Sickle Cell Warriors


 Breaking News
  • VOICE Crisis Alert App VOICE Crisis Alert App The VOICE Crisis Alert app is the first national app created for patients and families with sickle cell disease. The app stores all its data locally...
  • World Sickle Cell Day 2018 Hello Warrior Family! Don’t forget, today, Tuesday June 19th is World Sickle Cell Day. This was specially designated by the World Health Organization in 2009 to improve the education, research, and...
  • SCD Adult Support Groups in Southern California California Warriors, great news! Cayenne Wellness is now hosting monthly support group meetings in Fresno, San Diego, Los Angles, Loma Linda, and Antelope Valley. You get to meet others with...
  • Tracing sickle cell back to one child, 7,300 years ago Tracing sickle cell back to one child, 7,300 years ago Check out this amazing article by Nalina Eggert of BBC News for a journey of SCD from 7,300 years ago.  The...
  • Meet Brittany: Caregiver, poet, and writer This week’s warrior in the spotlight is Brittany Hightower.  Brittany is a caregiver who is beautiful, intelligent, and passionate about poetry. And oh yeah, she has sickle cell. How old...

SC Complication: Gastric Ulcers

A gastric ulcer is an erosion (think wound) in the lining of the stomach. It is usually caused by alochol, NSAIDs (Motrin, Aleve, Aspirin), smoking or spicy foods. Patients with sickle cell are prone to this complication because we often take pills and medications on an empty stomach when we are in pain.

Although taking pills on an empty stomach allows the pain meds to kick in faster, the stomach produces gastric acid to digest the pill. The stomach produces the same amount of gastric acid to digest anything, whether it’s a meal or a snack. So putting a small pill in a vat of gastric acid just makes the stomach having nothing to digest…but itself.

Gastric ulcers can lead to bleeding ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeds. Besides the pain and discomfort, this can make you more anemic than you already are. A gastric ulcer won’t kill you, but it will make you miserable. It will cause stomach cramps, that sometimes persist even when you eat. You might have to have a colonoscopy or endoscopy (which I haven’t had but I hear is a real PIA), just to get that part of the lining clipped, snipped or injected with something to stop the bleeding.

In addition, the ulcer can get infected with a bacteria that exists naturally in your body,but the moist, open wound creates a breeding ground for more bacterial growth; leading to a colonization, and then an infection which can then lead to a crises.

This is a pitiful spiral that can easily be prevented. All you  have to do is one thing. Take all meds (unless otherwise contraindicated), with a small meal or snack. It can just be a handful of crackers, some applesauce, or a granola bar, but even this small measure will save your stomach lining from this preventable complication.

Be well.


About Author

Sickle Cell Warrior

Sickle Cell Warrior

Tosin is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sickle cell. Although sickle cell is a subject often taboo in the communities this condition is most prevalent, Tosin's message is that sickle cell is not something to be ashamed of and you can live a rich and fulfilling life with sickle cell. Sickle cell warriors are the most amazing people in the world, with a great fortitude for compassion, willpower and strength.

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Support awareness & education for SCD

WordPress › Error

Error! Donation amount must be a numeric value.