Expert cautions against misdiagnosing dyspepsia as peptic ulcer


A gastroenterology expert has called on Nigerian physicians to make proper diagnosis of dyspepsia patients rather than hastily assuming that they have peptic ulcer.

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Speaking at a Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme targeted at broadening the understanding of Nigerian doctors on adequate treatment and overall best management of numerous degrees of diabetes mellitus and gastrointestinal disease, Dr Funmi Duro-Emmanuel, a consultant gastroenterologist with the Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Lagos said that it was quite disturbing to note that Nigeria had 48 per cent of the reported cases of dyspepsia from a recent global survey.

“This is why I also canvass that in the course of diagnosing such common clinical problem, our doctors should learn to run proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and stop concluding what the problem might likely be,” she said.

The programme, powered by Biofem Pharmaceuticals Limited, was aimed at further sensitising and re-awakening the physicians on ways to ensure proper management of diabetes, stomach ulcers and major complications.

The event which held on 26 August at Ibis Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, was attended by over 120 physicians from various health care facilities in Lagos State.

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Duro-Emmanuel shared her experiences with the audience concerning dyspepsia and the need to be patient in its diagnosis in order not to miss out the very important causes that may underline it. These underlying causes, according to her, may include serious conditions like stomach cancers.

Corroborating her view, Dr Charles Onyekwere, a fellow consultant gastroenterologist further expounded on the role of helicobacter pylori in causing dyspepsia, stomach ulcer and even stomach cancer.

The renowned researcher confirmed that the infection, which has been found to be rampant in Nigeria, is the leading cause of ulcers, adding that the difficulty facing the health care profession in tackling it lies in the high resistance of the infection to certain antibiotics like metronidazole and tinidazole.

The immediate past head of the department of Internal Medicine of LASUCOM however announced that a triple therapy containing Rabeprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin administered for 10 days has been established through studies done in Nigeria as one of the most effective remedies to treat stomach ulcers as well as to prevent stomach cancers.

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“When compared to gastric cancer, the rate of helicobacter pylori is high in Nigeria. It is a public health challenge with no vaccine yet. The youngest gastric cancer case we have witnessed in Nigeria was 32, even though the patient later died,” he said.

In another session, Dr Anthonia Ogbera, an associate professor and consultant endocrinologist with Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) educated the doctors on clinical practice guidelines of diabetes mellitus foot syndrome.

According to her, diabetes mellitus as a chronic disease is assuming a pandemic proportion among Nigerians.

“Complications of the disease, particularly diabetes mellitus-related foot ulcer (DFU), are on the increase. It is important to note that DFU is not only a pivotal event in person with diabetes, but a maker of serious disease and co-morbidities. Therefore, lack of early diagnosis and right medical attention is a factor for possible deterioration, which might end up in amputation of the affected part, huge losses in revenue, and possibly cause the death of the patient,” she stressed.

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Also, speaking on clinical presentation for the Management of Neuropathy, Prof. Abayomi Ogun, former Provost of College of Medicine, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State disclosed that neuropathy in diabetes can be diagnosed through clinical and anatoclinical means.

The university don also identified pain as universal and charged physicians, to manage neuropathic pain, based on its severity.

Also at the event, two product managers with Biofem Pharmaceuticals, Pharm Chris Abhulimhen and Pharm Bello Achilike both spoke briefly on the role the company has been playing to improve the standards of health care in Nigeria.

They observed that some of the company’s spirited efforts in the past had resulted in laudable initiatives, such as the introduction of mobile authentication service (MAS), as well as the provision of unique therapeutic combinations for managing diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases. The therapeutic combinations include Biobetic, Biopentin, Pylorest and Rabefast.



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