Ulcers of any kind can inflict a lot of pain and irritation if not treated in time. Peptic ulcers are also known as ‘Stomach ulcers‘ are formed on the inner layer of the stomach, lower oesophagus or small intestine. 

What are Peptic Ulcers? 

Peptic ulcer disease is a very common condition and can be treated easily. A thick layer of mucus protects the stomach lining from the digestive juices present inside the stomach. A reduction in the layer can cause the acids inside the stomach to damage the tissue and lead to the formation of ulcers on the lining. These open sores or ulcers can inflict great pain on the person. A person may experience heartburns, nausea, vomiting, or burning pain in the upper stomach area as symptoms of a peptic ulcer. 

Peptic Ulcer Classification 

Peptic Ulcer disease can be classified based upon the location of the ulcer. They are as follows- 

 

Ulcer NameLocation of the ulcer 
Gastric Ulcer Stomach 
Duodenal Ulcer Duodenum (first part of the small intestine)
Oesophagal UlcerOesophagus 
Meckel’s Diverticulum Ulcer The bulge on the lower part of the small intestine 

What Causes Stomach Ulcers? 

According to a common myth, peptic ulcers are caused by  eating spicy foods or due to stress. However, peptic ulcer is caused by a pathogen, which is a bacteria- H. Pylori which causes inflammation. Some other causes of peptic ulcer are – 

  • Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs such as NSAIDs, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. for a long period of time. 
  • Smoking 
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cancer. 

Peptic Ulcer Complication –

If the ulcer is left untreated despite the symptoms, your condition can further worsen and lead to serious peptic ulcer complications. Some of them are – 

  • Internal bleeding: bleeding ulcers can lead to blood loss or even anaemia. One may need instant hospitalization and intensive care. Fatigue, dizziness, and black stools are some of the signs of internal bleeding. 
  • Perforation or holes in the stomach wall: this can take place when ulcers are neglected and let to create a hole in the lining of your stomach or small intestine. It can also cause infection in the abdominal cavity. An indicator of perforation is abdominal pain
  • Another peptic ulcer complication is scarring of tissue: Here a thick tissue is formed after an injury that obstructs the path of food through the digestive tract. 

Peptic Ulcer Treatment 

Based on the underlying cause of the ulcer, your doctor will recommend peptic ulcer medicine. Generally, stomach ulcers get cured by medicines. 

  • If the ulcer is caused as a result of H.pylori then the doctor may prescribe you a combination of medications including antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to kill the infections and reduce stomach acid respectively. 
  • Your doctor may also recommend some antacids to neutralize the existing stomach acid and relieve the pain. 
  • Along with this, one may further be advised to consume acid blockers such as histamine (H-2) 
  • Quit the use of over the counter painkillers. 
  • Your doctor may also suggest some lifestyle changes – to quit smoking and drinking, to eat certain foods and avoid some. 
  • Some medications may also be prescribed to protect the stomach lining and intestine. Most usually prescribed medications are sucralfate (Carafate) and misoprostol (Cytotec) are some cytoprotective agents, which safeguard the tissues in your stomach and small intestine.

If you have a pre-existing liver condition as well as an ulcer, it’s better that you consult an expert. Seek guidance from the best liver specialist in Punjab for your condition. 

Peptic Ulcer Diet 

When you have an ulcer, it becomes difficult to eat or drink food. Thus in cases such as these, it is important to have a diet that suits you and doesn’t cause any harm. Seek guidance from nutrition counselling services for a more personalized diet

Here are some foods that can help relieve pain from ulcers:

  • Foods with probiotics – these are packed with good bacteria and help in fighting H.pylori.  Some examples are – yoghurt, miso, kombucha, dark chocolate, cottage cheese, etc. Probiotics are also available in the form of pills and tablets. 
  • Foods rich in antioxidants– Blueberries, cherries, bell peppers, leafy vegetables such as spinach, are foods rich in antioxidants. They help in activating your immune system. 
  • Vitamin C – Foods that have Vitamin C can play a significant role in the healing of the wound and stopping any further damage. Some foods that are rich in Vitamin C are broccoli, lemon, bell peppers, fruits such as oranges, kiwis, strawberries etc. 
  • Vitamin A – According to several researchers, vitamin A can help shrink stomach ulcers and help in preventing them. Foods that are a good source of vitamin A are spinach, carrots, cantaloupe, beef liver, sweet potato etc. 
  • Along with the food that you should eat, one must also avoid certain food items. Here’s a list of things you should restrain from consuming – 
  1. Alcohol 
  2. Caffeine 
  3. Carbonated drinks 
  4. Smoking
  5. Milk
  6. Spicy food 
  7. Chocolate
  8. Junk food or fatty food. 

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