Multan:17 May: Spicy food, self-medication, stress and depression are the major causes of increasing stomach diseases, which begin from acidity and finally change into a stomach ulcer; it can be controlled if diagnosed in the beginning. Acidity in the stomach is a common disease and with the passage of time more and more people become patients of this stomach disease. These views were expressed by the speakers at a seminar on “effects of stomach acidity on everyday life” jointly organised by Shaigan Pharmaceuticals and Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS), Jang Group of Newspapers). Prof Dr Shabeer Ahmad Nasir (former head of Department of Medicine Nishtar Medical University, Multan), Prof Dr Muhammad Arshad (former head of Gastroenterology Department, Nishtar Medical University Multan), Prof Dr Qazi Masroor (Director Department of Medical Education Head of Medicine and Pulmonology QMC Bahawalpur, Prof Dr Muneer Azhar Ch (professor of Medicine, Medical educationist and Director Research and Human Resource Development QMC Bahawalpur), Prof Dr Arif Mehmood Bhatti (professor and head of medicine department SLMC, Sahiwal), Prof Dr Qaiser Mehmood (professor and head of department of medicine DGKMC, Dera Ghazi Khan), Prof Dr Masood ul Rauf Hiraj (professor of surgery Nishtar Medical University, Multan), Dr Muhammad Zubair A Khan (consultant gastroenterologist, herpetologist and liver transplant physician) and Dr Abdul Qadir Khan (consultant physician and endocrinologist) were in the panel of the experts. On the occasion, Zar Sharf of Shaigan Pharmaceuticals said in his welcome address that Shaigan stepped into pharmaceutical business in 1993, stands as a 5th largest pharmaceutical company in the world, which is an honour for the firm. Syed Israr of Shaigan Pharmaceuticals said this pharmaceutical company has set up dispensaries in rural areas. Prof Dr Shabeer Ahmad said acidity leads to burn in stomach. In this situation, patients should consult doctors and cure the disease at the beginning and avoid self-medication. Dr Shaheena said no doubt people suffer because of acidity in stomach, but pregnant women feel more uneasiness during acidity. She advised the expectant mothers that they should not rely on quacks but consult their doctors only. She said home-made diet should be preferred to avoid stomach diseases. Prof Dr Muhammad Arshad said people should change their life style. Only physical exercise can save them from deteriorating health. Qazi Muhammad Saeed said people should avoid self-medication. Continuous use of painkillers worsens problem while sometimes it changes into an ulcer. Prof Dr Qazi Masroor Ali said secret of health lies in simple food. Senior Editor, Health, Education and Current Affairs, Wasif Nagi said a type of bacteria, H PYLORI, affects the digestive system. After staying in the stomach, it becomes the cause of ulcer and may change into a cancer. Unfortunately, H PYLORI is a common in third-world countries because of unavailability of clean drinking water. It was thought that depression and spicy food were the cause of ulcer. The concept was proved wrong by scientists in 1982. They confirmed by their findings that H PYLOR bacteria was the cause of ulcer, he said and added to avoid H PYLORI, a vaccine was being prepared. Dr Rashid Saeed said stress increases steroid level in human body which ultimately causes an ulcer. Prof Dr Muneer Azhar said there are more food outlets in the country than health or fitness outlets. People usually eat more at weddings due to which stomach gets upset. Prof Dr Arif Mehmood Bhatti said antibiotics and painkillers also cause stomach pain. Prof Dr Qaisar Mehmood said a man’s stomach produces 15-litre acid in a day. Medicines of stomach disease are very expensive, he said. Prof Dr Masood ul Rauf Hiraaj, Dr Muhammad Zubair A Khan and Dr Abdul Qadir stressed healthy eating and a balanced diet to avoid stomach problems. Ijaz Azeem gave an ending note of the event.The news.