Overview of Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are also known as gastric ulcers. It is painful and is like an open sore that develops on the inside of stomach lining or small intestine. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcers. Stomach ulcer occurs when the thick layer of protective mucus which lines the stomach is reduced or becomes ineffective. The most common causes of stomach ulcers are Helicobacter pylori bacteria and long-term use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory disease). Few other causes are smoking, stress, genetics, heavy alcohol consumption, spicy foods, etc. Stomach ulcers can be easily cured, but require proper treatment.
Its symptoms include heartburn, dull stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, anemia, the feeling of fullness, unexplained weight loss, appetite changes, bloating, burping, etc. Few preventive tips are very helpful in stomach ulcers such as drink plenty of water increase your fiber intake, avoid alcohol, stop smoking, limit the use of pain relievers, eat foods that are cooked properly, avoid spicy foods, etc.
Treatment of stomach ulcer focuses on healing the ulcer, relieving pain and preventing any complications. Nonsurgical and surgical both treatments options are available to cure the ulcer.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer
- Vomiting or vomiting blood
- Dull stomach pain
- Pain may be relieved by eating, drinking or taking antacids
- Appetite changes
- Feeling of fullness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatty food intolerance
- Dark blood in stools, or stools that are black or tarry
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling faint
Causes of Stomach Ulcer
Two main causes of stomach ulcers are:
- Long-term/regular use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, etodolac, etc.
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria
Other causes include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Spicy food
- Consuming alcohol frequently
- Immune abnormalities
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
- Certain medications
Prevention of Stomach Ulcer
- Wash your hands with soap regularly
- Drink plenty of water
- Increase your fiber intake
- Avoid alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Limit the use of pain relievers
- Eat foods that are cooked properly
- Reduce stress
- Avoid spicy foods
Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcer
Coconut has antibacterial properties hence great for people suffering from stomach ulcers. It has anti-ulcer properties and helps to kill the bacteria causing ulcers. Coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut oil, all of these are very effective in treating stomach ulcers.
- Drink 1 cup of coconut water or coconut milk daily. Also, consume kernel of coconut. Repeat it twice or thrice daily for few days.
- Another option is to consume 1 tsp of coconut oil twice daily for few days.
Banana has antibacterial compounds and inhibits the development of an ulcer. The sitoindosides enzyme is present in banana which helps to increase the mucus in the stomach as well as the digestive tract. The mucus present in the stomach helps to heal the ulcer faster by providing a protective coating. Bananas are a very effective home remedy for the treatment of stomach ulcers. It reduces inflammation and also strengthens the stomach lining. Ripe and unripe, both bananas are beneficial for stomach ulcers.
- Eat 1 ripe banana thrice daily to treat the ulcer. You can also make the banana shake.
- Another option is to peel 2-3 bananas and cut them into thin slices. Put them in the sun, make them dry and grind the pieces into a fine powder. Add 2 tsp of this powder and 1 tsp of honey, mix it well and take this thrice daily for few days.
Honey contains antibacterial properties and has powerful healing capabilities. It is very effective remedy used for the treatment of stomach ulcers. Honey is rich in glucose oxidase enzyme that can produce hydrogen peroxide which kills harmful bacteria causing ulcers. It treats and prevents stomach ulcers recurrence and also helps to strengthen the stomach lining. 2 tsp of honey should be taken daily in the morning on empty stomach. It will help to cleanse the bowel strength the stomach lining.
Garlic has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is one of the best home remedies for stomach ulcers which prevents it. It helps to check on the growth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the body, this bacteria is one of the main causes of stomach ulcers. Crush 2-3 garlic cloves, eat it and drink water. Do this twice daily for few days.
Treatment of Stomach Ulcer
Treatment of stomach ulcers depends on its causes. The goal of ulcer treatment is to heal the ulcer, relieve the pain and prevent any complications. In most of the cases stomach ulcers can be treated with the help of medications, but in rare cases, surgery may be required.
Antibiotic medicines that kill H. pylori: It includes tinidazole (Tindamax), levofloxacin (Levaquin), amoxicillin (Amoxil), clarithromycin (Biaxin), metronidazole (Flagyl) and tetracycline (Tetracycline HCL). It is prescribed to treat the H. pylori bacteria, which is found in the digestive tract.
Medicines to reduce acid production: Acid blockers include the medications ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid) and nizatidine (Axid AR). Acid blockers also known as H-2 blockers (histamine) helps to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach and released into the digestive tract. It also relieves the pain during ulcer and promotes healing.
Medicines that block acid production and promote healing: Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) help to reduce the stomach acid. It includes rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and pantoprazole (Protonix). PPI blocks the action of the parts of cells that produce acid.
Medicines that protect stomach lining: It includes misoprostol (Cytotec) and sucralfate (Carafate). Doctors usually prescribe medicines to protect stomach lining known as cytoprotective agents. It helps to protect the tissues that line small intestine and stomach.
Antacids that neutralize stomach acid: Antacids help to provide instant pain relief and neutralize stomach acid. It can’t heal stomach ulcer but is useful in relieving its symptoms.
Surgery is an option for stomach ulcers in complicated cases such as if ulcer bleeds, it continues to return, tear through the stomach, don’t heal, etc.
- Removing the ulcer
- Cutting off the nerve which controls stomach acid production
- Tying off bleeding blood vessels
- Taking the tissues from one part and patching it over the ulcer site