Causes Of Stomach Ulcer
- An infection caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori
- Excessive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Radiation therapy
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.
How Can I Prevent A Stomach Ulcer From Occurring Or Returning
- Reduce NSAID use, if possible. Consider whether acetaminophen might substitute. If you take NSAIDs for medical reasons, talk to your doctor about reducing your dosage or switching your medication. Your doctor may also prescribe another medicine to take with NSAIDs to protect your stomach lining.
- Reduce other irritants that may contribute to too much stomach acid or erode your stomach lining, including smoking and alcohol use.
- Take an H. pylori breath test to find out if you have an overgrowth of the bacteria.
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Natural Remedies For Peptic Ulcer
One out of ten people in the United States will develop peptic ulcer disease sometime during their lifetime. Will you have peptic ulcer disease? How can you prevent it? What natural remedies help PUD?
In the digestive system, an ulcer is an area where tissue has been destroyed by stomach acid, pepsin, or an infectious agent. This creates a sore, an open and painful wound in the mucosa. If not treated promptly, this damage can penetrate further into the muscular layer of the stomach or duodenum, producing bleeding, pain, and even perforation!
Stomach Ulcer Diagnosis And Conventional Treatment
If you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, see your doctor to first rule out other causes of your pain. In order to diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor may perform an endoscopy, which allows the doctor to view the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Once a diagnosis is verified, treatment options can begin.
Your doctor will likely take your medical history and perform a physical exam along with a blood test, plus ask you about your past use of medications and possibly do an X-ray to locate a stomach ulcer. Testing the blood for H. pylori, plus doing a urea breath test and/or stool test to look for the presence of H. pylori antigens, are common ways to diagnose an ulcer.
The goal of stomach ulcer treatments is to help reduce pain and inflammation in the digestive tract, boost the immune system to fight H. pylori bacteria, prevent complications, and lower the chance for future ulcers from forming or returning.
Today, conventional treatment options for stomach ulcers include:
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bleeding Ulcer
Bleeding ulcers dont always cause pain. Sometimes the first signs of a bleeding ulcer are signs of anemia. These include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
You might have a heavier bleed if you notice:
- Blood in your poop, or black poop that resembles tar.
- Bloody vomit.
These symptoms require urgent medical attention.
Stomach Ulcer: Risk Factors
Certain lifestyle parameters can lead to the development of an ulcer.
So it is for:
Your physician will first perform a physical examination looking for bloating and abdominal pain.
To confirm the diagnosis, he prescribes an endoscopy.
It is a long tube with a camera that is introduced through the throat to explore the stomach and the small intestine.
If an ulcer is detected, a small swab is taken for laboratory examination.
A barium transit, an X-ray performed after ingestion of a contrast product, can also be performed to explore with precision.
Your physician may also recommend a stool or blood test to determine if you are infected with Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
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Treatment For A Stomach Ulcer
Special diets are now known to have very little impact on the prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers. Treatment options can include:
- medication including antibiotics, to destroy the H. pylori colony, and drugs to help speed the healing process. Different drugs need to be used in combination some of the side effects can include diarrhoea and rashes. Resistance to some of these antibiotics is becoming more common
- subsequent breath tests used to make sure the H. pylori infection has been treated successfully
- changes to existing medication the doses of arthritis medication, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication can be altered slightly to reduce their contributing effects on the stomach ulcer.
- reducing acid tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
- lifestyle modifications including quitting cigarettes, since smoking reduces the natural defences in the stomach and impairs the healing process.
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What Drink Is Good For Ulcers
You have probably heard that cranberry juice is good for preventing and treating ulcers. But what about other drinks, like coffee, tea, or wine?
Its no secret that something in the modern diet is causing a lot of stomach issues. Our modern diet is way different than what our grandparents ate and its no wonder.
We eat fast food daily, all kinds of preservatives and artificial additives, and, most importantly, we eat way too much! Of all of the things that could be affecting your stomach, its probably too much of one thing.
Stomach Ulcer Treatment Plan: 4 Natural Treatments
1. Boost Immunity Against H.pylori
Many people host H. pylori in their bodies, but only a minority of people infected with H. pylori develop ulcers. A highly inflammatory lifestyle weakens the immune system and makes the digestive system more susceptible to an infection caused by H. pylori bacterium. H. pylori itself can then cause even more inflammation within the stomach and small intestine, creating a vicious cycle thats hard to break.
Research shows that today about 30 percent to 40 percent of people in the U.S. get an H. pylori infection, but usually the infection remains dormant, without any noticeable symptoms emerging for years or even ever. Other research suggests that H. pylori is present in more than 90 percent of duodenal ulcers and about 80 percent of stomach ulcers.
H. pylori contributes to ulcers by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum from acids. Once damaged, stomach acid is able to get through to the sensitive lining, causing burning and irritation. H. pylori can be spread through unclean water, food or utensils, plus through bodily fluids but its only likely to cause an ulcer when someones immunity is low for other reasons.
You can also protect yourself from H. pylori infection by frequently washing your hands with soap and water and by eating foods that have been cooked completely.
2. Limit Use of NSAID Pain Relievers
3. Manage Stress
4. Eat A Stomach Ulcer Diet
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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Natural Foods To Soothe Tummy Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are a common condition where acid damages the lining of the stomach wall causing sore which cause immense pain.
The common cause of stomach ulcers is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. Ulcers are also the result of consuming as excess of painkillers such as aspirin, and nonsteroidal inflammatory such as ibuprofen.
Stomach ulcer symptoms include burning sensation or severe pain in the area between chest and belly button. The pain lasts for a few minutes to several hours varying upon the severity of the ulcer.
Other symptoms include poor appetite, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
Stomach ulcer can affect people of all age groups and it needs immediate medical intervention. There are some natural remedies available that can strengthen the lining of the intestine and prevents the acid attack.
When To Seek Medical Care
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Consider Therapy To Help Manage Stress And Pain
Working with a therapist on certain mind-body techniques can help you control ulcerative colitis symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy and a technique called biofeedback may be useful, as these processes teach skills to cope with stress and pain. In CBT, you learn to recognize and change behaviors and emotions that affect you physically. According to an article in Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, CBT can ease abdominal pain for some people. Biofeedback will teach you how to identify and control some bodily processes, such as heart rate or tension in your muscles, and it can be effective in helping manage chronic pain.
When Should I Go To Er
Seek emergency care if you have:
- Severe pain that doesnt go away.
- Signs of blood in your poop or bloody vomit.
- Signs of severe blood loss, such as paleness and faintness.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Stomach ulcers are common and treatable, but they should be taken seriously. Even when they dont cause symptoms, they arent a good sign. A stomach ulcer means that your natural stomach acid is overwhelming your protective stomach lining. Thats a situation that can only get worse if it isnt managed. Lifestyle changes may help, but youll still need to treat the underlying cause. Its probably either NSAID use or a common bacterial infection. Your healthcare provider can help prescribe the right medicines for your condition.
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Drink Fresh Cabbage Juice
Cabbage is a great remedy for the treatment of ulcers in the stomach.
Being a lactic acid food, cabbage helps in producing an amino acid that stimulates blood flow to the stomach lining. This aids in the healing process. Plus, cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, which is beneficial for fighting an H. pylori infection.
A 1949 study published in the Western Journal of Medicine found that rapid healing of peptic ulcers was observed radiologically and gastroscopically in 13 patients treated with fresh cabbage juice. This indicates that its anti-peptic ulcer dietary factor may play an important role in the genesis of peptic ulcers.
A 2014 study published in Medicinal Chemistry Research reports that aqueous cabbage plant extract increased the pH value of gastric juice and as such could be used for healing an acute gastric ulcer.
How to use:
Note: Make sure you use fresh juice each time.
How Do You Treat An Ulcer
An untreated ulcer can lead to serious problems including the need for amputation. If you think you have an ulcer, see your doctor right away. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely you are to have another problem.
Your doctor will examine your skin and may take an X-ray to see if your ulcer has affected the nearest bone. In some cases, your doctor may use other tests to see if you have blood vessel disease.
Next, your doctor will treat your ulcer with a procedure called debridement. Here, the doctor removes unhealthy tissue from the wound to start the healing process. Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as antibiotics, that you swallow or rub on the sore.
Talk to your doctor about how to care for your ulcer at home. You might need to:
- Clean your ulcer daily with soap and water. Dont use hydrogen peroxide or soak your wound in a bath or whirlpool. This can discourage healing and increase your risk of infection.
- Keep your ulcer bandaged or covered with a wound dressing. Your doctor may recommend specific bandaging steps. Airing out a wound increases your odds of infection and slows healing.
- Apply medications such as saline, skin substitutes, and substances that make skin cells grow.
- Take better care of other health problems, such as diabetes or vascular disease.
- Keep pressure off your ulcer, especially if its on your foot.
You might need crutches, special footwear, a brace, or other devices to reduce pressure and irritation so your ulcer heals faster.
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Are You Suffering A Drug Side Effect
Besides these underlying conditions, please beware that certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can also cause heartburn. Common culprits include anxiety medications and antidepressants, , blood pressure medications, nitroglycerin, osteoporosis drugs, and pain relievers.
If your heartburn is caused by a medication youre taking, the answer is, of course, to address what, when, and how youre taking that drug. Please do not make the mistake of simply adding yet another drug to counteract this side effect. WebMD4offers a number of helpful tips for how to address drug-induced heartburn, such as:
- Avoid taking more than the recommended or prescribed dose
- Some medications are best taken on an empty stomach, while others are less likely to cause side effects like heartburn when taken with a meal. Check the label for instructions, or ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on when and how to take your medication
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review ALL the medications and supplements youre taking to see if one or more of them cause heartburn.
- Changing the dose or switching to another medication may be advisable to ease your heartburn. Some drugs may be available in cream form rather than a pill, which would be far less likely to cause heartburn
- Avoid laying down right after taking your medication
- Drink some ginger tea
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History Of Ulcer Causes
Ulcers have a unique and interesting history when it comes to their suspected causes. For decades, stomach ulcers were considered to be psychosomatic, meaning a high-stress lifestyle was to blame. At the time doctors started identifying high rates of ulcers in hard-working businessmen who smoked a lot of cigarettes and were likely sleep-deprived, and then animal studies further confirmed stress-triggered ulcers. Rats producing high amounts of stomach acid experienced a decrease in stomach ulcer symptoms when researchers fed them antacids, so a connection was then drawn between ulcers, chronic stress and an increase in stomach acid, which changed ulcer treatment approaches forever.
A bacterium called Helicobacter pylori was then discovered that seemed to be present in nearly everyone suffering from ulcers. It was also found to run in families and was connected to other digestive disorders, including stomach cancer. In patients given medications/antibiotics to kill H. pylori, ulcers were often resolved at least for a period of time.
However, today its more common to treat ulcers using less risky acid-reducing drugs in combination with lifestyle and dietary changes, rather than prescribing antibiotics to kill H. pylori, which can come with complications and lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics used to combat H. pylori can work short term to lower the bacteria, but dont seem to keep it from returning without other interventions.
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