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Dehydration: Is It a Cause of Peptic Ulcers?

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Thousands of research studies have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals; we selected only four here to highlight that researchers have already pointed out the importance of the mucus layer in protecting the stomach and duodenum, as follows:

  • Researchers have also found that mucus is critical in the protection of gastroduodenal mucosa and that the "structure of adherent gastric mucus is deficient in patients with peptic ulcer disease" in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, Supplement (Allen et al., 1986).

  • British researchers published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology (Allen et al., 1988) highlighted the role of the mucus barrier in "gastroduodenal mucosal protection."

  • Scientists have acknowledged the importance of gastric mucus in offering "physical protection against ingested particles, and preventing contact between digestive enzymes such as pepsin and the underlying mucosa is generally accepted" in the Keio Journal of Medicine (Kaunitz, 1999). The gastric mucosa sheet, however, is critically important in preventing the stomach acid from eroding the stomach lining.

  • In American Journal of Physiology, Cell Physiology (Allen and Flemström, 2005), researchers found that the "primary function of the adherent mucus gel layer is a structural one to create a stable, unstirred layer to support surface neutralization of acid and act as a protective physical barrier against luminal pepsin."

Disagreement on the Treatment of Peptic Ulcers: Antibiotics vs. Natural Herbs with Water Therapy and Relaxation

A most common symptom of peptic ulcer is burning pain, which is intensified by stomach acid coming in contact with the ulcerated area. This severe pain is worsened by an empty stomach. Because they cause extreme pain, peptic ulcers must not be ignored. Indeed, if left untreated, peptic ulcers can produce scar tissue that obstructs food passage through the digestive tract, leading one to feel full easily, vomit frequently, and lose weight rapidly. Ulcers can also perforate, causing internal bleeding, and can bore a hole through the wall of the stomach or the upper part of small intestine, which may lead to an infection of the abdominal cavity called peritonitis.

Two approaches to treating peptic ulcers exist, as follows:

Conventional (allopathic or Western) medicine—In allopathic medicine, doctors aim to kill H. pylori through a combination of antibiotics (e.g., metronidazole, tetracycline, clarithromycin, amoxicillin), acid suppressors (various histamine or H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors), acid blockers, and stomach-lining protectors (e.g., bismuth subsalicylate). Using this approach, patients may have to take up to 20 pills a day for the triple therapy and may suffer many side effects (such as dizziness, nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, metallic taste in the mouth, and yeast infections in women) according to the NIH.

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