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Stomach Ulcers - Read These Symptoms and Home Treatment

Stomach Ulcers - Read These Symptoms and Home Treatment

Stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers are a type of peptic ulcers which are painful sores in stomach lining.
This disease happens when mucous layer which protects our stomach from digestive acid is reduced to some extent. This causes digestive acid eats away tissues in stomach and causing ulcer. Ulcer is relatively easy to cure but can cause severe complication if not treated well.

Stomach Ulcers Definition

stomach ulcer wiki

Stomach ulcers or also known as peptic ulcers are open sore which happened on the inside your stomach’s layer and upper part of small intestine. Its symptoms are quite clear because it is connected to a pain in your stomach. Peptic ulcers may include :
  • Gastric ulcers, which occured on the inside of your stomach
  • Duodenal ulcers, which occured on the inside of your upper part of small intestine (duodenum)
If you still wondering what is the cause, the very common cause of peptic ulcers are infection by bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), consumption of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (Advil, Aleve, others) for a quite long time. Stress and spicy food don’t cause peptic ulcers, but worsen the symptoms.
Fortunately, peptic ulcers are quite easy to treat, they are even cured with just antibiotics and reducing acid production medication.

Stomach Ulcers Symptoms

As mentioned above the most common symptom of stomach ulcers are pain inside your stomach and duodenum. But to be more spesific we may read the symptoms below :
  • Feeling pain or burnt inside stomach
  • Feeling full already, flatulence, and belching out
  • Not tolerant to fatty food
  • Heatburn and indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Anemia, tired, pale color on skin.
Feeling burning stomach is the most common symptoms of ulcers. The production of acid inside our stomach worsen the pain as having empty stomach. Eating meals and taking medical acid-reduction can relieve the pain but the pain may come back. You will feel more pain between meals and during night.
Almost 75% of people who have peptic ulcers don’t show any symptoms. With small chance, ulcers may be the cause of severe symptoms such as :
  • Vomitting blood (red or black)
  • Dark blood found in your feces, or your feces have black or tarry colored
  • Trouble to breathe
  • Feeling weak
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss without spesific reason
  • Changes in appetite

Stomach Ulcers Causes

Peptic ulcers happened when acid in your digestive tract eats your inner layer of stomach or small intestine. This process may cause painful sore pain that can bleed. Our digestive tract is covered by mucus which protects against acid.

types of stomach ulcer

But if the acid has increased or the mucus has decreased, it can cause ulcer. The common causes are :
  • Bacterium. Helicobacter pylori bacteria is very common living in our mucous layer which covers and protects layer of stomach and small intestine. It is quite rare for this bacteria to cause problem, but this bacteria can cause inflammation on stomach’s inner layer and resulting ulcer. It is still absurd how this bacteria’s infection can spreads. It may be transmitted by close contact or by food and water. 
  • Using painkiller regularly. Aspirin and other pain counter medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can make your lining in stomach and small intestine irritated and inflammated.
  • Other types of medications. Using certain types of medication along with NSAIDs, for example aspirin, anticoagulants, steroids, alendronate (Fosamax), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can increase the risk of developing ulcer greatly.

Stomach Ulcers Diagnosis

Medical history and physical tests need to be done in order to detect any ulcers symptoms. The stomach diagnostic exams may follow :

H.pylori laboratory tests

This test wil result wether you have bacterium H.pylori inside your body or not. The methods itself can be blood, breath, or feces tests. The most accurate one is breath test.
For the breath test, you will need to eat or drink water or food which contain radioactive carbon and then blow your breath into sealed bag. If you have H.pylori then the sample will contain carbon dioxed from radioactive carbon.
You need to infrom your doctor if you taking antacid medication to avoid false results.

Endoscopy

Scope will be used to monitor your upper part of digestive system (endoscopy). Hollow tube equiped with lens (endoscope) is passed through your throat to your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine and looking for ulcers.
In any case ulcers are found, a small tissue sample (biopsy) will be taken and examined in the laboratory for further tests to detect the existence of H.pylori.
Endoscopy is recommended if you are older, having weight loss, bleeding, and difficulty when eating.

Biopsy

The tissue sample which taken from endoscopy is analyzed in the laboratory.
Upper gastrointestinal series
Or also known as barrium swallow, an X-rays techonolgy which image your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. You will need to swallow white liquid containing barium and ulcers will be more visible.

Stomach Ulcers Treatment

The stomach ulcers treatment depends on the causes itself but majority is eliminating H.pylori inside your body. If possible reducing or even eliminating NSAIDs consumption, and healing your ulcers.

treatment of stomach ulcer

The medications will be :
  1. Killing H.pylori with antibiotics. The antibiotic can be tinidazole (Tindamax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), tetracycline (Tetracycline HCL), levofloxacin (Levaquin), metronidazole (Flagyl), and amoxicillin (Amoxil). You can also using stomach acid reduction such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) or proton pump inhibitor.
  2. Blocking acid production and fasten healing. Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs can reduce stomach acid with blocking certain cells’ activity which produce acid. Drugs for this purpose are lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), omeprazole (Prilosec), and esomeprazole (Nexium). Using these drugs in long term may cause you bone fracture. Ask your doctor for calcium supplements.
  3. Medications for reducing acid production. Histamine (H-2) blockers or acid blockers can reduce the acid amount released into digestive tract, relieving ulcer pain and boost the healing. These drugs may contain cimetidine (Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid AR), and famotidine (Pepcid). 
  4. Stomach acid neutralizer with antacid. Antacid is able to neutralize your current stomach acid and relieve the pain. This medication comes with side effects such as diarrhea or constipation. Antacid only relieve the symptoms but can not be used alone to heal the ulcers.
  5. Stomach and small intestine lining protection. Medications like cytoprotective agents may help protect the tissues in your stomach and small intestine lining. Sucralfate (Carafate) and misoprostol (Cytotec) are the example of this purpose.

Stomach Ulcers Home Treatment

If someone has a stomach ulcer, they may feel burning sensation inside their stomach.
Instead of medical treatment, you can also relief your ulcer with some home treatments. Just keep in mind, these stomach ulcers home remedies can not replace medical treatment.

stomach ulcer home remedies

  • Healthy diet. Make sure to do diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits full of vitamin to cure your ulcer.
  • Eating foods containing probiotic. For example yogurt, miso, and aged cheese. Probiotics are living organism to give you help on reducing the bacteria amount and boost your healing time. This organism is able to kill negative bacteria if combined with certain medication.
  • Ginger. This ingredient is able to give gastroprotective ability. It has been used to treat stomach and digestive issues such as bloating, gastritis, and constipation.
  • Colorful fruit. Almost of all colorful fruits contain polyphenols which can help you to cure digestive problem. Flavonoids which contained in colorful fruit as its color maker contribute on antioxidant, growing stomach mucus and slowing down the growth of H. pylori.
  • Avoid consuming milk. Milk can increase your acid.
  • Using another type of pain reliever. Ask your doctor about pain reliever recommendations.
  • Don’t be stressed out. Being stress just worsen your ulcer symptoms.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking may disturb lining protection of your stomach and small intestine.
  • Avoid alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption may erode mucous lining in stomach and small intestine, make it bleed and inflammation.
  • Glutamine foods.
  • Enough sleep.
  • Honey. Used to speed up healing and maintain your healthy body.
  • Turmeric, popular yellow spice in India for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
  • Chamomile, treat small axniety and inflammation
  • Garlic, anti bacterial against H.pylori

Stomach Ulcers Diet

Not only boost your antibody, healtiness, and vitality, some healthy diet may take role on eliminating H.pylori bacteria.

stomach ulcer food

The diet may include :
  • Cabbage, broccoli, radishes, cauliflower.
  • Green leaf : spinach
  • Food contains pro-biotic : miso and yogurt
  • Berries : blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries
  • Olive oil

Conclusions

Stomach ulcers are very common disease, almost every human have experienced it. Fortunately for us human, stomach ulcers are relatively easy to treat, you don’t even realize the pain has gone in the next day. But even it is just normal disease which very easy to treat, leave it be in few days can give you severe complications, especially if you don’t realize your habits may worsen it further. Contact your doctor if you feel the pain is too much or the ulcers have not gone in few days.

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