How Can I Prevent Ulcers
You may be able to prevent ulcers from forming if you:
- Talk to your doctor about alternatives to NSAID medications to relieve pain.
- Discuss protective measures with your doctor, if you cant stop taking an NSAID.
- Opt for the lowest effective dose of NSAID and take it with a meal.
- Quit smoking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Making A Decision And Considering Alternative Options
All three types of stomach-protecting medication can lower the risk of getting peptic ulcers. Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers appear to be very well tolerated. But it is important to make sure the dose of H2 blockers is high enough. H2 blockers can become less effective over time because your body gets used to them. This doesn’t seem to be a problem when taking proton pump inhibitors.
The risk of stomach and bowel problems can be reduced by taking the lowest possible dose of painkillers, and only taking them for as long as necessary. Acetaminophen may sometimes be an alternative to NSAIDs. It doesn’t increase the risk of peptic ulcers and is often just as effective. But it has side effects too: For instance, it may cause liver damage if the dose is too high or if you take it regularly.
It’s best to talk to a doctor about how high your own personal risk of getting a peptic ulcer is, as well as what medications you could take to protect your stomach.
How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated
With treatment, most stomach ulcers will heal within a month or two. The treatment recommended for you will depend on what caused the ulcer.
Most people will be prescribed a medication called a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid their stomach produces and allow the ulcer to heal naturally.
If an H. pylori infection is responsible for the ulcers, antibiotics will also be used to kill the bacteria, which should prevent the ulcer coming back.
If the ulcers are caused by the use of NSAIDs, PPIs are usually prescribed and your doctor will discuss whether you should keep using NSAIDs.
Alternative medication to NSAIDs, such as paracetamol, may be recommended.
Stomach ulcers can come back after treatment, although this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is addressed.
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Ways To Treat A Stomach Ulcer Naturally
You always know when youve got a stomach ulcer. Theres a sharp burning sensation in your stomach that simply refuses to go away, making certain foods unbearable and eating in general a whole lot less enjoyable. If youve got a stomach ulcer, you want it gone fast.
What are stomach ulcers?
Stomach ulcers, more appropriately known as gastric ulcers, are sores or lesions that develop on the inner lining of the stomach. Think of your stomach lining as the non-stick coating on your frying pan. With everything going well, the non-stick coating remains unharmed and your food slides off easily and without sticking to the bottom. If you scratch the nonstick surface with something abrasive, however, the non-stick coating begins to flake off, exposing the vulnerable inner layer of the pan to food and, quite frankly, ruining your Sunday banana pancakes.
Just another reason to stay well away from non-stick cookware!
But back to the problem at hand. Your stomach lining is much the same. With a healthy gastrointestinal environment, the lining remains unmarred and is perfectly capable of containing its own corrosive gastric acid. But when something compromises the lining, such as anH. pylori infection orchronic stress, those gastric juices begin to corrode the more susceptible inner layers of your stomach. That explains that horrible burning sensation, then.
Other major contributors to stomach ulcers include excessive use ofnon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , a poor diet andsmoking.
What Are The Risks For People With Ulcers
Why do painkillers increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems? The same chemicals that amplify pain — which some pain medicines block — also help maintain the protective lining of the stomach and intestines. When a painkiller stops these chemicals from working, the digestive tract becomes more vulnerable to damage from gastric acids.
For people with ulcers, the risky pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen, the active ingredients in medicines such as Bufferin, Advil, and Aleve.
Other pain relievers may be less dangerous. Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — works differently and poses a much lower risk of GI problems. However, like any drug, it does have side effects of its own. You shouldn’t take any over-the-counter painkiller for more than 10 days without your health care provider’s approval.
The risks from NSAIDs are quite serious. Studies show that people who use NSAIDs are about three times as likely to have gastrointestinal bleeding. Even at low doses, NSAIDs can make mild ulcers much worse.
Aspirin has additional risks. “Aspirin can help prevent blood clotting, which is why it helps people at risk of heart attacks and strokes,” says Cryer. “But in people with ulcers, it can lead to more serious gastrointestinal bleeding.”
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Risk Factors You Can Control
The following things can increase your chance of getting a peptic ulcer and may slow the healing of an ulcer you already have:
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These include aspirin, ibuprofen , and naproxen .
- Drinking too much alcohol. This is more than 3 drinks a day for men and more than 2 drinks a day for women.
In the past, spicy foods, caffeine, and moderate amounts of alcohol were thought to increase ulcer risk. This is no longer believed to be true.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers occur when the layer protecting the stomach lining from stomach acid breaks down. This allows the stomach lining to become damaged.
This is usually caused by:
- an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria
- taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or aspirin particularly if they’re taken for a long time or at high doses
There’s little evidence that stress or certain foods causes stomach ulcers.
More about the causes of stomach ulcers
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Do The Medicines Cause Side Effects
Because you have to take so many medicines at the same time, you may have some side effects. Minor side effects of H. pylori medicines include a black color on your tongue, black stools, diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. Some of the medicines leave a bad taste in your mouth. These side effects are usually minor and go away on their own.
You can cure H. pylori infection only if you take the medicines just the way your doctor tells you. If you forget to take some of your medicines or stop taking them because of side effects, the infection will not be cured. You may get another ulcer in the future. Let your doctor know right away if you have side effects with your medicines or if you have any questions about how to take them. Your doctor may suggest something to make the side effects better, or may give you different medicines.
What Is The Best Natural Medicine For Ulcers
A special extract of licorice known as DGL.* Licorice has historically been regarded as an excellent medicine for peptic ulcer. However, due to the side effects of the licorice compound glycyrrhetinic acid , a procedure was developed to remove this compound from licorice and form deglycyrrhizinated liquorice . The result is a very successful anti-ulcer agent without any known side effects.*6-11
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Peptic Ulcer Healing Drugs
1.AntibioticsFor ulcers caused by H. pylori infection, you will be asked to take two or three antibiotics together with a PPI. There is good evidence that such eradication therapy has benefits both in healing ulcers and preventing recurrence, especially for duodenal ulcer. Commonly used antibiotics are amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole and tetracycline. They are prescription-only medicines and are available in many dosage forms such as tablets and capsules.
2.Proton pump inhibitors PPIs directly suppress gastric acid production by blocking the proton pumps of the gastric parietal cell that is responsible for acid secretion, and thereby promoting the ulcer healing. Their effect on suppressing gastric acid production is stronger than that of Histamine-2 receptor antagonists. These include the pharmacy only medicine omeprazole, and the pharmacy only medicines lansoprazole, rabeprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole and aripiprazole. They are available in various dosage forms such as tablets, capsules and injections.
3.Histamine-2 receptor antagonistsHistamine-2 receptor antagonists suppress the secretion of gastric acid by blocking the actions of histamine, a protein produced by the body that stimulates gastric acid secretion. Examples include cimetidine, famotidine and ranitidine. They are over-the-counter medicines and are available in forms of tablets, capsules, syrups or injections.
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Why Are Ulcers Worse At Night
Ulcers are the open sores that develop in the inner lining of the stomach or duodenum. One of the aggravating factors is an increase in gastric acid in the stomach. When we eat food at night, our stomach makes a lot of acid to digest the food.
Once the digestion is completed, the stomach gets emptied and it remains as such for a longer duration of time. But the gastric acid levels still remain high there, as a result of which ulcers that are already present worsen.
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What If I Forget To Take It
If you usually take it:
- once a day take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless your next dose is due in less than 12 hours in which case skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the usual time, and then carry on as normal.
- twice a day take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless your next dose is due in less than 4 hours in which case skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the usual time, and then carry on as normal.
Never take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicine.
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Tips For Living With Ulcers
- If you have an ulcer, be careful when choosing over-the-counter pain relievers. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can irritate an ulcer and prevent a bleeding ulcer from healing. Avoid powdered headache medication, too. It usually contains powdered aspirin. Your best choice may be acetaminophen, which doesnât cause or worsen stomach ulcers.
- Don’t overdose on iron supplements. You may need them if you have bleeding ulcers, but taking too much can irritate your stomach lining and the ulcer. Ask the doctor how much iron you need.
- Learn how to manage stress. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, guided imagery, and moderate exercise can help ease stress and promote healing.
- Avoid foods that irritate your stomach. Use common sense: If it upsets your stomach when you eat it, avoid it. Everyone is different, but spicy foods, citrus fruits, and fatty foods are common irritants.
- Stop smoking. Heavy smokers are more likely to get duodenal ulcers than nonsmokers.
- Practice moderation. Drinking lots of alcohol has been shown to contribute to ulcers, so keep your intake to a minimum.
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How Are They Treated
To treat peptic ulcers, most people need to take medicines that reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. If you have an H. pylori infection, you will also need to take antibiotics.
You can help speed the healing of your ulcer and prevent it from coming back if you quit smoking and limit alcohol. Continued use of medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen may increase the chance of your ulcer coming back.
Ignoring symptoms of an ulcer is not a good idea. This condition needs to be treated. While symptoms can go away for a short time, you may still have an ulcer. Left untreated, an ulcer can cause life-threatening problems. Even with treatment, some ulcers may come back and may need more treatment.
What Are The Treatments For An Ulcer
You shouldnât treat an ulcer on your own without first seeing your doctor. Over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers may ease some or all of the pain, but the relief is always short-lived. With a doctor’s help, you can find an end to ulcer pain as well as a lifelong cure for it.
The chief goals of ulcer treatment are reducing the amount of acid in the stomach and strengthening the protective lining that comes in direct contact with stomach acids. If your ulcer is caused by bacterial infection, your doctor will also treat that.
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What Is The Cause Of Peptic Ulcers
When you eat, your stomach produces hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin to digest the food.
- The food is partially digested in the stomach and then moves on to the duodenum to continue the process.
- Peptic ulcers occur when the acid and enzyme overcome the defense mechanisms of the gastrointestinal tract and erode the mucosal wall.
In the past it was thought that ulcers were caused by lifestyle factors such as eating habits, cigarettesmoking, and stress.
- Now it is understood that people with ulcers have an imbalance between acid and pepsin coupled with the digestive tract’s inability to protect itself from these harsh substances.
- Research done in the 1980s showed that some ulcers are caused by infection with a bacterium named Helicobacter pylori, usually called H pylori.
- Not everyone who gets an ulcer is infected with H pylori. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause ulcers if taken regularly.
Some types of medical therapy can contribute to ulcer formation. The following factors can weaken the protective mucosal barrier of the stomach increasing the chances of getting an ulcer and slow the healing of existing ulcers.
- Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and newer anti-inflammatory medications
- Radiation therapy:-used for diseases such as cancer
People who take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications are at an increased risk even if they do not have H pylori infection.
How Long Does Stomach Ulcer Take To Heal
Stomachulcer as the name suggests is an open sore with inflammation that formson the inside lining of the stomach. If left untreated it may turn to becomeserious, leading to dangerous complications. So its usually necessary to take prompttreatment to deal with! The good news, it is treatable and even often curable. Thebiggest question, how long does it take to heal?
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What Causes Corneal Ulcer
Corneal ulcers are generally caused due to germs. However, the human eye is very well-protected by the eyelid and abundant bacteria, tears and germs may be able to enter the cornea via small abrasions if it is already damaged. Corneal ulcers are so common in people who wear contact lenses, most possibly if they wear overnight. If a cornea is so deep then it can cause scarring on the cornea that blocks light from entering the eyes. Below, you will have a look at some common causes of corneal ulcer:
- Eye injury
- Discharge draining from the eye
- Feels that there is something in the eyes
- Exposure to flying particles or chemicals
How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you might have a peptic ulcer, he will take a full medical history and perform a physical exam. Diagnostic tests you might take include:
- Lab test for H. pylori A blood, stool, or breath test may be used to determine whether H. pylori bacteria are present in your body.
- Endoscopy During this procedure, a hollow tube with a lens will be passed down your throat to your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This will allow your doctor to look for a peptic ulcer and take a biopsy if one is present.
- Barium swallow For this test, you will swallow a white liquid containing barium, which coats your digestive tract. A series of X-rays of your upper digestive system will be taken and the liquid makes the ulcer more visible.
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What Else Can I Do
If certain foods bother you, do not eat them. You may heal faster if you do not smoke or use aspirin or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen will not hurt your stomach.
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How To Treat Ulcers
Ulcers are easier to treat usually with antacids and antibiotics. There are also several other drugs that reduce the amount of acids produced by the stomach. A person suffering from ulcers should consult a physician. Ulcers if left untreated can lead to serious illnesses like anemia and stomach carcinoma.
Most of the ulcers are treated using various medications and in some cases, surgical procedure is required. Antibiotics may be used to eradicate H.pylori whereas anti-ulcer medications are used to inhibit the acid secretions and heal ulcers.
In cases of bleeding or perforated ulcers, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy may be performed and surgery is recommended. Your physician may advise to quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption and avoid overuse of NSAID’s to prevent the development of ulcers.
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