Stomach ulcers, or also known as peptic ulcer are the sores that form in the lining of your stomach or the first part of your small intestine, duodenum. This condition can also be referred as gastric ulcer (in some cases only) and patients with gastric ulcers are said to have higher risks of developing gastric malignancy. These sores can trigger extreme pain and nausea, making you lose your appetite to eat. So what causes stomach ulcer? What about its treatments and prevention? Is it harmful? What about stomach ulcer pain? Worry not because we here at HNBT are providing you with few of the best answers for your questions regarding its symptoms, causes and treatments.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers?
Peptic sores occur when the acid used to digest your food eats away the inner surface of your stomach, small intestine or esophagus. This happens when your digest tract (Gastrinomas) contains too much of acid, or when you fail to fill your stomach with the proper amount of food to absorb the acid formed. Gastric is the condition that directly leads to this. Other causes of peptic sores are:
The bacterium associated with this condition is the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. This bacteria usually lives in the mucus layer that cover and protects the lining and may trigger an inflammation that later leads to ulcer.
- Frequent consumption of certain painkillers
Certain over the counter painkillers such as aspirins, ibuprofen(Motrin, Advil, Midol), naproxen (Aleve, Aaprox, Naprosyn) and ketoprofen can also cause ulcers. This includes aspiring that are safety-coated too.
This is a risk factor that may worsen the ulcer, or trigger one in stomachs that are already infected with H. pylori.
As we all know, alcohol is indentified a risk factor for most of the diseases. Excessive consumption of alcohol can erode the mucous lining, that later leads to formation of sores.
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Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcers signs and symptoms may vary depending on its severity. For most of the cases, the symptoms are :
- Intense burning pain from your navel to the breastbone. (pain may occur in between or after meals)
- Bloating of stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in your back
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
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How To Treat Stomach Ulcer?
Fortunately, peptic sore can be treated. There are two ways to treat them ; drugs and home remedies. Stomach ulcers treatment may vary according to your symptoms and its causes.
Treatments and Drugs For Stomach Ulcer
1. Antibiotics to kill H. pylori
If this bacteria is detected in your gestrinomas, combination of several antibiotics might be recommended by your doctor to kill it. You would probably need to take it for about two weeks or more together with some medications to reduce acid.
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2. Medications to heal the sores
Several over the counter medications will be used to heal your ulcers such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, esomeprazole and pantoprazole. They act as blockage to the cell parts that produce the acid.
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3. Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
Your doctor might also want you to take antacids to neutralize acid, and prove some quick relief to the pain at the same time. But however, this drug can cause some side effects such as diarrhea or constipation.
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Natural Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcer
Here are top 5 home remedies for stomach ulcer
Drink plenty of water. Like we always say, water is the best medicine. Drinking the right amount of water is essential to prevent stomach from being damaged by the acid (from the digest tract). Make sure to drink at least 8 tall glasses of water per day.
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2. Yogurt/ Curd
It will kill the bacteria and heal the ulcers. It works all the time. Curd too helps heal ulcers. This remedy can also be used to treat gastric problem.
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3. Fenugreek leaves
This is the perfect remedy to reduce the pain, and improve ulcer symptoms. We suggest you to boil the leaves and add a pinch of salt to it. Drink this at least twice a day.
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Add about half a teaspoon of turmeric powder or saffron to the milk. Stir well, and drink this warm. It works really fast. You can also try adding a pinch of salt to the milk for best results.
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5. Coconut milk
This is another way of treating your peptic ulcers. All you got to do is drink about half a cup of fresh, thick coconut milk daily. You will notice a reduce in the pain, and you won’t feel the nausea anymore.
Prevention of Stomach Ulcer
Here are some rules or tips to prevent peptic sores.
1. Avoid spicy food
Spicy food is a double no-no when you are having peptic sores or severe gastric problem. Eating chillies only make things worse. They will cause inflammation that may spread the ulcers to the other parts of your stomach.
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2. Cut back on coffee
If possible, do not drink coffee at all. You should also avoid drinking carbonated drinks. They contain high level of acidity and deteriorate the condition.
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3. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants
You should include in your daily diet lots of fruits and vegetables that contain high antioxidant properties such as bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, blueberries, papaya and apples. It is also advisable for you to drink green tea daily to protect your intestines and stomach. Bear in mind that this is the best diet for ulcer.
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4. Do not eat acidic fruits
This includes strawberries, oranges, lemons, plums and even prunes. You should not eat these fruits when you have peptic sores, at least until they heal.
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5. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol
This will harm your stomach and worsen the sores. The sores may spread to the other parts of the intestine and cause bleeding, increasing the acidity in your digest tract.
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6. Quit smoking
Like many other diseases, peptic ulcers too can be worsened by nicotine. Smoking increases the risk of H. pylori infection and recurrent of it. Hence, quit smoking.
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But however, make sure to see a doctor if the symptoms continue or recurrent. Also, return to the doctor if the symptoms worsen (vomiting with blood streaked in it) or do not respond to the medications given. If there are any other tips regarding stomach ulcer that you know, do share them with us.