Treatments for Duodenal Ulcers

Ulcers are sores that develop within the lining of your stomach, esophagus, or upper intestine. Duodenal ulcers form in the upper part of the intestines. According to the University of Maryland Medial Center, 90 percent of duodenal ulcers are formed as a result of an infection from Heliobacter pylori, a bacterium. In order to fight the H. pylori infection, your doctor will try to kill the bacteria while also trying to reduce the amount of acid in your digestive track. There are also lifestyle changes you can make to reduce ulcer symptoms.

  1. Antibiotics

    • It may be necessary to take a combination of antibiotics to kill off an H. pylori infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, the use of one antibiotic may not be able to kill H. pylori. Antibiotics can include amoxicillin, clarithromycin and metronidazole. For the antibiotics to work effectively, the full course of the medication must be completed as instructed by your physician, otherwise the bacterium may not be effectively killed.

    Acid Blockers

    • Your body naturally produces histamines, which are part of your body's immune response. Histamines stimulate acid production by signaling histamine receptors to release the acid within your digestive track. According to the Mayo Clinic, acid blockers are designed to reduce excessive levels of hydrochloric acid in your digestive track. The blockers can minimize pain and will also help heal your digestive track.

    Proton Pump Inhibitors

    • Proton pump inhibitors are used to inhibit the action of acid secreting cells within your stomach. The cells within your stomach acts like pumps that are constantly secreting acid. When you take a proton pump inhibitor, the inhibitors works by quickly stopping the action of acid secretion. Proton pump inhibitors can also help stop the growth of H. pylori.

    Lifestyle Remedies

    • Changing your lifestyle can help alleviate ulcer symptoms. Avoid smoking, as smoking can increase the amount of stomach acid produced. According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking effects the lining of your stomach, which can lead to an ulcer within your stomach. Try to limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol can cause bleeding and irritation to your stomach. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) should also be avoided.

    Surgery

    • When all other options have failed, surgery may be a last resort. Such surgeries include vagotomy, antrectomy, and pyloroplasty. A vagatomy is a procedure where the vagus nerve is cut. The vagus nerve conveys messages from your brain to your stomach. Once parts of the nerve have been severed, acid secretions are reduced. An antrectomy is a procedure where the lower part of the stomach is removed. A pyloroplasty is a procedure where your duodenum and small intestines are enlarged. A pyloroplasty helps to allow digestive contents to move more freely out of the stomach.

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