Recent studies have indicated the bacteria (lately discovered) Helicobacter Pylori as the primer cause for stomach and duodenum peptic damages. Due to the fact that this aggressive bacteria works in synergism with other potential factors such as acid secretion, it produces major destructions like inflammation and ulcerations of the gastric and duodenal tissues.
Most important factors leading towards ulcer are hydrochloric acid and pepsin contained in the stomach. In normal conditions these chemical substances are in perfect balance and do not cause damages of the tissues. This is how the stomach protects itself against harmful effects:
1. Mucous glands secrete the lubricant necessary to cover and shield the outer layers of the stomach and duodenum.
2. Gastric tissues produce bicarbonate which wads and neutralizes any kind of aggressive acid.
3. An efficient blood supply in all stomach layers.
4. Constant renewal and repair of the gastric cells.
Most dangerous for the stomach's tissues ate non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naproxen Sodium, Acetylsalicylic acid and Ibuprofen. Some of them are used to cure different problems of the articulations. This is how NSAIDs destroy digestive protect-mechanisms:
1. They damage the secretion of protective mucus and bicarbonate and make stomach and duodenal mucous defenseless against HCl and pepsin.
2. They affect cell renewal of the digestive system and hinder the normal blood circulation.
A basic factor of ulcer appearance is Smoking. According to studies we know cigarettes hinder the healing of al older ulcer, produces recurrence though treatment, and can definitely increase one's chance of getting ulcer.
Caffeine also stimulates the acid secretion in the stomach. Caffeine rich food and beverages can worsen an already existing ulcer but caffeine alone can produce major destructions to the stomach mucous.
Alcohol leads to gastric ulcer even though there has been found no exact link between the two. Ulcer is more commonly encountered at patients with liver cirrhosis most often seen in alcohol addicts.
Researchers have established no exact link between ulcer and emotional stress but have proven it to cause relapses and aggravation of the condition. Another kind of stress is the physical one caused by severe pathological conditions or major surgical interventions. It can easily lead to development of ulcer especially in the stomach.
There is however an assembling between ulcer and heartburn and both can be treated by consuming vegetables.