How to manage a stomach ulcer

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Stomach ulcers can be painful and can severely affect your daily activities. Fortunately, there are many treatments for your stomach ulcer. For mild ulcers, you can treat at home but for more severe ulcers you may need to seek medical care. Depending on the cause and severity of your stomach ulcer, your treatment options may be one or a combination of the following.

Drug therapy

Over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers may relieve some or all of the pain, but the relief is always short-lived. With a doctor’s help, you can find relief from the ulcer pain, as well as a lifelong cure from the disease.

Histamine blockers

Histamine blockers, also known as acid reducers, can relieve your ulcer pain by reducing the amount of acid your stomach. These drugs include ranitidine, famotidine and cimetidine. To achieve the most effectiveness from these drugs, make sure to take it about 15 minutes before a meal. You may or may not experience side effects.

Some side effects may include:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • Rashes;
  • Tiredness.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Like histamine blockers, proton pump inhibitors can also reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, preventing further damage to the ulcer. Proton pump inhibitors work by inhibiting the proton pump that is located in your stomach lining. These proton pumps are responsible for pumping acid into your stomach. When you have a stomach ulcer, proton pumps are usually overactive.

PPIs include drugs such as omeprazole, pantoprazole and lansoprazole. Some side effects may include:

  • Headaches;
  • Diarrhea or constipation;
  • Feeling sick;
  • Abdominal (tummy) pain;
  • Dizziness;
  • Rashes;

For most effective results, you should take your proton pump inhibitor at least 30 minutes before a meal.

Antibiotics

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics only if you have tested positive for an H. pylori infection, a bacterial infection that causes stomach ulcers. Some antibiotics that are commonly used are amoxicillin, clarithromycin and metronidazole.  Some antibiotics may have more side effects than others. Some common side effects may include:

  • Nausea;
  • Diarrhea;
  • A metallic taste in your mouth.

For all antibiotics, it is important to not miss a dose and finish the full course as instructed by your doctor. This will prevent antibiotic resistance and the infection from returning. Also, it is important to avoid alcohol while on metronidazole. This antibiotic can cause a hot flushing reaction that will appear in your cheeks. It is recommended to avoid alcohol at least 3 days after your finish taking metronidazole.

You will be re-tested at least four weeks after finishing your antibiotic course has been completed to see if the H. pylori bacteria infection is completely gone. If your doctor still detects the bacteria, you may need another course of therapy to effectively treat your stomach ulcer.

Natural remedies

Honey

Honey is a powerful antibacterial, which can contain up to 200 elements, including polyphenols and other antioxidants. Honey could be the best remedy of soothing your ulcers.

Garlic

Garlic extract is able to inhibit H. pylori growth in human. Garlic can thin your blood, so ask your doctor before taking it if you use warfarin or other prescription blood thinners.

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are not just good for your overall health, but they can help your body heal ulcer. Foods containing polyphenols, an antioxidant protects you from ulcers and heals it. Use more fruits and vegetables everyday can be the good remedies for your ulcer.

Lifestyles tips for ulcer management

Don’t overdose on iron supplements. Although people with bleeding ulcers can develop anemia and may need to take iron as a treatment, taking too much can irritate the stomach lining and the ulcer. Ask your doctor how much iron you need.

Avoid stress and learn how to deal with stress. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, and moderate exercise, yoga can help alleviate stress and promote healing.

Do not smoke. If you smoke, it’s recommended to quit.

Avoid alcohol. Reduce the amount of intake alcohol could help your ulcer.

Take more exercise to enhance your overall health.

Remember to see doctor immediately if any serious problems occurs to your ulcer.

There are many ways to manage and relieve ulcer which are recommended by doctors. If you follow doctor’s prescription, it may take 1 or 2 months to heal the ulcer. The most importance is how you are strict on your treatment. You should not treat an ulcer on your own without first seeing your doctor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.

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