Mechanism of Preventing Mucosa
Injury and Safeguarding Gastrointestinal
In daily life, the gastrointestinal mucosa of human body is exposed to
various stimuli everyday. Once the mucosa is damaged, the GI functions
will be temporarily or permanently affected. As a result, we have to
pay attention to the protection and health-care of the GI
The most important protecting barrier for normal gastrointestinal
mucosa is the slime protecting layer on the gastrointestinal mucosa
surface. The damage to this layer is the premonition of
gastrointestinal function damage and disease.
Risk factors for gastrointestinal function damage:
- Diet: Under
non-disciplinary diet containing various amounts of different types of
food,the gastro acid and pepsin will irritate the gastrointestinal
mucosa. For example, erosion, edema and hemorrhage of mucosa will often
occur after intake of spicy, overcooling, overheated or excessively
According to the study results, alcohol with concentration of 14% can
cause direct gastrointestinal mucosa damage and even the damage to the
slime layer, debilitating the protective capability of the GI mucosa,
the worse being the consequence of inflammation, erosion, hemorrhage or
even perforation; in addition, alcohol drinking can also cause mucosa
angiospasm, leading to ischemia, hypoxia and mucosa injuries.
Nicotine can directly irritate the gastric mucosa and cause
vasoconstriction and spasm under mucosa. Ischemia and anoxic symptoms
show up and lead to gastric ulcers, and consequently erosive or
atrophic gastritis will develop.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are strong stimuli to
gastrointestinal mucosa, which not only interfere with the synthesis of
prostaglandin, but also corrode the mucosa directly and cause adverse
effects such as gastrointestinal ulcer to some extent.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy can cause damage to
GI mucosa in two ways: direct damage and hematogenous damage. The
former refers to the damage caused by oral drugs or direct radiation;
the latter refers to the damage to stem cells and PRCs of mucosa as
well as tissue cells by chemicals going through blood circulation. The GI mucosa injury is one of the most
common side effects caused by radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the tumor
patients, and the severe case may even cause complications such
as extensive erosive injury and hemorrhage, posing great sufferings to
the patient and unfavorable impacts to the treatment. In addition,
radiative injury may debilitate the physical condition of the patient
by long-term accumulative effects.
- Mental and work
related stress: Due to stressful work, there will be increase of
oxygen consumption of brain and reduction of blood flow of
gastrointestinal tract. Insufficiency of blood and oxygen will lead to
the necrosis of mucosa. Gastrointestinal disease caused by mental work
and mental stress in athletes is another typical problem.
Functional constipation is one of the main presentations of abnormal
intestinal mucosa response to food and is mainly related to the types
and absorption of food. Organic constipation is a relatively refractory
condition caused by mucosa disorder in large intestine, as well as the
weakness of intestinal wall.