Do you know the early signs and symptoms of peptic ulcer? Learn about it, along with the treatment options and preventive measures of peptic ulcer.
Ulceration in the inner lining of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine is called peptic ulcer. The sore is a result of inflammation caused by the bacteria H.pylori or due to erosion from acids present in the stomach. Stomach pain is the most common symptom experienced by people suffering from peptic ulcer amongst others like bleeding, bloating, and rarely perforation.
Peptic ulcers are generally classified into two types:
Normally, the digestive tract is covered with a protective mucous layer, that prevents the stomach acid from destroying the inner stomach lining. Conditions that cause an increase in the stomach acids and decreases the amount of mucus results in inflammation in the stomach. The excess acid destroys the mucus layer and eats away the stomach lining.
The common causes are as follows:
Burning type of abdominal pain is the most common symptom of peptic ulcers. This pain radiates from the navel to the chest and varies from being mild to severe. Small ulcers do not produce any pain in the initial stages. The symptoms include:
People with the following adverse habits are at risk of developing peptic ulcers.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is best that you consult a doctor. Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms and history, and if he or she suspects a peptic ulcer, you would have to undergo the following tests:
Here, the doctor inserts a long tube with a camera attached on one side (endoscope) through your mouth and throat, into the stomach. This will help the doctor to see the stomach and small intestine lining, and to visualize the ulcer. They can also collect tissue samples for testing.
The treatment depends on the cause. The following treatments are used:
2) Home Remedies:
It is essential to detect and treat ulcers as soon as possible because untreated ulcers can cause serious health complications like:
All the above conditions are serious, so seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
A few alterations in your lifestyle and habits can reduce the risk of you developing peptic ulcers. The lifestyle changes and habits include:
Most peptic ulcers heal with proper care, but some ulcers, called refractory ulcers, do not heal with treatment. In such cases, your doctor will run additional tests to rule out stomach cancer and other gastrointestinal diseases. You can recover faster if you follow home remedies and preventive measures along with the prescribed medicines. A lot of medicines used in the treatment of other illnesses can increase the symptoms caused by a peptic ulcer, so always inform your treating doctor about the ulcer.
The usual peptic ulcer sign or symptom is burning stomach pain. Here, the stomach acid makes the pain worse, as much as having an empty stomach. This pain can often be eliminated by consuming certain foods that buffer stomach acid or taking an acid-reducing medication. But, in the later period, this may come back.
The recommended remedy of peptic ulcers is a combination of medications to remove acid in your stomach and antibiotic drugs to kill the H. pylori bacteria. These typically include antibiotics like Amoxicillin and proton pump inhibitors like Omeprazole. You will take proton pump inhibitors for several weeks.
The usual peptic ulcer sign or symptom is burning stomach pain. Here, the stomach acid makes the pain worse, as much as having an empty stomach. In rare scenarios, these ulcers may lead to severe symptoms by causing vomiting or vomiting blood, which may appear black or red.
Foods that must be limited or avoided during peptic ulcer are:
- Spicy food.
- Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus.
Treatment for peptic ulcers purely depends on the cause. Usually, the treatment involves killing the H. pylori bacterium, if present, reducing or eliminating the use of NSAIDs, and helping the ulcer heal with medication. However, the patients must consult with their doctor or healthcare advisor for proper treatment.
Having two cloves of raw garlic per day for three consecutive days will help to decrease bacterial action in the stomach lining of patients who are suffering from H. pylori infection. Garlic has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that will help prevent ulcers and heal them quickly.
Below are certain medications that are used to heal ulcers; they are:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
- Histamine-2 receptor antagonists.
- Cytoprotective agents.
Ulcers sometimes cause swelling and scarring of the tissues in the small intestine. It can also cause edema. It may prevent food from easily passing out of the stomach. This blockage may cause nausea, bloating, or vomiting after eating.
Stomach ulcers might be easily cured with adequate treatment, but they are capable of becoming severe without proper treatment. Uncomplicated gastric ulcers can take a period of two to three months to heal. Duodenal ulcers usually take a period of about six weeks to heal. However, an ulcer is capable of temporarily healing without the use of any antibiotics.
Peptic ulcer disease is more common with the following people.
- Those who are infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium.
- Those who intake NSAIDs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen ,etc.
- Those who have a strong family history of ulcers.
- Those who smoke.
- Those who have comorbidities, such as liver, kidney, or lung disease.
- Chronic alcoholics.
Uncomplicated gastric ulcers usually take a period of two or three months to heal adequately. Duodenal ulcers will take a period of six weeks to heal. An ulcer is also capable of temporarily healing without antibiotics. However, it is common for any ulcer to recur again, or also another ulcer can form nearby to the previous ulcer if the bacteria are not eradicated.
A peptic ulcer is defined as a sore that is seen on the lining of the stomach or at the first portion of the person's small intestine, which is known as the duodenum. If the ulcer is at the stomach, it is then called a gastric ulcer. If the ulcer is at the duodenum, then it is known as a duodenal ulcer.
A study has proven that ginger can help in treating gastric ulcers, which are caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Intake of ginger is also capable of preventing ulcers caused by NSAIDs. Along with ginger intake of raw garlic can also help in reducing the bacteria at the stomach and duodenum.
Peptic ulcers can be treated and prevented at home by choosing a healthy diet, Consuming foods that contain probiotics. Avoid the intake of milk. During severe flare-ups of the ulcer, do switch pain relievers apart from the NSAIDs group of drugs. Control and mindfully manage stress. Do not smoke also limit or completely avoid alcohol consumption. Always get an adequate amount of sleep.
The following are the medications prescribed for peptic ulcer disease that are known to cause hallucinations
Treatment for peptic ulcer disease solely depends on the cause of the disease. Normally treatment will focus on eradicating the H. pylori bacterium. If it is the cause present, the next best step in management is by eliminating or reducing the use of NSAIDs. Both these steps in management help the ulcer to heal with appropriate medication.
Non-complicated gastric ulcers can take up to two to three months to heal. Duodenal ulcers, however, take a shorter period of about six weeks to heal. An ulcer is able to temporarily suppress even without antibiotics. However, it is usual for an ulcer to occur again at a site near to the old ulcer, especially if the bacteria are not killed.
The fastest way to cure a peptic ulcer is by following measures in addition to proper medical treatment
- Choosing a healthy diet profile.
- Intake of foods that contain probiotics.
- Eliminating the intake of milk.
- Switching pain relievers and eliminating the intake of NSAIDs.
- Control stressful conditions.
- Quit smoking.
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol intake.
- Get enough quality of sleep.
There are two common types of peptic ulcers, and those are gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. If the peptic ulcer develops in the small intestine, then it is called in medical terms as a duodenal ulcer. If the peptic ulcer occurs in the stomach, it is called a gastric ulcer.
Complications of peptic ulcers may include the following.
- Profuse bleeding.
- Perforation of the mucosal layer.
- Penetration that needs surgical correction.
- Obstruction of the gastric or duodenal lumen.
When the underlying cause of peptic ulcer disease is treated properly with medicines, the prognosis of the disease is usually excellent. Most of the patients are treated completely with the eradication of the Helicobacter pylori infection, elimination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents like Aspirin and Naproxen that are used to treat any other conditions must be done if possible, and the appropriate use of antisecretory therapy increases the prognosis of peptic ulcer disease.
Any form of cranberry juice or raw fruit is known to fight the Helicobacter pylori infection. It is always good to avoid alcohol, tea, and caffeine-containing beverages.
Last reviewed at:
22 Jul 2019 - 5 min read
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