Stomach ulcers, which are also known as gastric ulcers, are painful sores in the stomach lining. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestines. Ulcers are the painful sores which are formed due to breach in the continuity of the lining or covering of an organ. Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer.
Ulcers may also be caused by overuse of painkillers, such as aspirin (Bayer), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).
Symptoms of Ulcer
- Burning pain in the middle of your abdomen
- Pain increases with empty stomach
- Dull pain in the stomach
- Not wanting to eat because of pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling easily full
- Acid reflux or regurgitation
- Dark, tarry stool
- Weight loss
Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they aren’t treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.
Causes for Ulcer:
Stomach ulcers are almost always caused by one of the following:
- an infection with the bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori
- long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen
- Stomach ulcer are generally due to decrease in the protective factors which protects the lining tissue of the stomach from the ill effects of the acid and the two most common reason are
- Medications are usually used to treat mild-to-moderate ulcers. If the cause is bacterial, antibiotics can help cure the ulcer.
- Endoscopy:Endoscope is a hollow tube through which contains light and the camera. It is passed down through your throat to look for the inside features of the gut. If ulcer is found, biopsy or part of the ulcer can be taken for the laboratory examination.
- Surgical treatment of peptic ulcers is reserved for ulcer disease unresponsive to medical management or emergency treatment of complications, such as bleeding.
- Stopping use of all NSAIDs
- Your doctor will likely prescribe triple therapy which is a combination of antibiotics, such as amoxicillin and clarithromycin, along with a proton pump inhibitor, such as omeprazole or esomeprazole . Metronidazole can be substituted for amoxicillin in patients who are allergic to penicillin
- Breath tests:This test is used to rule out the Helicobacter pylori infection, the patient is asked to breath in a bag after drinking a liquid. Increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the breath sample certain the presence of the bacteria.
Home remedies to treat ulcer
Flavonoids: flavonoids, also known as bioflavonoids, may be an effective additional treatment for stomach ulcers. Flavonoids are compounds that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables
- Soya beans
Probiotics: Probiotics are the living bacteria and yeast that provide healthy and important microorganisms to your digestive tract. They are present in many common foods, particularly fermented foods. These include:
Honey: As long as you have normal blood sugar levels, you can enjoy honey as you would any sweetener, with the bonus of perhaps soothing your ulcer
Garlic: Garlic acts as a blood thinner, so ask your doctor before taking it if you use warfarin (Coumadin), other prescription blood thinners, or aspirin.
When should you call a doctor
- bleeding from the ulcer site that can become life-threatening
- penetration, which occurs when the ulcer goes through the wall of the digestive tract and into another organ, such as the pancreas
- perforation, which occurs when the ulcer creates a hole in the wall of the digestive tract
- obstruction (blockage) in the digestive tract, which is due to swelling of inflamed tissues
- stomach cancer
Stomach ulcers may be easily cured, but they can become severe without proper treatment.