A peptic ulcer is an open sore or lesion on the lining of the digestive tract. The ulcers can develop on the stomach lining or upper part of the small intestines. Even though widely believed to be triggered by stress or spicy foods, most cases occur due to an infection by the H. pylori bacteria.
The indications of a peptic ulcer range from mild to life-threatening. The remedies for the ulcers which includes medications or therapies are aimed on reducing the pain. It includes over-the-counter medications or even surgical intervention.
Common remedies for peptic ulcer
Coating the stomach
For mild cases of peptic ulcer, they trigger 1-2 periods of symptoms yearly. This can be managed using medications that coat the stomach lining for relief.
Over-the-counter medications such as bismuth subsalicylate coats the stomach and prevents the acid from irritating the ulcer. Sucralfate is a prescription medication that binds to stomach acid and forms a paste-like material that functions as a buffer between the acid and the lining of the stomach where the peptic ulcer is present.
Antacids are over-the-counter medications that work by neutralizing the stomach acid. It is often taken as a remedy for heartburn and indigestion, antacids increase the pH level of the stomach acid to make it less irritating to the peptic ulcer. The commonly used antacids include:
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Magnesium hydroxide
- Magnesium oxide
- Aluminum carbonate
- Aluminum hydroxide
Acid-reducing medications work by reducing the amount of stomach acid. There are 2 forms of these medications available – proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2 blockers.
- Proton pump inhibitors turns off the creation of acid by averting the proton pumps that alter potassium to hydrogen from functioning.
- Histamine-2 blockers work by preventing histamine from adhering to the parietal cells which reduces the amount of acid released. Take note that a chemical released by the body called as histamine-2 attaches to the receptors and instigates the generation of stomach acid.
Since a peptic ulcer is usually brought about by a bacterial infection, using prescription antibiotics such as metronidazole or tetracycline are used to heal a peptic ulcer as well as prevent recurrence.
Due to the effectiveness of the medications for peptic ulcers, surgery is seldom required in managing a peptic ulcer. There are exceptions in case of complications such as obstructions or perforations.