The Effect of Pregnancy on Pepsinogen Secretion and its Possible Role in Protection of Peptic Ulcer Disease
This study is aimed to see the effect of pregnancy on pepsinogen secretion and its possible protective role against ulceration. Fifty pregnant women without symptoms of peptic ulcer disease were studied for serum pepsinogen level. These levels were compared with those of a control group composed of age-matched, non-pregnant healthy women. An elevated level of serum pepsinogen was found during pregnancy. Fourteen percent of pregnant women had low levels of pepsinogen while 20% showed normal pepsinogen level, because they were associated with severe anemia. Regular feeding, good nutrition and emotional tranquility during pregnancy were favourable factors to reduce the chances of ulceration. Increased secretion of estrogen and progesterone, increased secretion of gastric mucus, bicarbonate and prostaglandins during pregnancy enhance cytoprotection against ulceration. Increased secretion of histaminase blocks or destroys the histamine action at the parietal cells which slows down acid secretion and helps to avoid ulcer formation.
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