Whether you are recovering from a cardiac event or mending a broken hip, you can be sure your medications, wound care and other needs will be administered by an attentive staff who work closely with the hospital and physicians. The rehabilitation team will step in as soon as you are ready to start regaining the strength, mobility and the confidence to return to your regular schedule. You will receive one-on-one therapy from some of the area’s top therapists in Glenview Terrace’s rehabilitation gyms, including the main gym, which features floor to ceiling views of its tranquil fountain and patio. Compassionate staff offer the encouragement and positive reinforcement needed to move you toward your goals.

Glenview Terrace delivers this top-notch care in an elegant setting that begins with beautifully landscaped grounds and continues into the spacious, well-appointed rooms. Guests can enjoy nutritious meals filled with the protein and vitamins needed to enhance the healing process. Guests can also choose to relax in their rooms with a stunning array of amenities and services to pamper them during their stay.

Don’t takes chances during a time of recovery. Consider staying at Glenview Terrace where the goal is always to help get you back to the independent lifestyle you desire as quickly and safely as possible. For additional information or to arrange a tour, visit or call 847-729-9090.