Peptic Ulcers: A Silent Killer Eating Up University Girls


and geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>It all started as a little girl-talk about their body parts which grew into an argument about the folds on her stomach coupled with the status as a “single and searching” students at Kyambogo University.

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healing geneva;”>The talk inspired her and her colleagues to draft an eating pattern which they dubbed, ‘’Weight loss program’’.

“In order to lose the undesirable parts we skipped meals and survived on snacks and water till we started to slim. Gradually, I begun to lose the folds and felt more confident of myself,” Namusoke confessed.

The second year student explained that some of her colleagues wanted to lose big cheeks while others wanted flat stomachs and craved to achieve the ‘campus figure.’

However, one counselor explains that girls of Namusoke’s age group try to conform to external standards of beauty and attraction affecting their body image.

“The models in magazines, celebrities on televisions form a narrow social view of beauty which affects their esteem thus resorting to desperate and unhealthy eating disorders,” explains the counselor.

Unfortunately Namusoke and her colleagues are neither shaken nor moved by the threats to their health.

Armed with drugs to lessen the burning sensations, they vow to continue with their weight loss program that is earning them bragging rights among their peers.

Sadly, this is the position of most girls in various universities, hostels and homes which would lead them to get peptic ulcers.

Peptic ulcers are sores on the lining of the stomach and duodenum whose cause remains a subject of debate in medical history.

According to George William Opoka, a clinician, fifty percent of ulcer cases are of unknown causes and the rest are attributed to pylori bacteria and anti flammatory medication.

Opoka explains that pylori bacteria can be eaten in food or in water and causes the production of excess gastric acid in the stomach.

“The theory postulates that the excess acid causes erosion of stomach lining leaving sores known as ulcers,” explained the clinician.

However, more recent research according to the 1999 American Medical Association Journal stresses that the theory is too simplistic, throwing the debate wide open to speculation.

Despite the controversy, skipping meals has been significantly associated with the increase in acid load, leaving the stomach empty with nothing but acid lacerating the stomach walls leading to development or exacerbation of symptoms of ulcers.

“Regular meals decrease the production of the acid and stimulate the production of substances that promote healing and fight inflammation,’’ states a lecturer at Kyambogo University Department of human nutrition and dietetics.

The lecturer urges that ulcer patients feel much better after having a meal.


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