How to Get rid of Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers can be uncomfortable and often painful and if the pain becomes unbearable, they can drastically reduce your quality of life.
In this article, I’ll be discussing how to get rid of stomach ulcers using both medical and natural treatments as well as their symptoms and causes.
What Are Stomach Ulcers?
Stomach ulcers (also known as gastric ulcers) are open sores that develop on the interior lining of the stomach.
A stomach ulcer is also a general term for any ulcer in the stomach and intestines, although the correct terms for ulcers in these areas are peptic ulcers or gastro-intestinal ulcers.
Peptic ulcers can manifest in the stomach (stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers) or in the small intestine (duodenal ulcers).
The treatments for all peptic ulcers are the same so this article will explain how to get rid of stomach ulcers, gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers, gastro-intestinal ulcers and duodenal ulcers. To keep things simple, the phrase ‘stomach ulcers’ will be used throughout this article to mean all these types of ulcers.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers
The only outward symptom of a stomach ulcer is a pain in the center of the abdomen. Some ulcer-sufferers have also reported an uncomfortable feeling in this area rather than an actual pain and many people can have ulcers present without even realising it.
The only way to know for sure if you are suffering from stomach ulcers is to visit your doctor who will be able to accurately diagnose your condition.
The most accurate way of determining if stomach ulcers are present is by having an endoscopy, which involves having a long tube with a camera on the end passed down the throat and into the stomach. Stomach ulcers can also be diagnosed by breath tests, blood tests and stool tests.
Causes of Stomach Ulcers
Until recently, it was thought that stomach ulcers were caused by lifestyle factors including high levels of stress, poor diet, smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise.
Although these factors can contribute towards the development of stomach ulcers as well as a host of other diseases, it has now been proven that 80% of stomach ulcers are caused by an infection of the H. pylori bateria.
Another common cause of stomach ulcers are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (or NSAIDs). NSAIDs include popular painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin.
Both H. pylori bacterium and NSAIDs irritate the inside of the stomach and upset the effects of the stomach lining’s protective mucus allowing ulcers to develop.
How to Get Rid of Stomach Ulcers
Most stomach ulcers can be cured using antibiotics to combat the H.pylori bacteria.
If the stomach ulcer is caused by NSAIDs, replacing the drug with a non-NSAID is recommended (e.g. painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin can be replaced with Paracetamol). Proton PumpInhibitors (PPIs), which reduce the amount of acid in the stomach can also be used as part of the treatment plan.
For stomach ulcers that are caused by acombination of H.pylori bacteria and NSAIDs, both treatments can be used – usually a course of PPIs followed by a courseof antibiotics.
In addition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help build a strong immune system that helps heal ulcers (and other diseases) quicker and prevent them from developing in the first place. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- A healthy, balanced and varied diet
- Regular exercise
- Reduction of harmful substances such as tobacco and alcohol
- Reduction of stress (some stress is good but high and continuous levels of stress is bad for the body)
Traditional and homeopathic remedies can also be used to treat and prevent stomach ulcers although the success rate from using these methods varies and some may not even work at all. Examples include:
- Drinking milk
- Drinking tomato/cabbage juice
- Taking antacid tablets
- Herbal remedies