Our stomach produces acids to aid the digestion process. But when these acids damage the walls of the stomach lining, they form open sores called an ulcer. When the harsh acid breaks down the thick mucus generated along the stomach lining, a disruption in the form of a Stomach ulcer takes its course. Stomach ulcer symptoms include indigestion, feeling bloated after eating, and nausea. These ulcers can also form along the small intestine namely, the duodenal ulcer.
Also called gastric ulcer or peptic ulcer, these ulcers are mostly caused by bacteria in our Jgut called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). While other causes of stomach ulcer may include intake of spicy foods, stress and long term use of Over the Counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen.
Stomach ulcer Symptoms
The most common symptom of stomach ulcers is stomach pain particularly between your breastbone and belly button. The burning pain may last for a few minutes or hours and can get worse between meals and during the night. Other common stomach ulcer symptoms include
- Lack of appetite or weight loss
- Discomfort while eating or taking drinks
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent burps and vomiting
If you experience any of these early symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Worst stomach ulcer symptoms include vomiting blood, tar-like stools, and sudden, sharp pain in the stomach. Seek urgent medical advice before it gets complicated.
Causes of Stomach ulcer
Peptic ulcer damages the stomach lining while disrupting the balance between the mucus lining and the digestive acids. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria and painkillers are the most common cause of stomach ulcers. Other known causes of stomach ulcers include
- Frequent usage of steroids
- Lifestyle factor like smoking and consuming spicy foods
- Severe psychological stress
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Zollinger Ellison Syndrome (excessive formation of digestive acid)
- Radiation therapy (used for patients with cancer)
A peptic ulcer can develop at any age. However, people aged 50 or over are more likely to get affected by a stomach ulcer. Men are more prone to ulcers than women and children.
Preventive Measure for Stomach ulcer Treatment
Stomach ulcers can be cured easily and the symptoms may subside with the treatment. It is advised to continue the treatment as the ulcers might often tend to come back and cause swelling.
- Increase the intake of foods rich in flavonoids like apple, cherry, banana, and red grapes.
- Add legumes, soybeans, broccoli in your diet to protect the stomach lining
- Foods like an oyster, spinach, and Brazil nuts help alleviate the complications.
- Avoid consuming milk and high salt diet as it increases acid production.
- Furthermore, maintain strict hygiene to prevent infection and avoid smoking and alcohol.
Nonetheless, consult your doctor immediately if you experience any prolonged symptoms as the ulcer can slowly infect your stomach.
Home remedies for Stomach or Peptic Ulcer
Certain dietary and lifestyle changes can help prevent stomach ulcers from developing. However, not eating vitamin-rich foods will make it difficult to heal the ulcer. Some effective home remedies for peptic ulcer include-
Probiotics stimulate the production of mucus to protect the inner lining of the stomach and eradicates the harmful bacteria. Include probiotics like yogurt, aged cheese, buttermilk, and fermented foods to promote healing.
Another magic potion for ulcers is honey. Loaded with useful enzymes, it kills harmful bacteria and eases the pain. Take 2 tbsp. of honey a day for added benefits.
Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic are the readily available home remedy to solve digestive problems and heal the ulcer. Add 2-3 slices of ginger in 2 cups of hot water. Let it simmer for half an hour. Drink 20 min before a meal. You can also eat 2 cloves of raw garlic every day.
Aloe vera Juice
Aloe vera is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces stomach acid production. Drink a cup of fresh aloe vera juice daily for speedy healing.
Herbs for ulcer include chamomile and peppermint tea. It can soothe the ulcer pain and encourage healing with antibacterial qualities. Add in some raw honey for a sweet flavor.
These dietary foods can help reduce the risk of stomach ulcer symptoms. Avoid milk and high salt diet as it increases acid production. Also, maintain strict hygiene to prevent the infection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I heal stomach ulcers naturally?
You can heal the stomach ulcer naturally by choosing a healthy diet and making necessary changes in your lifestyle. Try to get enough sleep and control stress by practicing meditation or yoga.
How do I know if I have a stomach ulcer?
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms like indigestion, bloated lately, acid reflux, or burping, feeling a full and dull pain in the stomach, you’re likely to have a stomach ulcer. Seek medical attention immediately.
What if I leave the ulcer untreated?
Peptic ulcers can cause internal bleeding and anemia which can have severe complications.