The deluge of text messages, calls and e-mails, I received for my two-serial write-up on ulcer, rattled me. Wait a minute, I said to myself. Do you know that most of us just assume we have peptic ulcer, because we have abdominal pain, or because someone suggested so, or because a doctor said so.
Most of us will blame everything, as the cause of our ulcer. Just take a glimpse of what people suggested were the causes of their ulcers.
■ One said the water in her village gave her ulcer.
■ Another said, “I took coke, and I developed ulcer.
■ I forgot to take my anti-worm drugs, which I do every 6 months, and I developed ulcer.
■ I came back to the East during “Abiola’s June 12”, the change of environment gave me ulcer.
■ My wife adds too much pepper and oil in food, that gave me ulcer.
■ We drink water from the well, that could give anybody ulcer.
There were other bizarre and controversial suggestions, which I dare not put in prints, lest people might question my sanity.
One redeeming call came from one woman from Otolo Nnewi, in Anambra State. Let me call her Mrs Esther Eze. She called me twice. First to inform me that she has ulcer, and to complain that she was tired of chewing antacids, drinking polycrol, cimitidine and numerous other anti-ulcer drugs. I sympathised with her and prescribed a drug and told her what to do. Four days later she called back, shouting, the equivalence of Eureka like Archimedes, when he discovered how to mesure the purity of gold. She was shouting “doc you have cured me”. “Doc I am healed”. I played that down, knowing that doctors give drugs, only God heals. I told her that I was happy the “omeprazol drug”, was of some help. ” Which omeprazol?”, she retorted. “My husband is yet to go to Nnewi town to buy the drug, it is the water treatment that cured me”. “Water treatment?”, I queried in embarrassment. “Yes”, she added exuberantly, ” you said, the last thing every night, after brushing my teeth, I should take two glasses of water, then first thing every morning, after brushing my teeth, I should also, take two glasses of water. I did that for two days and my ulcer pain disappeared”.
Please let me explain. This woman told me she has had epigastric pain for close to two years. All the drugs and things she did only gave her temporary relief. She had visited both orthodox and native doctors did not help. As time passed she started walking with a forward stoop, so as to guard the abdominal pain. So on the second day of her so called water treatment, she woke and got up suddenly from the bed, and forgot to stoop, but surprisingly she felt no pain. She stooped, arched backwards, bent her frame and shook her abdomen, still there was no pain. Then she ran to her husband with excitement, then they called me.
Please let me sound a note of warning. I have not said ttat water cures peptic ulcer disease, but this sounds like the 8th Wonder of the World.
You see no two human beings are genetically the same, even twins. If this woman who has suffered chronic epigastric pain, for two years,could obtain relief
through water, maybe you also could, who knows what bad habits of ours, we could kick out and obtain relief.
I just want us to remember that, excessive secretion of digestive juice plus hydrochloric acid, aggravate ulcer. It then follows that one way or the other, water could help to neutralise the acid and reduce our pains, but water does not heal ulcer.
Another thing I discovered from my numerous caller and text messages, is that most of us do not take enough water in a day. Samplers;
★ Some are too busy to remember to take water.
★ Some do not take water while eating, they only take water after loading their system with food. This is very bad as it leads to food clogging and excessive acid secretion.
★ Advisedly one should take water intermittently as one eats, this aids digestion and neutralization of excessive acid.
★ Whenever you sweat excessively, at the nearest opportunity please replenish by taking enough water.
★ Everybody needs at least 2 to 4 litres of water every day, depending on activity, but most of us do not even take up toon litre of water a day. So our kidneys are forced to work overtime to preserve our water balance.
Water is not really food, but it is an essential part of all tissues. Our bodies are composed of about 2/3 water. It acts as a form of transport; the blood, which is mostly water, carries food in its basic form to the tissues, and takes away waste products to be excreted. Chemically water is a simple compound of oxygen and hydrogen but it is never found pure, as it contains traces of minerals, dissolved gases and solids. The amount depeds on the soil it is from.
Water is also found in most solid foods. Since it is constantly being lost in sweat, urine, and in breathing out, it must be replaced every day or dehydration of the body will set in. However the body’s need for water at any point in time is very accurately registered, by the degree of thirst.
So whenever you have epigastric pain, whether you think it is ulcer or not, and there is no drug immediately available, please take water instead of any other local concoction. Be properly guided.
Dr Ojum Ekeoma Ogwo.
Phone; 0806 7184 521.
E-mail; [email protected]