Peptic Ulcers: Information and Solutions

Apr 6, 2019 by

The other day I was walking my dog down the street when I ran into my neighbor who was mowing his yard. We got to chatting, and out of nowhere, he started telling me about his health problems. Apparently, he has a peptic ulcer, and it has been bothering him for a couple of months now. I was confused as to why he would share this with me in passing, but the rest of the walk I kept trying to figure out what a peptic ulcer is. When I got home, I did some research on peptic ulcers, and I found the website for GastroCare LI, which had a lot of information on peptic ulcers and the way they can be treated.

Peptic ulcers are basically open sores on the tissue that lines the inside of your stomach or the inside of your small intestine. These ulcers are called gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers, respectively. These sores happen if your stomach acid eats away at the inner lining of these organs, and they can have serious consequences.

Symptoms of peptic ulcers can be varied, but the most common symptom is a feeling like there is burning in your stomach. Usually, this burning sensation increases when your stomach is empty, like at night or in between meals. This symptom can be alleviated by taking an antacid to temporarily reduce the pain. Interestingly, only about one-fourth of people who have a peptic ulcer experience any symptoms at all, but these can be more dangerous because they are often left untreated which can lead to infection or internal bleeding. Peptic ulcers can also cause mild symptoms including heartburn, bloating, intolerance of fatty food, and increased burping, but they also can have more serious consequences. Severe symptoms include bowel movements that have the consistency of tar or with dark blood in them, nausea, vomiting with or without blood, weight loss, and change in appetite. These more severe symptoms often result from a neglected peptic ulcer that has gone under the radar for too long.

Peptic ulcers can have many causes, but the two most common causes seen by doctors are the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Ibuprofen and other pain medication like Advil or aspirin can cause the inner lining of the stomach and the small intestine to become inflamed, and if this happens repeatedly over time, there is an increased risk that a peptic ulcer will develop in the lining of one of these two organs. Typically, peptic ulcers occur in older adults because they more frequently take pain medication on a regular basis. The other most common cause is the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. These bacteria usually do not harm humans, and they live in the mucous tissue of the stomach and small intestinal lining. Occasionally, the bacteria can irritate the inner lining, which can lead to a peptic ulcer. Curiously, doctors have still not been able to determine why this happens or how the infection spreads throughout the body, but the medical community continues to research this question.

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Burn Injuries: Causes and Classification

Jul 14, 2015 by

Burns are a kind of injury that can be excruciatingly painful. It can damage layers of the skin, tissues and nerves and, if severe enough, can cause scarring, infection, loss of mobility, disfigurement, or even loss of extremities. Burns that affect the layer underneath the skin or the dermis are the most painful kinds of burn injuries because these directly affect the raw nerve cells of the dermis. The most serious, though, are those that affect the nerves, muscles and bones; these kinds of burns actually no longer cause any feeling of pain because the nerves have already been damaged.

A burn can be caused by electricity, the sun, friction, radiation, chemicals and, thermal or heat (which is the most common cause of burn and which include fire, hot liquids and steam). Burns also have different classifications, each based on how serious the injury is. These classifications include:

  • Third degree burn – damages the entire dermis and the nerves (the reason why third degree burn victims no longer feel pain). Due to the severity of this type of burn, it is necessary that the victims be given immediate medical attention.
  • Second degree burn – affects the dermis or the layer underneath the skin and causes swelling and blisters. This is also the kind of burn injury that is most painful. It is recommended that second degree burns be soaked in cool water, rubbed with antibiotic cream and covered with a dry, non-stick bandage. The blister that may form should never be punctured.
  • First degree burn – though this affects only the epidermis or the skin’s outer layer (thus, considered minor), this burn injury still causes painful. Swelling can occur during the healing period, which takes about six days. Antibiotic ointment or aloe vera cream may be applied on the burned area.

Though most burn classification systems list down only three, some medical institutions include a fourth one or a “fourth degree burn.” This degree of burn injury is the most serious as the damage extends to the muscle and bones, thus, often requiring removal or amputation of the area affected.

There are times when people get burned due to the carelessness or negligence of some individuals. Many have already suffered this type of accident, especially in working environments where flammable substances are handled or stored.

It is always important for burn injury victims to know and understand their legal rights and options for the possibility of seeking compensation that should cover all the damages they are facing and will still be made to face due to the injury.

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Dental Sealants for Children

Jan 1, 2015 by

Tooth decay is the most prevalent disease among children that eventually give them grief in adulthood in the form of dental fillings, root canals, jackets, dentures, and even implants for crucial missing teeth. The damage of tooth decay is permanent, and once it sets in, the affected teeth will always be weaker and prone to even more damage. Imagine if you could prevent all that for your children by the simple expedient of having your dentist place dental sealants, at least for the vulnerable back teeth.

Most children develop dental caries (tooth decay) in the back teeth (molars) where the grooves present an ideal repository for germs and food particles and the toothbrush does not easily reach. It is basic dentistry for children to recommend dental sealants for permanent back teeth to protect it from tooth decay, as it should be anywhere. Dental sealants are a thin coat of plastic (white, clear or slightly tinted) overlaid on the chewing part of the teeth, specifically the grooves, that keeps food particles and bacteria from settling in and making it their home. It’s like a force field but unfortunately without the bangs and whistles.

Children between the age of 6 and 12 (when most permanent teeth start appearing) are prime candidates for dental sealant treatment, and it should be applied as soon as the permanent tooth comes out. It doesn’t take long, and it is painless, so children won’t usually even know it is there. Sealants last up to 10 years and should be checked regularly if they need to be replaced.

Aside from dental sealants, a preventive pediatric dentistry program should also include the use of fluoride (present in municipality-treated water in the US and in most toothpaste brands), twice daily brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.

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