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Poor quality sleep leads to the relapse of peptic ulcers in adults

by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 24th Feb, 2020

poor quality sleep leads to the relapse of peptic ulcers in adults
 Image used for representational purpose only

Peptic ulcers are an open-source that develops anywhere in the GI tract, from the esophagus to the rectum. Most commonly it occurs in the stomach and the first part of the small intestine is called the duodenum. These peptic ulcers are usually benign. That means it can heal completely. Most of the time with the right treatment, the ulcers can get spontaneously healed. Those peptic ulcers that occur in the stomach occasionally can be malignant. That means it is not always benign. If peptic ulcer occurs in the stomach, the doctor needs to rule out the negative possibility. That means they will differentiate those peptic ulcers that occur in the stomach from a benign case.

 

A recent research by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society designed a study to test their hypothesis that other factors besides the bacteria could cause peptic ulcer recurrence and that poor sleep may be among them. The researchers concluded that poor sleep quality appears to contribute to the recurrence of peptic ulcers. They suggested that their findings highlight the importance of properly treating and preventing sleep problems in older adults with previous H. pylori-infected peptic ulcers.

 

Dr. Ramanjanenulu a well-known gastroenterologist of Star Hospital is of the opinion that “Few recent papers have implicated or talked about sleep deprivation that causes ulcer disease or more specifically the relapse or recurrence of peptic ulcer disease but there are few anecdotal studies which has shown or which has tried to prove this association with elderly people. There is scope for a better study that proves this statement. But most of the recurrences are because of H Pylori gastritis. Once the peptic ulcer and H pylori gastritis have been proved, it is imperative to resort to anti H pylori drugs for two weeks durations. The annual recurrences are two to five percent, particularly in elderly people. Those having recurrences on the higher side suffer from sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation leads to behavioral changes, lack of freshness in the morning wake-ups, multiple awakening at night. These three reasons definitely can induce the occurrence of peptic ulcer”.

 

He further adds, “What causes sleep deprivation or disturbances is important, most often it is the anxiety, depression or particularly those who have cardio diseases. Most often sleep deprivation increases the acid production, more technically the sleep deprivation will decrease the protective prostaglandin layer in the stomach culminating into a peptic ulcer. Not only, sleep deprivation decreases the mucosal blood group, it may be responsible for the recurrence of ulcer disease. It also causes a decrease in the production of melatonin levels, which produces bicarbonate in the stomach. Hence, the various mechanisms cause the recurrence of peptic ulcers. Sometimes there is re inflammation of H Pylori leading to the recurrence”.

 

It is symptomatically better if you treat the conditions of sleep deprivation. If we can relieve the anxiety factor or treat it in elderly people, this may reduce the chances of recurrences. It is not only the medication; some might need progressive behavioral therapy to improve the quality of sleep. This will also improve the quality of life in an elderly individual, but this is common that elderly people may use more painkillers or antiplatelet tablets for ailments like arthritis, this may cause an ulcer. It is advisable to avoid painkillers unless prescribed by a doctor. One has to get a good sleep; medicines are not the only option in any elderly person. Reasonable good physical activity can help in sound sleep so that the ulcer recurrences cannot bother those individuals.

 

His final advice is, “If you have the symptoms, determine the H Pylori infections and take the treatment. One of the other things is to avoid pain killer usage, have a good quality of life and a sound refreshing sleep”.

 

Book Appointment:    Dr. Ramanjaneyulu, Consultant  Gastroenterologist, Star Hospital


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