Stomach Ulcer Treatment
If you have an ulcer, the first thing you want is relief. In this article, we will be going over what stomach ulcer treatment options exist and what you can expect when it comes to healing your peptic ulcer.
Given that the majority of ulcers are influenced by H pylori, a course of antibiotics is generally prescribed to combat this infection. This of course is only effective if H pylori infection is the root cause of the ulcer.
The type of antibiotic used depends on your own history and the strain of H pylori which is causing the ulcer. Frequently, two antibiotics are prescribed as sometimes H pylori is resistant to treatment.
There are a variety of antibiotics used in stomach ulcer treatment and this should be decided based on your doctor’s discretion.
In addition to combating bacterial infection, peptic ulcer treatment frequently includes one of a variety of medications (such as proton-pump inhibitors or H-2 blockers) which can help reduce stomach acid production .
Acid reducers alone are not enough to treat an H pylori-related ulcer. Removing the infection is of utmost importance. Acid reducers are thought to help combat H pylori and the reduced acid content of the stomach promotes ulcer healing.
Things to Avoid
While antibiotics and acid reducers or blockers are the primary drugs used in stomach ulcer treatment, it is also important for you to avoid certain things which may interfere with your peptic ulcer’s treatment. These include:
- Over the counter medication. While some over the counter medications are fine, and may even be recommended by your doctor, make sure your doctor knows everything that you may be taking. Some medications, particularly stomach-coating medications and even fiber supplements like psyllium husk, may block absorption of medication.
- NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc). This deserves a second mention as many ulcers can be caused by these medications alone. These are very damaging to the stomach lining and should be avoided unless prescribed otherwise.
- Coffee – While not a problem for healthy individuals, coffee is thought to irritate ulcerated tissues and may slow healing. The caffeine in coffee stimulates the production of stomach acid. Coffee, however, is not a major cause of ulcers in and of itself.
- Smoking – Smoking promotes inflammation, interfering with the recovery process. Nicotine is a stimulate and like caffeine may an increase in acid production.
- Alcohol – Alcohol, especially when consumed in larger quantities, is extremely damaging to the entire gastrointestinal tract and should be completely avoided by anyone recovering from an ulcer.
A healthy lifestyle which promotes a reduction in inflammation can help speed up recovery times. This includes eating more fruits and vegetables as well as reducing the intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates.
However, note depending on your ulcer and the severity of it may limit what you can eat. For example, while acidic fruits like oranges and tomatoes may be healthy under normal circumstances, they can irritate your ulcer.
Due to individual differences in food tolerance, it is a good idea to pay attention to your body. If you experience ulcer-like pain after eating an apparently healthy food, you will do well to avoid it in the future, at least until the ulcer has healed.
The idea that certain types of food cause or influence ulcers has been debunked now that we know ulcers are primarily caused by H pylori, medications, and excessive stomach acid. However, for your own comfort you should avoid foods which cause you gastrointestinal distress!
Other Stomach Ulcer Treatment Considerations
While the above guidelines are the most common outcomes, your stomach ulcer treatment plan depends on your own individual condition, any other medications you may be on, and the cause of your ulcer.
In rare cases, your stomach ulcer may not be the result of H pylori infection and as a result may have a radically different treatment course.