How to Treat Ulcers

Treat Ulcers
Treat Ulcers

How to Treat Ulcers. Peptic ulcers develop when the mucous membrane lining the stomach or intestine cannot protect itself from irritating gastric juices.

Things You'll Need

  • Stress Relief Products
  • Antacids

Take antacids. Ask your doctor for recommendations - Maalox TC and Mylanta-II offer the highest acid-neutralizing capacity per teaspoonful.

Talk to your doctor about using a histamine receptor antagonist (like cimetidine, ranitidine or famotidine) to reduce stomach acid. They are all available without prescription.

Try taking a bismuth-containing preparation along with or instead of an antacid.

Ask for an upper-GI series, known as a barium swallow, to locate the site of ulceration and to check for bleeding, as well as a gastric analysis test, to measure the level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach.

Have a serum test for Helicobacter pylori, and take prescription medication if you have it.

Consider surgery if pain persists or for the complications of the ulcer. Surgical options are severing the nerve that goes to the stomach (vagotomy), removing part of the stomach (gastrectomy), or removing the acid-producing part of the stomach (anthrectomy).

Avoid eating foods that cause stomach pain: pepper, coffee (both regular and decaffeinated), fruit juices, spicy and fatty foods, and alcoholic beverages.

Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and glucosteroids. If you have a prescription for steroids of any type, check with your doctor to see if they might be irritating your stomach lining.

Relax. Stress causes excess secretions in the gastric tract.

Tips & Warnings

  • For years, peptic ulcers were thought to be caused by the oversecretion of gastric juice in relation to how well the mucous-membrane lining could protect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Now, it is believed that the chief cause of a peptic ulcer is actually a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, which causes corrosion of the GI's mucous coating.
  • All medicines, even antacids, can cause serious side effects. Consult your doctor if you feel you may have an ulcer or experience any chronic stomach pain.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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