Peter Jackson hospitalized, delays start of Hobbit filming

Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson has been forced to delay filming of his next film, The Hobbit, because of illness. The 49-year old Academy Awarding winning director was hospitalized at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand for severe stomach pains. The cause was a perforated gastric ulcer, for which he had to undergo surgery. The hospital released a statement saying:  “Sir Peter is currently resting comfortably and his doctors expect him to make a full recovery.”

Your stomach makes acid to break down the food you eat. But in some people, the acid can damage the lining of their stomach. This is called gastritis (inflammation of the stomach). Gastritis can be caused by a number of different things. The most common are:

  • Alcohol
  • Infection of the stomach with a germ called Heliobacter pylori
  • Medications that can irritate the stomach lining such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibruprofen and naproxen
  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as pernicious anemia
  • Excess gastric acid secretion (such as from stress)

A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer.

What are the symptoms of peptic ulcers?

A dull or burning pain in your stomach is the most common symptom of peptic ulcers. You may feel the pain anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. The pain often

  • starts between meals or during the night
  • briefly stops if you eat or take antacids
  • lasts for minutes to hours
  • comes and goes for several days or weeks

Other symptoms of peptic ulcers may include

  • weight loss
  • poor appetite
  • bloating
  • burping
  • vomiting
  • feeling sick to your stomach

Call your doctor right away if you have

  • sudden sharp stomach pain that doesn’t go away
  • black or bloody stools
  • bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

These symptoms could be signs an ulcer has

  • broken a blood vessel
  • gone through, or perforated, your stomach or duodenal wall
  • stopped food from moving from your stomach into the duodenum

These symptoms must be treated quickly and may require surgery.

For more information about peptic ulcer and gastric ulcer disease, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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