The development of ulceration or painful inflammation in the lining of small intestine plays a major role in the formation of peptic ulcer. Although the exact cause of stomach ulcer is not known, experts suggest that an imbalance in the rate of secretion of digestive juices may alter the gastric PH (making it more acidic). This may result in abraded and inflamed stomach lining which leads to peptic ulcer. Ulcers are typically characterized by stomach pain, usually burning in nature. This may be associated with other disabling symptoms like bloating, nausea and vomiting. In certain severe cases blood may appear in the stool and vomitus. The following stomach ulcer treatment can relieve your symptoms safely and effectively.
Stomach Ulcer Treatments
Stomach ulcer treatments focus on treating the symptoms and causative factors may contributes to stomach ulceration. For treating stomach ulcer, the following are multiple choices available that may alleviate the agony and pain.
1. Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcer
Home remedies are classified as a fairly cost-effective and risk-free method of preventing and managing the symptoms associated with stomach ulcers.
- Change painkiller: Due to an imbalance in the secretion of certain protective enzymes,chronic use of painkillers is associated with stomach ulceration and other related gut disorders. If you are living with a chronic condition (such as musculoskeletal disorders) that requires you to consume painkillers, talk to your doctor for alternative medications.
- Manage stress: Studies have shown that stress promotes acid production. It is necessary to control the factors that are contributing to stress and adopt a healthy lifestyle and keep away from stress.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can damage the endothelial lining of abdomen and increase the chances of ulcer development. It also increases acid production, which may aggravate the condition.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol irritates and damages the lining of stomach, especially for chronic users.
- Change your dietary habits: Certain kinds of food such as fiber rich diet, vitamin rich fruits and vegetables can help prevent ulceration. Consuming cabbage, banana and honey can act as cytoprotective agents and reduce symptoms of ulcers.
2. Medications for Treating Stomach Ulcer
In some cases, bacterial infections are responsible for ulcer formation, antibiotics are used. A regimen of two weeks is suggested in order to get rid of the bacterial agents (like H. Pylori).
Proton pump inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are used to neutralize or inhibit acid production. These drugs such as omeprazole, esomeprazole and pantoprazole can minimize the chances of ulcer formation.
Chronic use of acid inhibitors has some side effects: increased risk of bone fracture, liver damage and calcium malabsorption.
Acid production occurs from the H-2 receptors found in the stomach lining; acid blockers like cimitidine, nazitidine and ranitidine inhibit these receptors and reduce acid production.
Antacids are agents used to neutralize the existing acids; they are used to ease your symptoms, not to cure the condition.
Side effects can include constipation and diarrhea.
Medications protecting stomach Lining
Bismuth subsalicylate, misoprostol and sucralfate are medications that serve as physical barriers to protect the lining of stomach and prevent direct acid exposure.
3. Surgical Treatments
Surgical procedures are mostly sought in case of emergencies where the ulcers get so extensive and deep that excessive bleeding may result in gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Under this situation, the wounds must be closed down surgically.In another kind of surgery, the stomach producing glands are removed in order to decrease the overall acid production.There are however, risks involved with the surgical intervention such as infection, liver damage, excessive bleeding and vomiting.
Prevention of Stomach Ulcers
The best stomach ulcer treatment is prevetion. Stomach ulcers can be prevented either by avoiding use of contaminated food or by cautious use of medications.
- Keep a Healthy Lifestyle:Some studies have indicated that H.pylori bacteria can spread through contact and contaminated food; therefore, it is necessary to avoid unhygienic food.
- Mind the Painkiller You Take: Use of excessive painkillers has shown to cause ulcers, especially the chronic type. Therefore, ask your doctor to adjust your dose if painkillers are a regular part of your medication regimen and ask him to guide you in the best ways to have these medications to prevent stomach damage. For instance, having medication with a meal can help prevent side effects and damage to the stomach lining.
Here is a video to educate you further on the disease and stomach ulcer treatment:
Risk Factors of Stomach Ulcers
There are certain dietary, medical habits and genetic traits that can help predict whether a person is at risk of ulcers or not. Here are some of them:
- Individuals using NSAIDS and other pain killers for a long term;
- Having a family history of stomach ulcer;
- Having poor dietary habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption etc.;
- Constant exposure to contaminated food and poor hygiene;
- Failure to treat an already diagnosed ulcer condition can lead to further complications.
Complications of Stomach Ulcers
Untreated or poorly managed stomach ulcers can lead to a wide variety of complications such as:
- Excessive vomiting;
- Blood loss in stool and vomitus;
- Hemorrhage within the gut lining;
- Perforation of stomach endothelial lining;
- Gastric obstructionwhere swelling can disrupt the flow of gastric juices from the stomach to the small intestine.
Stomach ulcers mostly show their symptoms after a certain period, it can manifest in both acute and chronic forms, but proper medications and careful prevention can help avoid complications. Besides, good dietary habits and stress free environment can help prevent aggravation of ulcers in predisposed patients.