Beyond Diet: How To Help A Peptic Ulcer
In the past, people with peptic ulcers were often sent home to care for themselves until the sore healed itself. Today, the eradication of H. pylori is the central concern in the majority of cases. It is only by eliminating the bacteria that recurrence can be fully prevented.
While other things can cause peptic ulcers, such as the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , H. pylori accounts for 85% to 95% of all cases.
In addition to changes in diet, the treatment of peptic ulcers will typically involve one or more of the following:
- Antibiotics: These are prescription antibacterial drugs used in combination to kill H. pylori. Options include Flagyl , Amoxil , clarithromycin, and tetracycline.
- Proton pump inhibitors : These are over-the-counter and prescription drugs used to reduce stomach acids. Options include Prilosec , Prevacid , Nexium , and Protonix .
- Histamine-2 receptor blockers: These are over-the-counter and prescription drugs aslo used to reduce stomach acids. Options include Pepcid AC , Tagamet HB , and Axid AR .
- Antacids: These are over-the-counter agents used to neutralize stomach acids. These include Tums , Milk of Magnesia , and Pepto-Bismol .
- Cytoprotective agents These are prescription drugs ed to protect the lining of your stomach and small intestine. Options include Carafate and Cytotec .
Are There Any Foods I Should Just Avoid
Yes. Some people with stomach ulcers also have acid reflux. Some foods cause the lower part of the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter , to become relaxed. When this happens, acids can sneak up into the esophagus and cause indigestion and heartburn.
Some foods known to do this include:
- spicy food
- acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes
Also, eating too much or eating within 23 hours of bedtime can worsen acid reflux symptoms. Netflix and chill with a pizza isnt sounding so fun anymore, is it?
Thankfully, theres lots you can do to relieve stomach ulcers and gastritis.
Here are some ways to start:
- Add those healthy foods from above. Broccoli and berries are your new besties.
- Take your vitamins and supplements, such as omega-3s and probiotics.
- Lower your stress level. Emotional stress is linked to increased inflammation flare-ups. Also, getting plenty of sleep helps to control stress.
- Quit smoking. Just dont do it. Ever. It can lead to stomach inflammation and everything else thats bad.
- Eat five or six smaller meals rather than three large ones. Smaller meals boost healing by reducing the amount of stomach acid in the stomach.
- Drink water and limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol increases stomach inflammation.
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Best Drinks For Stomach Ulcers
Stomachulcer symptoms can sometimes be very bothersome. The disease may also causecomplications . What you eat does have arole to cope with certain foods /drinks may aggravate the symptoms. On theflip side, some foods and drinks may help keep the symptoms off and improveyour recovery. With appropriate strategies, the disease is manageable and evencurable though it may take more time than you think.
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What To Avoid If You Have An Ulcer
If you have an ulcer, avoid NSAIDs or smoking, which can reduce the ability of the stomach lining to protect itself against stomach acid. Foods that increase stomach acid, such as dairy, coffee, and soda should be taken out of the diet. Highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus, will only make things worse. Finally, substances that irritate the stomach, such as alcohol or spicy foods, are probably not a good idea.
When Should I See A Doctor If I Think I Have A Peptic Ulcer
- If you have burning pain in your upper stomach that is relieved by eating or taking antacids, call a health-care professional for an appointment. Don’t assume you have an ulcer. Certain other conditions can cause similar symptoms.
- If you vomit blood or have other signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, go to an emergency department right away. Peptic ulcers can cause massive bleeding, which requires blood transfusion or surgery.
- Severe abdominal pain suggests perforation or tearing of an ulcer. This is an emergency that may require surgery to fix a hole in your stomach.
- Vomiting and abdominal pain also can be a sign of an obstruction, another complication of peptic ulcers. This also may require emergency surgery.
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Curcuma Longa And Artemisia Asiatica
Medicinal plants with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity have had a demonstrated effect on gastroesophageal reflux disease . The medicinal plants and herbal preparations with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms include Curcuma longa, Panax quinquefolium, Artemisia asiatica, and Lonicera japonica. Moreover, other mechanisms include: the down-regulation of the genes encoding proteins that have key role in acute inflammation, including 1 intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-2-beta ameliorating the function and gastric mucus reducing gastric acid, such as for instance Curcuma longa, Morus alba, and acidinol syrup, increasing tonic contractions of the lower esophageal sphincter , and preventing the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 b and TNF-a .
It is important to mention investigation on rats where pretreatment with compounds of Artemisia asiatica reduced the overall density of the esophageal wall and volume of ulceration beyond the ranitidine group .
Herbal medicine can be a mighty weapon for suppressing or modulating the disease-associated footprints of H. pylori infection and eradication. Finally, those plant products have shown strong potential as pharmaceutical candidates in gastric disease prevention .
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What Causes Stomach Ulcers
The two most common causes are:
- H. pylori infection. This common bacterial infection affects up to half of people worldwide. It primarily lives in the stomach. In many people, it doesnt seem to cause problems. Their gut immune systems keep it in check. But a portion of those infected have H. pylori overgrowth. The bacteria continue to multiply, eating into the stomach lining and causing chronic inflammation and peptic ulcer disease. H. pylori infection is associated with about 60% of duodenal ulcers and 40% of gastric ulcers.
- Overuse of NSAIDs. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.” These include common over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. NSAIDs contribute to ulcers in several ways. They irritate the stomach lining on contact and repress some of the chemicals that defend and repair the mucous lining. Up to 30% of people who take NSAIDs regularly develop peptic ulcers. Up to 50% of all peptic ulcers are caused by the overuse of NSAIDs.
Less common causes of stomach ulcers include:
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. This is a rare condition that causes your stomach to produce too much gastric acid.
- Severe physiological stress. Severe illness, burns or injuries can produce stress ulcers in the stomach. Physiological stress changes your bodys PH balance, increasing stomach acid. Stress ulcers develop very quickly in response to stress, unlike normal stomach ulcers that develop gradually.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Vomiting blood or dark material that looks like coffee grounds
- Extreme weakness or dizziness
- Blood in your stools
- Nausea or vomiting that doesnt get better, or gets worse
- A sudden, severe pain that may spread to your back
- Losing weight without even trying
Untreated peptic ulcers may cause other health problems. Sometimes they bleed. If they become too deep, they can break through your stomach.
Ulcers can also keep food from going through your stomach.
What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.
The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Less common ulcer symptoms may include:
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Bloody or black stool
- Vomiting blood
Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
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Causes Of Stomach Ulcers
A stomach ulcer can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria is thought to be responsible for around 60 per cent of stomach ulcers and at least 90 per cent of duodenal ulcers.
- Certain medications which include aspirin or clopidogrel, taken regularly to help prevent heart attack or stroke, and drugs for arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications are thought to cause around two fifths of stomach ulcers.
- Cancer stomach cancer can present as an ulcer, particularly in older people.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
Certain lifestyle changes can help you recover from an ulcer.
- Watch your diet. If you know that there are specific foods that make your ulcer feel worse, avoid them until your treatment is over. For many people, these include alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, spicy foods, and chocolate.
- Stop smoking. If you smoke, you are already at increased risk of getting an ulcer. The data also shows that ulcers take longer to heal in smokers and that the ulcer medication you are taking may be less effective. Scientists don’t know exactly why smoking has these negative effects.
- Take pain medication carefully. NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and many other commonly taken drugs, are taken for pain and fever, but can cause an ulcer if used too often. NSAIDs can also prevent an ulcer from healing as quickly as you would like, so talk to your doctor about what you can take for your other aches and pains while you are waiting for your ulcer to heal. Acetaminophen does not cause ulcers, so it may be an effective substitute. Also, be sure to read all drug labels some cough and cold liquids have NSAID ingredients in them, and you should avoid them, too.
- Cut back on alcohol. Stop drinking alcohol if you want to completely reduce your risk of additional ulcers and help your body heal.
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How To Relieve Stomach Ulcers Fast
People that suffer from stomach ulcers or acid reflux know it can be quite uncomfortable and painful. Although physicians may prescribe medicine to heal and relieve symptoms of ulcers or acid reflux, there may be ways to relieve the symptoms naturally and fast.
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What About Complicated Ulcers
While most ulcers are successfully treated with medication, some complicated ulcers may require surgery. Ulcers that are bleeding, or that have perforated your stomach or intestinal wall, will need to be surgically repaired. An ulcer that is malignant, or obstructing a passageway, will need to be surgically removed. In severe cases, an ulcer that keeps coming back may be treated by surgery to cut off some of the nerve supply to the stomach that produces stomach acid.
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Best Thing For Stomach Ulcers 13 Natural Remedies
Have you ever felt pain in the center of the abdomen, in the plexus area?
This is often a strange cramp-like sensation, sometimes even a painful feeling of hunger.
It occurs two to three hours after a meal and is very present at night.
And what about the anxious feeling and insomnia it can cause?
You are surely suffering from a stomach ulcer and here you will find all the ways to treat this condition to make this nagging pain disappear.
What To Eat If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Since H. pylori bacteria is now known to be an important cause of ulcer formation, scientists are exploring what foods may have a role in fighting against an infection.
In addition to taking the antibiotics and acid-blocking medications recommended by your doctor for your ulcer treatment, eating these foods may also be helpful against the ulcer-causing bacteria:
for ulcer treatment. These foods, such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi, may prevent reinfection.
Turmeric is currently being studied as a potential treatment for ulcers as well.
Garlic, decaffeinated green tea, and licorice round out the list of things you might want to incorporate in your diet.
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Foods To Help Prevent Symptoms
Gastritis involves inflammation of the stomach lining. For this reason, an anti-inflammatory diet may help some people.
There is no single best anti-inflammatory diet. To combat inflammation, eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods, which are rich in antioxidants. It is also important to avoid processed foods and any containing unhealthful fats and added salt or sugar.
Learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet here.
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Home Remedies For Peptic Ulcers
Fenugreek leaves contain compounds that can heal the ulcer. Boil 1 cup of fenugreek leaves and add a pinch of salt to it. Drink this twice a day.
Drinking raw cabbage juice is very effective for treating stomach ulcer. Consume fresh cabbage juice daily before your bedtime. This will help strengthen the stomach lining and heal the ulcer.
Bananas contain an antibacterial substance that help slow down the growth of ulcer in the stomach. Hence eat a banana every day after your breakfast.
Honey has natural healing properties that work wonders for treating stomach ulcer. Take a tablespoon of honey daily before your breakfast or have it any time of the day with food like wheat bread. This will help reduce stomach inflammation and keep away other stomach diseases.
A clove of garlic is highly recommended for stomach ulcer. Eat 2- 3 cloves of garlic a day during your daily meals to ease the inflammation in the stomach.
Powder the bark of the slippery elm and add to a cup of warm water, mix well and drink the mixture three times a day. The bark of slippery elm has been used to soothe the mucus membranes that line the stomach and the duodenum.
Coconut oil has been used widely as a natural ingredient for treating various disturbances in the stomach. It has an anti-bacterial property that kills bacteria that cause ulcers.
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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Peptic Ulcers
- If you suspect you may have a peptic ulcer, you may first be diagnosed by your family practitioner or internist.
- Children or teenagers may see a pediatrician.
- For further treatment you will likely be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the digestive tract.
- If you have an emergency such as vomiting or severe abdominal pain you will be seen by an emergency medicine specialist in an emergency room.
- In the rare case where surgery is needed, you may see a general surgeon.
Complications Of Peptic Ulcers
Left untreated, peptic ulcers can result in severe complications and emergencies.
- Internal bleeding You can have bleeding in your stomach, esophagus, or duodenum when the ulcer opens a blood vessel. Ulcers can cause bleeding that occurs slowly over time or quickly, possibly resulting in hemorrhaging that can be life-threatening due to shock. Sometimes you may not notice a bleeding ulcer until you become anemic, a condition in which your body lacks red blood cells because of inadequate iron. This occurs when ulcers cause chronic, low-grade blood loss.
- A hole, or perforation, in the stomach wall You can develop a perforated ulcer, which means it has eaten through your stomach or intestinal wall.
- Obstruction This is when you have swelling or scarring related to your ulcer that is preventing your food from being digested properly.
The signs that you are having an ulcer emergency are:
- Blood in stool
- Blood in vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Increasing pain
- Mental confusion
- Severe abdominal distension
If you think you or someone you know is having an ulcer emergency, seek immediate medical attention.
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Advice On Taking Nsaids
If your stomach ulcer has been caused by taking NSAIDs, your GP will want to review your use of them.
You may be advised to use an alternative painkiller not associated with stomach ulcers, such as paracetamol.
Sometimes an alternative type of NSAID that’s less likely to cause stomach ulcers, called a COX-2 inhibitor, may be recommended.
If you do need to keep taking it, long-term treatment with a PPI or H2-receptor antagonist may be prescribed alongside the aspirin to try to prevent further ulcers.
It’s important to understand the potential risks associated with continued NSAID use.
You’re more likely to develop another stomach ulcer and could experience a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
Page last reviewed: 14 January 2022 Next review due: 14 January 2025