Stomach pain can interfere with so many things: Enjoying a good meal, taking care of the kids, or simply enjoying an evening at home. Sometimes it happens because you ate too much, or ate something that typically doesn’t sit well with you. Or maybe it was food poisoning. Other times, it’s caused by stomach ulcers, which can really make life pretty miserable.
What, exactly, are ulcers? What causes them and how can you treat them?
What are Stomach Ulcers?
A stomach ulcer (also known as a peptic ulcer) are lesions anywhere on the lining of the digestive tract. They occur most often inside the stomach, but they can also occur inside the small intestine.
What Causes Stomach Ulcers?
Peptic ulcers are caused by an infection that comes from bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori (a type of germ that lives in your stomach and intestines once it has entered the body), or from abusing aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers
Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Some people experience a mild burning sensation in their stomach, while other people can feel a wide range of signs, including:
- Blood in vomit
- Stomach pain
- Blood in bowel movements
- Pain that interferes with appetite
Treatment for Stomach Ulcers
In order to confirm the diagnosis, your doctor will need a blood or stool sample. This is taken to determine whether you have the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria in your body. Other possibilities include having an endoscopy or a biopsy of your stomach’s lining.
Once there’s a diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help your body get rid of the bacteria which are causing the infection, as well as medications to either reduce or prevent acid production in your stomach (and thus, alleviate pain while you heal).
Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcers
In addition to prescribed medications, there are things you can do at home to promote healing:
- Try to avoid or reduce stress. While by itself, stress doesn’t cause ulcers, it does worsen the sores.
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Vitamins will make it easier for your body to heal the lesions.
- Avoid alcohol. It irritates the lining of your stomach, making ulcer pain more unbearable and may also lead to bleeding.
- Prioritize sleep. Getting enough rest is essential to boost your immune system.
- Quit smoking. In addition to causing a myriad of cancers, smoking also makes you more susceptible to developing stomach ulcers.
If You Believe You May Have Stomach Ulcers, Let Us Help You
At Pinnacle Research, we specialize in the exploration of disease. We work with over 70 referring physicians in San Antonio and Austin, providing clinical trials in liver disease.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you.