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.
What Drinks Help Ulcers
For most medical conditions, the best drink is water. For an ulcer, other types of drinks, such as dairy and juice, can increase acid production in the stomach. Some drinks, such as orange juice, are acidic, so youre just pouring gas on the fire. Plain and simple, water not only doesnt irritate the stomach or increase stomach acid, but it can also dilute and weaken the acid in the stomach.
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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Are Prescription Nsaids Better
NSAIDs are available both over-the-counter and as a prescription medication. It is very important to understand that while there are differences between prescription and non-prescription NSAIDs, this difference is not the potential relief of symptoms. Many patients find their best response from over-the-counter NSAIDs.
There has been no study showing that newer NSAIDs , prescription NSAIDs, or more expensive NSAIDs treat pain or swelling any better than more traditional NSAID medications. Most of the research evaluating the effects of NSAIDs has been done using over-the-counter ibuprofen.
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Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection
If your stomach ulcer’s caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, you’ll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer’s caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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What Causes Stomach And Duodenal Ulcers In A Child
Experts used to think that stress, diet, and stomach acid caused ulcers. Today, research shows that most ulcers form because of an infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Other things play a role, but this germ is often the main cause of most ulcers.
The following things may play a role in stomach or duodenal ulcers:
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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Stomach Ulcers
If and when you experience any of the symptoms described above, consult a physician immediately for proper diagnosis.Depending on the severity of your condition, you can choose the treatment you wish to follow in order to rectify the situation.If left undiagnosed and untreated, gastric ulcers can lead to the following complications:
- Internal bleeding
- Perforation or splitting open of the stomach lining, i.e., a hole or tear in the stomach wall
- Stomach cancer
- Swelling or scarring that leads to intestinal blockage
You can get any of the following tests done for proper diagnosis of stomach ulcers: urea breath test, stool test, blood test, and gastroscopy or endoscopy.In case the damage to your stomach is not severe and does not require immediate surgical intervention or antibiotic treatment, given below are 10 home remedies that can help you get rid of stomach ulcers and repair your stomach lining.
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Causes And Risk Factors
- In most cases, peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection with Helicobacter pylori , and not by stress or spicy foods. Between 10% and 20% of those infected with H pylori will have a peptic ulcer during their lifetime.
- Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is the second most common cause of ulcers. Women and older adults seem to be more susceptible.
- Compared to other NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors may pose less risk for bleeding, but still increase the risk of bleeding compared with no NSAID use at all.
- Alcohol and smoking are also common risk factors for peptic ulcer.
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How Do Doctors Treat An Nsaid
If NSAIDs are causing your peptic ulcer and you dont have an H. pylori infection, your doctor may tell you to
- stop taking the NSAID
- reduce how much of the NSAID you take
- switch to another medicine that wont cause a peptic ulcer
Your doctor may also prescribe medicines to reduce stomach acid and coat and protect your peptic ulcer. Proton pump inhibitors , histamine receptor blockers, and protectants can help relieve pain and help your ulcer heal.
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Common Warning Signs Of Ulcers
Ulcers are a common medical issue that affects about one in ten people in America. They occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the inner surface of the esophagus, stomach or small intestine. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed. You can get them anywhere on your body for any reason, but the most common form of ulcers occur in your stomach.
Although there is no single cause for an ulcer, many factors can increase your risk of stomach ulcers including painkillers, excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking tobacco. Luckily, ulcers are easy to treat once you recognize the symptoms of them. Here are five common signs of a stomach ulcer:
Abdominal Pain: A burning sensation may occur in your stomach. The pain will come and go in waves and is often accompanied by bloating. Many may confuse this feeling with acid reflux or other similar diseases. If the abdominal pain starts after you eat, keeps you up at night, and lasts a prolonged period it might be an ulcer.
Nausea: Due to the imbalance in your digestive system, mild to severe nausea may occur, either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or after eating. Because of nausea that will occur, rapid weight loss also comes in conjunction with it as well.
Bloating: A feeling of heaviness and fullness can occur in the stomach, usually the same feeling you get after drinking a full glass of water.
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When Should I Stop The Drug And Get Immediate Medical Attention
You should cease taking NSAIDs if:
- Signs of allergy occur, such as rapid breathing, gasping, wheezing, hives, skin rashes, puffy eyelids, and/or rapid heart beat.
- You develop:
- dizziness, depression or confusion.
- yellowing of the eyes that could indicate liver injury .
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Treatment Of Peptic Ulcers
Its really important to get the right treatment if youre diagnosed with a peptic ulcer. If treated properly, duodenal ulcers will heal in around four weeks and stomach ulcers in eight.
Treating the underlying cause lowers the chance of your ulcer coming back. This usually means getting rid of the H. pylori or stopping taking NSAIDs.
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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Precautions About Aspirin Acetaminophen And Ibuprofen In Other Medicines
Some opioids also contain aspirin or acetaminophen in the same pill. A few also contain ibuprofen. It can be dangerous if you take these drugs without being aware of this.
- If one of your doctors tells you not to take aspirin or ibuprofen, or if you cant take NSAIDs for some reason, be sure to check your medicine labels carefully.
- If one of your prescription medicines has acetaminophen in it, and you also take over-the-counter acetaminophen for pain, you can get too much without knowing it. Too much acetaminophen can damage your liver.
- If youre not sure if a medicine contains aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, ask a pharmacist.
- If you take any non-prescription medicine for a cold, sinus pain, or menstrual symptoms while youre taking pain medicines, read the label carefully. Most of these drugs are combination products that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Check with a pharmacist to find out what you can safely take with your pain medicines.
Other Drugs For Stomach Acid
Sucralfate may work by forming a protective coating in the base of an ulcer to promote healing. It works well on peptic ulcers and is a reasonable alternative to antacids. Sucralfate is taken 2 to 4 times a day and is not absorbed into the bloodstream, so it causes few side effects. It may, however, cause constipation, and in some cases it reduces the effectiveness of other drugs.
Misoprostol may be used to reduce the likelihood of developing stomach and duodenal ulcers caused by NSAIDs. Misoprostol may work by reducing production of stomach acid and by making the stomach lining more resistant to acid. Older people, people taking corticosteroids, and people who have a history of ulcers or of complications resulting from ulcers are at higher risk of developing an ulcer when they take NSAIDs. These people can take misoprostol with food and their NSAID. However, misoprostol causes diarrhea and other digestive problems in 30% of people who take it. In addition, this drug can cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant women. Alternatives to misoprostol are available for people taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or corticosteroids. These alternatives, such as proton pump inhibitors, are just as effective for reducing the likelihood of developing an ulcer and cause fewer side effects.
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When Scientists Experiment On Themselves: H Pylori And Ulcers
In the summer of 1984, the Australian scientist Neil Noakes took some bacteria from a petri dish, mixed them with lukewarm beef extract the normal nutrient solution for bacteria in the lab and filled a little more than one cup into a beaker.
In the summer of 1984, the Australian scientist Neil Noakes took some bacteria from a petri dish, mixed them with lukewarm beef extract the normal nutrient solution for bacteria in the lab and filled a little more than one cup into a beaker. Then he handed this mix to his colleague, the gastroenterologist Barry Marshall, who downed it without complaining.
Three days later, Marshall felt nauseated and his mother told him he had bad breath. Next he started vomiting. But he still waited a few days before taking the antibiotics that were supposed to kill the bacteria in his stomach. A gastroscopy not only clarified his diagnosis, but ultimately resulted in his winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine about twenty years later.
With his famous self-experiment, Marshall was able to demonstrate that Helicobacter pylori bacteria can cause acute gastritis which in turn may cause ulcers. He had asked neither an ethics commission nor his wife for permission to conduct this experiment. His colleagues thought him completely insane to take a risk like that.
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How Is An Ulcer Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. They may do an endoscopy. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube attached to a camera down your throat and into your stomach. Your doctor will test your blood, breath or stool for H. pylori. They also can test a sample of your stomach lining. Your doctor also will ask you if you regularly take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines.
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Diagnosis Of Peptic Ulcers
Your GP will want to find out if youve got a peptic ulcer and whats causing it, as this will help them decide on the right treatment. Treating your ulcer as soon as possible will reduce the risk of complications.
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also feel your abdomen, to check for tenderness or pain.
Your GP will want to find out if your ulcer is caused by H. pylori or by taking NSAIDs. You should tell the doctor if youve been taking over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen regularly.
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The most common stomach ulcer symptom is, not surprisingly, stomach paintypically, a dull, burning sensation in the mid-abdominal area. Because ulcers are literally sores in the lining of the stomach or small bowel, pain classically presents in relation to acid secretion in the intestines, says Rusha Modi, M.D., gastroenterologist and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck Medical Center in California. The pain usually peaks between meals and at night, when acid has been secreted into the stomach but theres no food to act as a buffer. Taking antacids can temporarily relieve the pain, but odds are it will keep coming back until the ulcer is treated by a professional.
Because the ulcer is being perpetually doused in acid, stomach pain can often be paired with chronic heartburn and regurgitation . Other symptoms, such as bloating, burping, or feeling perma-full, may not be far behind, says Ravella. If taking an OTC antacid only relieves symptoms temporarily, or they seem to strike no matter what you eat, you may want to discuss this with your physician.
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How Can I Be Sure Its An Ulcer
The only way to be sure an ulcer is causing your discomfort is with a medical diagnosis. We will evaluate your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.
To determine the root cause of your ulcer, we may run blood, stool, or breath tests. These tests are designed to look for signs of helicobacter pylori, the bacteria linked to ulcers.
Depending on your unique symptoms, we may also order an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, we insert a tube with a tiny camera down your throat and into your stomach to take pictures of any potential damage and collect tissue samples for analysis.
How Do H Pylori Cause A Peptic Ulcer And Peptic Ulcer Disease
H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can cause peptic ulcer disease by damaging the mucous coating that protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Once H. pylori have damaged the mucous coating, powerful stomach acid can get through to the sensitive lining. Together, the stomach acid and H. pylori irritate the lining of the stomach or duodenum and cause a peptic ulcer.
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Duration Of Peptic Ulcers
Ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori heal when the bacteria is killed. The typical course of treatment includes two weeks of antibiotics along with acid-suppressing medicine. This is followed by an additional four to eight weeks of the acid-suppressing medicine alone.
Its possible for an ulcer to heal temporarily without antibiotics, but it will likely recur or another one will form nearby if the bacteria is not killed.
Peptic ulcers caused by medication usually heal shortly after you stop taking the medication. Doctors typically recommend taking antacids for two to six weeks to assist with healing and relieve pain.