Eating is one of life's greatest joys, but when you're saddled with a stomach ulcer, even this simple pastime can get ruined. Stomach ulcers aren't uncommon. Around 25 million Americans will get one at some point in their lives. Stomach ulcers are also called “peptic ulcers.”
What is a stomach ulcer?
A stomach or peptic ulcer is a sore in the stomach lining or duodenum (the first part of your small intestine). Chief causes of stomach ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori infection (90% of cases)
- Long-term, excessive NSAID use
- Rarely, tumors are known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES)
Some people are at higher risk of developing an ulcer than others, including the following:
- Older patients who are age 70 or older
- Regular consumers of NSAIDs (multiple times a week or daily)
- Patients with two or more medical conditions
- Consumers of other medications, such as corticosteroids and drugs used to boost bone mass
- Smokers and alcohol drinkers
Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Stomach ulcer pain often feels like a dull or burning sensation in the stomach. This pain most often happens when your stomach is empty, comes and goes, and stops when you eat or take antacids. It can last anywhere from minutes to hours. More uncommon symptoms including bloating, burping, vomiting, and weight loss.
Stomach Ulcer Treatment
Interestingly, scientists have not found diet and nutrition to be factors that affect the development or prevention of ulcers. Milk was once used as a treatment, but it is no longer considered an effective way to prevent or treat an ulcer. However, alcohol and smoking can lead to ulcer growth, so avoid drinking and smoking.
Treating NSAID Ulcers
If your ulcer was caused by excessive NSAID use, your doctor may tell you to stop taking NSAIDs or switch you to an alternative medication. You may be prescribed drugs that reduce stomach acid and protect your ulcer. These drugs include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), histamine receptor blockers, and protectants. If your ulcer was caused by NSAID and you also have an H. pylori infection, you may receive similar medications as well as antibiotics, bismuth subsalicylates, or antacids.
You can find stomach ulcer medications right here at Canada Med Stop, such as the protectant Carafate (sucralfate) and the PPIs NEXIUM® (esomeprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole). Learn how to order your medicine.
Treating H. Pylori Ulcers
Ulcers caused by H. Pylori alone are treated with triple therapy, quadruple therapy, or sequential therapy. These treatments involve a combination of drugs over a specific number of days.
Ulcers caused by ZES are treated with other medications as well as surgery and chemotherapy.
Ulcer pain can be difficult to stomach! To protect yourself from one, remember: minimize your use of NSAIDs and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.