When the inflammation subsides, your doctor may advise you to eat the same foods that helped the ulcer. For example, a study of people with gastric ulcers found that people who ate a diet rich in soluble fiber, such as oats, were less likely to have another ulcer.
Other foods that may help heal a peptic ulcer include:
- Apple juice
- Prune juice
- Whole grains
- Fruit juice
If you don’t have access to or can’t get these foods, your doctor may prescribe a medication to help heal your ulcer.
If you have symptoms of a peptic ulcer, see your doctor. This may include:
- A doctor’s exam to look for signs of an ulcer. This may include feeling the presence of a lump under the skin.
- Blood tests. This test will show if there are abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the blood. These chemicals are part of the immune system and may indicate that the ulcer is in the stomach.
- Urine tests. These tests can show if there is blood in your urine.
The main goal of treatment for a peptic ulcer is to control bleeding and keep the ulcer from getting worse.
Your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments to help you control bleeding. These include:
- H2 blockers. These medicines decrease your stomach acid and reduce stomach bleeding.
- Proton pump inhibitors. These medicines stop the release of acid from the stomach.
- Antibiotics. These medicines help to prevent infection.
- Endoscopic methods. These help to stop bleeding and prevent further damage to the stomach.
If your ulcer isn’t responding to treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgery may help control the bleeding if the underlying cause of the bleeding is the stomach. This may include removing the ulcer or creating an ulcer bypass.
Surgery may include:
- Sleeve gastrectomy. This surgery removes part of the stomach.
- Pyloroplasty. This surgery helps make an opening in the stomach wall so that food can pass through it.
- Gastric bypass. This surgery removes a portion of the stomach and creates a connection to the small intestine.
- Hiatal hernia repair. This surgery repairs a hole in the stomach that is caused by a hiatal hernia.
Complications of peptic ulcer
Complications of peptic ulcers can be serious. This includes:
- Gallstones. These are hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. They may block the gallbladder and cause pain.
- Pancreatitis. This is inflammation of the pancreas.
- An obstruction. This can be a physical blockage or a blockage caused by a piece of the ulcer blocking blood flow to the stomach.
- Perforation. This means a hole has been made in the stomach wall. This can cause bleeding into the abdominal cavity. This may need to be treated by a surgeon.
Several factors can increase your risk of getting a peptic ulcer. These factors include:
- Age. If you are over 40 years old, you may be more likely to get a peptic ulcer.
- Genetics. You may have a family history of ulcers.
- Smoking. Smoking can cause inflammation in the stomach and increase your risk of getting a peptic ulcer.
- H. pylori. This bacteria causes ulcers and leads to peptic ulcer disease.
- Proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors decrease stomach acid. This can make ulcers worse.
- H. pylori infection. This infection may cause ulcers.
- Certain NSAIDs. NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These can cause irritation of the stomach and lead to ulcers.
Peptic ulcer and pregnancy
Pregnancy increases your risk of developing peptic ulcers. This is because your body changes and your stomach grows larger.
This increased size of the stomach makes it harder for ulcers to heal. The risk of another ulcer may be higher during pregnancy.
In addition, you may be at increased risk of complications from peptic ulcers. These include:
- Intestinal bleeding. This is bleeding in the intestine.
- Heartburn. This is a burning sensation in the chest.
- Pneumonia. This is a lung infection caused by a virus.
- Preeclampsia. This is a condition that may occur during pregnancy. It can cause serious problems, including severe high blood pressure.
- Placental abruption. This is a problem during pregnancy. It can cause severe bleeding in the uterus.
Complications from peptic ulcers
Complications from peptic ulcers can be serious. These can include:
- Infection. This can be a stomach infection.
- Heart attack. This may be a blockage of blood flow to the heart.
- Blood clots. These can be a serious blockage in the blood vessels.
- Perforation. This means a hole has been made in the stomach wall. This can cause bleeding into the abdominal cavity. This may require surgery.
- Anemia. This is a condition where your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells.
- Pneumonia. This is a lung infection.
- Severe bleeding. This can be a dangerous condition.
The outlook for a peptic ulcer
A peptic ulcer that causes bleeding, perforation, or infection needs to be treated right away to prevent serious complications.
Treatment may include:
- Surgery. This may be needed if the ulcer is very large or perforated.
- Antibiotics. These can help to completely treat the ulcer and prevent complications.
- PPI. These medicines can help with bleeding and prevent infection.
- H2 blockers. These medicines help to control stomach acid and reduce stomach bleeding.
- Endoscopic methods. These can help to stop bleeding and prevent further damage to the stomach.
Once your ulcer is healed, you may be able to control the pain and reduce bleeding.
How to manage peptic ulcers?
If you have peptic ulcers, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. This may include:
- A diet. This can help the ulcer heal and prevent complications.
- Medication. These can help to control bleeding and reduce pain.
- Surgery. This can help to control bleeding and reduce the risk of complications.
Peptic ulcers are a serious condition. They can cause bleeding and pain.
Your doctor can help you create a treatment plan to help you manage your ulcer. They can also help you prevent complications
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