Peptic ulcer may be located anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, but it is the most common in the duodenum and in the stomach. Ulcer is actually the erosion of stomach mucosa, larger than 0.5cm. Stomach ulcers are often associated with the infection with Helicobacter pylori, and about 80% of the patients suffering from stomach ulcer have this bacterium. Ulcer may be caused by long term intake of non steroid anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). The most commonly used NSAIDs are Aspirin, naproxen, Indocin, and Voltaren. A small percent of stomach ulcers is caused by the stomach tumor.
Peptic ulcer can be the cause of abdominal pain, especially couple of hours after meals. The pain can worsen when the food get digested and leave the stomach. In some cases, patients suffering from peptic ulcer could experience nausea, vomiting, bloating or hunger. In some cases, there are blood vomits and blood in the stool. Black (blooded) stool is the serious condition, which should be consulted with the doctor.
The diagnosis of peptic stomach ulcer is often established by the presence of symptoms and medical history of the patient. Direct endoscopic exam or barium X-ray of the stomach might also be helpful to confirm the diagnosis. Suspected malignant tumor of the stomach is diagnosed with biopsy.
Stomach Ulcer Treatment
Since H. pylori and NSAIDs are the common causes of stomach ulcers, these are the conditions which should be addressed. Helicobacter pylori is treated with the combination of several different antibiotic medications and avoiding the NSAIDs which damaged the stomach will help healing the tissue and ulcers.
The healing of the peptic ulcer might be speed up with the use of acid suppressing medications.
Home remedies for ulcer treatment often include healthy lifestyle habits. People suffering from peptic ulcers should not use alcohol, caffeine or nicotine. Stress could be one of the risk factors for the development of the ulcer and if possible, it should be minimized. Spicy, hot and sour food could aggravate the existing ulcer and should be avoided until the ulcer healed. Try to eat simple food, always at the same time every day. It will be helpful for your stomach and should ease the unpleasant ulcer symptoms.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a known herbal remedy for ulcers. The licorice root should be soaked in the water and left in for 8 hours. After that time, use the liquid when eating.
OTC antacids, like Pepto-Bismol, are also available for the ulcer relief.
When the medications or diet and lifestyle measures don’t work, patients could be helped with some surgical procedures.