Ulcers can develop in several parts of the body, including the stomach lining. However, those that develop in the stomach are called stomach or peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are open sores that form in the inner lining of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. The most prevalent symptom of a peptic ulcer is stomach pain. Some natural home remedies can relieve the pain and other symptoms associated with a stomach ulcer.
Firstly, we will consider the stomach ulcer, its symptoms, causes, treatment before looking at the home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach.
Peptic ulcers include:
- Gastric ulcers that occur inside the stomach.
- Duodenal ulcers that occur inside the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum).
Stomach ulcers develop when stomach acid irritates the stomach lining.
Symptoms of Ulcer
- Fatty food intolerance
- Burning stomach Pain
- Bloating, belching and feeling of fullness
Sometimes ulcers can cause more severe symptoms such as
- Vomiting/Vomiting blood
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling faint
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in appetites
- Dark blood in stools
Causes Of Peptic Cancer
Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract is consumed on the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can generate a painful sore that can bleed.
Your digestive tract is covered with a mucous layer that normally protects against acid. But if the amount of acid increases or the amount of mucus decreases, an ulcer can develop. Common causes include:
- A bacteria: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria generally live in the mucous layer that covers and protects the tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. Often the H. pylori bacteria do not cause problems, but it can cause inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach and produce an ulcer.
It is not clear how H. pylori infection spreads. It can be passed from person to person through close contact, like a kiss. People can also get H. pylori through food and water.
- Regular use of certain pain relievers: Using aspirin and certain over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can aggravate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These drugs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others), ketoprofen, and others. They do not include paracetamol (Tylenol).
Peptic ulcers are more common in the elderly who take these pain relievers frequently or in people who take these osteoarthritis drugs.
- Other medicines: Taking certain medicines with NSAIDs, such as steroids, blood thinners, low doses of aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), can significantly increase the risk of developing ulcers.
In addition to taking NSAIDs, you may have an increment in the risk of peptic ulcers if you:
- You engage in smoking. Smoking can increase the risk of peptic ulcers in people infected with H. pylori.
- Drink alcohol. Alcohol can irritate and erode the lining of your stomach and increase the amount of stomach acid produced.
- Are having untreated stress.
- Eat spicy foods. Many people believe spicy foods cause peptic ulcers but this is not true. However, they can make symptoms worse by increasing stomach acid.
These factors alone do not cause ulcers, but they can make them worse and make healing difficult.
The above mentioned can cause a lot of harm to the inner linings of the stomach leading to severe pains in the stomach. But there are some home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach.
If left untreated, stomach ulcers can cause:
- Internal bleeding: Bleeding can occur in the form of slow blood loss resulting in anemia or serious blood loss which may require hospitalization or a blood transfusion. Severe blood loss can cause black or bloody vomiting or black or bloody stools.
- Infection: Peptic ulcers can cross (puncture) the wall of your stomach or small intestine, which puts you at risk for serious infection of your abdominal cavity (peritonitis).
- Obstruction: Peptic ulcers can block the passage of food through the digestive tract, making it easily full. This then leads to vomiting and losing weight through inflammation or scarring.
Prevention Of Peptic Ulcer
You can reduce your risk of peptic ulcer disease if you follow the same recommended strategies as home remedies to treat ulcer pain in the stomach. It can also be useful:
- Protect yourself from infection: It is not clear how H. pylori is spread, but there is evidence that it could be transmitted from person to person or through food and water.
You can take measures to protect yourself from infections, such as H. pylori, by washing your hands often with soap and water, and eating foods that have been thoroughly cooked.
- Be careful with pain relievers: If you regularly use pain relievers that increase the risk of peptic ulcer, take steps to reduce your risk of stomach problems. For example, take your medication with meals.
Work with your doctor to find the lowest possible dose that always relieves the pain. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking your medication, as the two can be combined to increase the risk of stomach upset.
If you need an NSAID, you may also need to take additional medicines, such as an antacid, IBP, an acid blocker, or a cytoprotective agent. A class of NSAIDs called COX-2 inhibitors may be less likely to cause peptic ulcers but may increase the risk of a heart attack.
Treatment Of Peptic Ulcer
Treatment for peptic ulcers depends on the cause. Usually, treatment will involve killing H. pylori bacteria, if there is any, eliminating or reducing the use of NSAIDs, if possible, and helping your ulcer heal with medication.
Medications can include:
Antibiotic drugs to kill H. pylori
If H. pylori is in your digestive tract, your doctor may recommend a combination of antibiotics to kill the bacteria. These antibiotics may include amoxicillin (Amoxil), clarithromycin (Biaxin), metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax), tetracycline (Tetracycline HCL) and levofloxacin (Levaquin).
The antibiotics used will be determined based on where you live and current rates of antibiotic resistance. You may need to take antibiotics for two weeks, with other added medicines to decrease stomach acid, including a proton pump inhibitor and possibly bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).
Drugs that block acid production and promote healing
Proton pump inhibitors, also called PPIs, reduce stomach acid by blocking the action of parts of cells that produce acid. These medications include prescription and over-the-counter medications omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors, especially in high doses, can increase your risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures. Ask your doctor if a calcium supplement can reduce this risk.
Medicines to reduce acid production
Acid blockers also called histamine blockers (H-2), reduce the amount of stomach acid released into the digestive tract, which relieves ulcer pain and stimulates healing.
Available by prescription or over the counter, acid blockers include the drugs ranitidine, famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet HB) and nizatidine (Axid AR).
Antacids that neutralize stomach acid
Your doctor may include an antacid in your medication regimen. Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid and can quickly relieve pain. Side effects can involve constipation or diarrhea, depending on the principal ingredients.
Antacids can relieve symptoms, but they are generally not used to cure the ulcer.
Medicines that protect the lining of the stomach and small intestine
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe drugs known as cytoprotective agents that aid the tissue that lines your stomach and small intestine.
Options include prescription drugs such as sucralfate (Carafate) and misoprostol (Cytotec).
Home Remedies For Ulcer Pain in the Stomach
Yogurts contain probiotics that help restore the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Probiotics are living organisms that help restore the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. In addition to helping achieve optimal gut health, they can help treat ulcers.
Probiotics cannot kill H. pylori bacteria, according to a review. However, they can reduce the amount of bacteria present, speed up the healing process and improve certain symptoms.
Combined with other treatments, probiotics can help eradicate harmful bacteria.
People can find probiotics from yogurts, fermented foods, and probiotic supplements.
Some foods contain probiotics. But, consider taking supplements as they have higher concentrations of probiotics per serving.
Research suggests that unripe plantains can have a positive effect on peptic ulcers. They contain a flavonoid called leucocyanidine.
Leucocyanidin increases the quantity of mucus in the stomach. This fruit can also reduce acidity, which can help prevent and relieve symptoms of ulcers.
3. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a popular herbal oil found in many topical lotions, cosmetics, and foods.
Some studies that have looked at how aloe vera affects stomach ulcers have produced favorable results.
For example, a 2011 study in rats reported that ulcers were treated with aloe vera in a similar way to a popular anti-ulcer medication.
But, the researchers studied animals, not humans. Therefore, scientists need to do more research to see the effects of aloe vera on humans.
Some people utilize chamomile flowers and chamomile teas to attend to minor anxiety, intestinal spasms, and inflammation.
A study published in 2012 reports that chamomile extracts can also have anti-ulcer properties. Some researchers believe it can inhibit stomach ulcers and reduce their healing time.
Much of this research, however, stems from animal studies. Researchers do not know if chamomile will have the same effects on humans.
Many people believe that ginger has gastroprotective effects. Some people use it to treat stomach and digestive disorders, such as constipation, swelling, and gastritis.
A 2013 review suggests that ginger may help with gastric ulcers caused by the H. pylori bacteria. Eating ginger can also prevent ulcers caused by NSAIDs.
However, many of these results come from animal studies, so it is not clear if the effects would be similar in humans.
Flavonoids, also known as bioflavonoids, can be an effective additional treatment for stomach ulcers.
Many fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, which are polyphenols. Flavonoids contribute to the rich colors of certain fruits.
Polyphenols may help relieve stomach ulcers, according to a 2011 review. They can also help other digestive problems, such as spasms and diarrhea.
Flavonoids protect the stomach lining against the development of ulcers. They do this by increasing gastric mucus, which inhibits the growth of H. pylori. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.
Flavonoids are present in foods and drinks such as:
- Lemons and oranges
- Red grapes
- Teas, especially green tea
Flavonoids are known as “gastroprotective”, which means that they defend the lining of the stomach and can allow ulcers to heal.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, there are no side effects from eating flavonoids in the quantity found in a typical diet, but larger volumes of flavonoids can interfere with blood clotting.
You can get flavonoids from your diet or take them as supplements.
Eating these fruits and vegetables containing flavonoids is one of the home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach.
Licorice is a popular spice native to the Mediterranean region and Asia. People have used licorice in traditional medicines for hundreds of years. Some people believe that eating dried licorice root can help heal and prevent ulcers.
However, research tends to focus on the use of supplements, not dried licorice root. Therefore, people interested in using this spice for ulcers may want to try it as a supplement.
A 2013 study, found that taking licorice supplements can help fight H. pylori infections. The study suggests that the supplement helps prevent the growth of bacteria.
Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties that can be useful in treating ulcers.
Honey is a popular natural sweetener used in the United States. People who consume honey regularly can enjoy a variety of health benefits.
A 2016 review indicates that Manuka honey has antimicrobial effects against H. pylori. It suggests that honey may be helpful in treating stomach ulcers.
In addition, people also use honey to speed up the healing of wounds, including ulcers, burns and skin wounds.
Using honey to treat ulcers is one of the effective home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach.
Turmeric is a popular yellow spice that is frequently used in India and other parts of South Asia. Like chili, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. Researchers are starting to study curcumin in terms of its health benefits.
A 2013 review concluded that curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities that can help prevent stomach ulcers. However, there are a limited number of studies in humans.
More research is needed to examine the effectiveness of turmeric in treating ulcers. However, the first results seem positive. Scientists hope turmeric can help relieve the symptoms of the ulcer and treat sores.
Garlic is popular in many parts of the world for adding flavor to food. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which makes it useful for fighting infections.
Some studies support the effectiveness of garlic in treating ulcers. For example, a 2016 study on animals showed that garlic can help prevent the development of ulcers and speed up the healing process.
According to a 2015 review, garlic may also help prevent the growth of H. pylori.
Furthermore, a small-scale study in 2015 suggests that eating two cloves of garlic with a meal, twice a day, may have antibacterial effects against H. pylori.
However, not all studies agree that garlic affects H. pylori or prevents ulcers. Scientists still need to do more research.
Cranberry has been shown in some studies to help reduce urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from settling on the walls of the bladder. Cranberries and cranberry extract can also help combat H. pylori.
You can either drink cranberry juice, eat cranberries or take cranberry supplements.
No specific amount of consumption is needed to get relief. Too much cranberry in any kind can cause stomach and intestinal discomfort due to its large sugar content, so start with small amounts and gradually increase.
Mastic is the sap of a tree grown in the Mediterranean.
Studies on the effectiveness of mastic in H. pylori infection have been mixed, but at least one small, reliable study shows that chewing gum made from mastic can help fight H. pylori, killing the bacteria in about 3 people out of 10 who used it.
However, compared to the traditional combination of antibiotics and acid blocking drugs, chewing mastic gum was significantly less effective than drugs. This traditional treatment has eliminated bacteria in more than 75% of those studied.
You can chew the gum or swallow mastic as a supplement.
13. Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains.
A diet focused on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is not only good for your overall health. Diets rich in vitamins can help your body heal your ulcer.
Foods Containing Antioxidant Polyphenols can protect you from ulcers and help ulcers heal. Foods and condiments rich in polyphenols include:
- Dried rosemary
- Mexican oregano
- Dark chocolate
- Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, and blackberries
- Black olives
14. Cabbage Juice
Cabbage is a popular natural remedy for ulcers. Doctors used it decades before antibiotics were available to help heal stomach ulcers.
It is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps prevent and treat H. pylori infections. These infections are the most prevalent cause of stomach ulcers.
In fact, diverse animal studies show that cabbage juice is efficient in treating and stopping a wide range of digestive ulcers, including those that affect the stomach.
In humans, early studies have noted that daily consumption of fresh cabbage juice seems to help heal stomach ulcers more effectively than the traditional treatment used at the time.
One study of 13 participants with stomach and upper digestive tract ulcers received about a quarter of a gallon (946 ml) of fresh cabbage juice throughout the day.
On average, these participants’ ulcers healed after 7-10 days of treatment. It is 3.5 to 6 times faster than the average healing time reported in previous studies in those who have taken conventional therapy.
In another study, the same amount of fresh cabbage juice was administered to 100 participants with stomach ulcers, most of whom had previously received unsuccessful conventional therapy. 81% had no symptoms in a week.
However, researchers have yet to identify their exact compounds that promote recovery, and recent studies have not been identified.
In addition, none of these early studies had an adequate placebo, which makes it difficult to know for certain that cabbage juice is the cause of the effect.
15. Chili Peppers
There is a popular notion among people with ulcers that eating peppers too often or in large quantities can cause stomach ulcers.
In fact, people with ulcers are often advised to limit their consumption of peppers or avoid them altogether.
However, recent research shows that these peppers are unlikely to cause ulcers and can actually help eliminate them.
In fact, peppers contain capsaicin, an active ingredient that appears to reduce the production of stomach acid and improve blood flow to the stomach lining. These two factors are believed to help prevent or cure ulcers.
The capsaicin found in peppers can also help increase mucus production, which can cover the stomach lining and protect it from injury.
Most, but not all, animal studies show beneficial effects. However, few human studies have been found.
Also, keep in mind that previous animal studies have used capsaicin supplements instead of whole peppers. In at least one study, these supplements have caused more severe stomach pain in some people.
Therefore, it may be better to stick to the whole meal and adjust its consumption according to your tolerance.
16. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a naturally repeated mental and natural state, marked by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity, and inhibition of almost all of the voluntary muscles during sleep with rapid eye movements (REM) and a decrease in communications with the environment. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a reduced ability to react to stimuli, but it is more reactive than a coma or disturbances of consciousness, and sleep presents very different and active brain patterns.
Sleep is very necessary for human beings as it boosts immunity. Hence, counters stress.
Therefore, getting enough sleep can help in reducing the growth of ulcers and hence, one of the home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach.
Also, avoid eating immediately before bedtime.
Foods to Avoid if You Have Ulcer
After considering the home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach, let us see some foods you must avoid. This is so that you won’t expose yourself to more danger because just as some foods help in the treatment of cancer, others do the exact opposite.
Those who are trying to heal or avoid developing stomach ulcers should consider minimizing the intake of the following foods:
- Milk: Although once recommended to help reduce heartburn and relieve pain, new research shows that milk increases gastric acid secretion and that people with ulcers should avoid it.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can damage the stomach and digestive tract, increasing the likelihood of ulcers.
- Coffee and soft drinks: Coffee and soft drinks, even decaffeinated, can increase the production of stomach acid, which can irritate the gastric mucosa.
- Spicy and fatty foods: Extremely spicy or fatty foods can cause irritation in some people. Peppers are an exception, based on personal tolerance.
In addition to avoiding the above listed foods, eating small meals at regular times, eating snacks throughout the day, eating slowly and chewing food well can help reduce pain and promote healing.
Also, avoiding smoking and reducing stress are two useful strategies against additional ulcers. Hence, this can be thought of as one of the home remedies for ulcer pain in the stomach.
Summary and Recommendation
Stomach ulcers are a relatively common and disturbing disease.
It can take time, teamwork and determination to find the right treatment for your ulcers, but keep in mind that the ulcers can heal.
The natural remedies listed above can help prevent the development of stomach ulcers and facilitate healing. In some cases, they can even improve the effectiveness of conventional treatment and reduce the severity of their side effects.
It is important to keep in mind that in most cases it is not clear whether these natural remedies are as effective as a conventional treatment for ulcer pain in the stomach.
Therefore, those with ulcers should seek the advice of their health care professionals before self-care.
In addition to a treatment plan agreed to by you and your doctor, you can incorporate natural approaches with healthy foods that can provide relief and speed healing.
Adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet and reducing alcohol consumption will certainly get you on the road to health.
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