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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

A Class on Ulcers

Experts used to think that too much stomach acid or certain lifestyle factors such as stress or an unhealthy diet caused peptic ulcers. Now they know that many ulcers are caused by the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium.

That's good news because now it's possible to heal ulcers and do so with only a couple weeks of treatment. And, killing the bacterium reduces the risk of ulcer recurrence in 90% of the people treated.

The bad news: H. pylori can be transmitted from person to person through contaminated food and water. That's another reason why it's so important to wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom.

Other causes of ulcers are some forms of cancer and frequent use of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

If you already have an ulcer and haven't been tested for H. Pylori, ask your doctor to determine whether your ulcer is caused by the bacterium.

Peptic ulcers are holes or sores that form in the lining of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine. They don't always have symptoms, but the most common one is recurring pain in the upper abdomen. It lasts from a few minutes to a few hours and may be relieved by eating or by antacids.

If you have the following symptoms, call your doctor at once. An ulcer may have perforated your stomach lining, broken a blood vessel or blocked the path of food trying to leave your stomach.

sharp, persistent stomach pain
bloody or black stools
bloody vomit

Other less common symptoms include

nausea and vomiting
loss of appetite
loss of weight
upper back pain

Diagnosis:

Ulcers are diagnosed by endoscopy (examination of the inside of an organ or body cavity with a tiny camera on a flexible tube) or upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series X-rays.

H. pylori is diagnosed by blood, breath or tissue tests. (Not everyone with H. pylori has ulcers.)

Treatment:

Ulcers are treated with several kinds of medicine: acid suppressing drugs, drugs to modify the stomach's acid production, medicines to protect the stomach lining from acid and antibiotics that fight H. pylori. People who develop complications or who don't respond to antibiotics may require surgery. Untreated ulcers can lead to anemia or even death.

A bland diet isn't used to treat peptic ulcers any longer. But, it's important to avoid smoking and taking in too much caffeine or alcohol during treatment. Doing so can affect the stomach's ability to defend itself against digestive fluids.

And remember that while stress doesn't cause ulcers, too much stress can increase ulcer pain as well as increase your risk of developing ulcers.

© Your HealthStyle, 2000.

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