15 Tips For Quick Relief In Peptic Ulcer
Peptic Ulcer can be really painful. Every time you eat, your stomach bathes food in acids to continue the digestion that began in your mouth itself. Furthermore, the acids help to the breakdown proteins and fats are actually strong enough to damage the stomach and the duodenum, the part of the small intestine which is very close to the stomach.
The only reason they don’t is that the tissues are coated with a protective, sponge-like mucous lining that resists the acidic onslaught. Sometimes, however, the tissues break down, causing a peptic ulcer. Most ulcers are small, painful sores that are generally about the size of a shirt button – occur when a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Helicobacter pylori bores through the lining of the duodenum or stomach and allows acid to damage the delicate tissue underneath. Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can strip away the stomach’s protective lining and cause similar problems.
Two types of Peptic Ulcer : –
Some of the people with ulcers have no symptom at all, but some other experience abdominal pain. Peptic ulcer is most likely to form at middle age onwards.
There are two main types of peptic ulcer: duodenal ulcers which is more common in comparison to gastric ulcers. Between them, peptic ulcer will affect about one in 10 men and one in 15 women at some point in their lives.
The pain of duodenal ulcer is often described as burning or gnawing hunger pain, usually just below the breastbone or sometimes going through to the middle of the back; it is basically eased by eating and can often worsen at night. A stomach ulcer can cause a sharp tummy pain when you eat and gets worsen during the day. Other symptoms may include belching, loss of appetite (more so with gastric ulcer) or occasionally increased appetite (more so with duodenal ulcer), nausea and vomiting or waterbrash when the mouth suddenly fills with saliva.
Ulcers can be clear up on their own within one to three weeks once aspirin or other tissue- damaging medications are stopped. But they usually recur if Helicobacter is present and not treated. In the meantime, the pain can be intense. In this case, to stop the pain and prevent recurrences here are some of the doctor’s advice: –
1. Take an antacid: –
During the flare-ups of ulcer, taking an antacid is the quickest way to relieve the pain. Antacids contain calcium, aluminum, magnesium or a combination. Aluminum makes some people constipated, while magnesium can lead to diarrhea. If you tend to be constipated, avoid aluminum-based antacids; in a similar way if you are prone to diarrhea, keep away from magnesium. Ask your pharmacist for advice on the best antacid for you.
2. Reduce air production: –
OTC medicines like H2 blockers are the best ways to treat ulcers and one of the best methods is to combine antacids with H2 blockers, as antacids will ease the discomfort within 10 to 15 days minutes and H2 blockers provide longer-term protection.
Note: – If you are using H2 blockers, don’t take antacids ar exactly the same time as they will interfere with the absorption. Take H2 blocker at the recommended time and then wait an hour or two before taking an antacid.
3. Give up orange juice for a while: –
Doctor’s are not sure why but oranges as well as tomatoes and possibly grapefruit – may trigger the release of pain-causing chemical messengers or neurotransmitters, in those with ulcers.
4. Don’t believe the milk myth: –
For longer duration doctors encouraged people with ulcers to drink milk as they think that the smooth texture of milk will coat and soothe painful ulcers. Research has however shown that protein and calcium present in milk stimulate acid production and can make ulcers even worse.
5. Soothe with yogurt: –
Although milk can aggravate an ulcer, yogurt can actually soothe one. According to research men and women who ate the most yogurt reduced their risk of ulcers by 18 percent, compared with those who ate the least. The friendly bacteria in yogurt such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and L. Acidophilus may be the therapeutic substance.
6. Guard with garlic: –
From very long it is been known as a natural antibiotic, some alternative experts suspect that garlic may also inhibit the growth of H. Pylori. In a laboratory study, the extract from the equivalent of two cloves of garlic was able to stop the growth of this ulcer-causing bacteria.
7. Ask your doctor about licorice: –
It is the traditional folk remedy for ulcers and there is some evidence that is very effective. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, a compound which is thought to strengthen the intestinal lining and help ulcers to heal much more quickly.
You need to read the label on the packet – much ‘licorice is actually made with licorice flavoring which won’t have the same effect as the real thing. The recommended dose is 1.5 to 3 grams per day.
Note:- Liquorice should not be used on a daily basis for more than four to six weeks because the long- term daily use of licorice can cause high blood pressure. So talk to your doctor before taking it.
8. Eat more frequently: –
Even though the stomach’s acid production increases during and after meals. The presence of food in the stomach helps stomach, which helps to protect it from digestive acids. Rather than having two or three large meals in a day, eat five or six small meals instead.
9. Try a different painkiller: –
Aspirin and ibuprofen are the most effective OTC painkillers but long-term use of these medicines is a common cause of stomach ulcers.
If you need long-term pain relief – because of arthritis your doctor may advise you to switch on to paracetamol. It is as effective as ibuprofen and aspirin for easing many types of pain but it is less likely to damage the stomach lining.
10. Reduce the stress in your life: –
For longer duration of time major stress was considered to be responsible for leading cause of ulcers. Doctors now believe that stress probably doesn’t cause ulcers – but does worsen symptoms if an ulcer is present, possibly because the stomach produces more acid in response to stress.
11. Quit smoking: –
People who smoke are much more likely to get ulcers than those who don’t. Smoking slows down the healing time of ulcers, increases the risk of relapses and makes our body more susceptible to infection-causing bacteria.
12. Cut back on coffee: –
Both standard and decaffeinated coffee increase the levels of stomach acid. Coffee is unlikely to cause ulcers but it can increase the discomfort while an ulcer is healing.
13. Drink lots of water: –
You need to drink at least 2 liters of water in a day when ulcers are active and drink a full glass of water whenever you have pain. Water helps to dilute the acid in the stomach and unlike milk, it won’t stimulate the production of more acid.