Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

17 Home Remedies for Ulcers - HowStuffWorks

1 of 4

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/h...

17 Home Remedies for Ulcers


by Editors of Consumer Guide
Browse the article 17 Home Remedies for Ulcers

Introdution to Home Remedies for Ulcers


Not long ago, the stereotype of a person with ulcers was that of an aggressive, stressed-out businessman who worked long
hours, surviving on three-martini lunches and too much spicy food. Many sufferers took a strange pride in that pain in the gut,
considering it evidence of their ambition and selflessness.
What a letdown: Scientists proved in the 1980s that most ulcers are caused not by too much sweat and toil but ... by bacteria.
What's more, while males were once thought to be the most common victims of this gastrointestinal menace, doctors now
diagnose ulcers in women just as often as men. An estimated five million Americans have ulcers.
That doesn't mean stress, spicy foods, and alcohol aren't important. In fact, these and other lifestyle factors seem to worsen
A stressed-out, aggressive
businessman is no longer the
typical ulcer patient. About five
million Americans, including
women, have ulcers.

ulcers for some patients. So, what can you do to avoid the burning sensation in your abdomen, nausea, or other symptoms
related to ulcers?
In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms for ulcers. We'll also review traditional medical treatment as well as
steps you can take at home to care for your digestive tract. Let's get started with a look at the fundamentals of this condition.

Definition
An ulcer is an erosion (open sore) on the surface of an organ or tissue. Ulcers most commonly erupt in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, in which case they
are known as peptic ulcers. About five million Americans have peptic ulcers.
Causes
The problem begins, in most cases, with a spiral-shaped germ that seems to live for one purpose, digging holes in our stomachs. This bacterium, known as
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori for short), is very common: It's found in about half of all people under 60 years old in the United States. H. pylori never causes problems
in most people, but in an unlucky minority, the bug burrows through the stomach's protective mucous coating. The bacteria and stomach acid irritate the sensitive
lining beneath, causing ulcers to form.
In some cases, H. pylori isn't the villain, however. People who use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin for pain relief over long periods can
develop ulcers.
Heredity also plays an important role in contributing to ulcers. People who have a family history of ulcers seem to have a greater likelihood of acquiring the condition,
as do people with type O blood. In addition, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and emphysema are among the conditions that may increase vulnerability to ulcers.
Stomach and pancreatic cancers also can cause these sores to form.
Symptoms
Ulcers can produce mild symptoms resembling heartburn or severe pain radiating throughout the upper portion of the body. The most common discomfort of ulcers is
a burning sensation in the abdomen above the navel that may feel like hunger pangs. Pain comes about 30 to 120 minutes after eating or in the middle of the night
when the stomach is empty. At this time, the acidic stomach juices are more apt to irritate the unprotected nerve endings in the exposed ulcer. Usually, pain subsides
after eating or drinking something or taking an antacid to neutralize stomach acid.
Some people experience nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Blood in the feces (discoloring them black), blood in the vomit, extreme weakness, fainting, and
excessive thirst are all signs of internal bleeding and may appear in more advanced cases.
Although ulcers are not usually life-threatening, they can cause serious damage if left untreated. Ulcers may erode nearby blood vessels and cause internal seepage
of blood or hemorrhage (massive internal bleeding). A perforated ulcer may penetrate an adjoining organ, causing infection.
Diagnosis
Physicians diagnose peptic ulcers primarily on the basis of an X-ray examination after the patient has swallowed a special chalky substance called barium. The barium
makes the digestive tract visible on X-ray film, allowing the doctor to view any abnormalities.
A second diagnostic technique is called an upper GI endoscopy (also called gastroscopy). The doctor inserts an endoscope (a flexible, lighted, tubelike instrument)
through the mouth and down the esophagus to directly view the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An endoscopic examination and a biopsy (removal
of a tissue sample for analysis) are necessary to confirm that an apparent ulcer is not actually a cancerous growth. Helicobacter pylori can be diagnosed with
endoscopic biopsy or through a blood or breath test.
Treatment
Most ulcers caused by H. pylori can be cured with a combination of antibiotics and acid-blocking drugs or bismuth subsalicylate (better known as Pepto Bismol).
Unfortunately, even though this information has been widely disseminated in medical journals, some doctors still send ulcer patients home with little more than orders
to take it easy, knock off the booze, and eat a bland diet. If you have ulcer-like symptoms, ask your doctor to perform tests that can determine whether you have the H.
pylori bug, so that if prescription medications are appropriate for your condition, you get them.
Treatment of ulcers involves relieving the irritation so that healing is able to progress naturally. Antacids counteract stomach acid and relieve symptoms, but they can
also cause complications. For example, sodium bicarbonate, a primary antacid ingredient, contains large amounts of sodium, which can aggravate kidney disease or

30-Apr-15 3:15 PM

17 Home Remedies for Ulcers - HowStuffWorks

2 of 4

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/h...

high blood pressure.


For treatment of more problematic ulcers, a physician may prescribe other preparations to promote healing. Sucralfate coats the stomach, protecting it against gastric
acid. Cimetidine, ranitidine, and other H2 blockers inhibit gastric acid production. Antibiotics and antacids are often prescribed to treat ulcers caused by infection with
H. pylori.
Although recent studies have shown that a bland diet is not necessary for ulcer management, such a diet is sometimes recommended until the acute symptoms
disappear. Thereafter, many doctors suggest avoiding only those foods known to cause stomach distress.
Most ulcers heal within two to six weeks after treatment begins. To prevent recurrence, patients should continue to avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and any foods or
substances that appear to cause irritation of the digestive tract lining.
When drug therapy and diet cannot cure an ulcer, surgical repair may be necessary. Surgery is appropriate for ulcers that recur or are life-threatening, such as
perforated ulcers. Sometimes, surgeons remove a portion of the stomach and parts of the vagus nerve (which controls digestive secretions) to reduce stomach acid
production. Usually, ulcers do not reappear after surgery.
Recently, endoscopic cautery (burning of tissue through an endoscope), direct injection of medications, and lasers have been quite successful in stopping bleeding,
reducing the size of lesions, and correcting strictures (narrowing of the ducts due to scar formation). These procedures have spared many individuals from surgery.
Once they leave the doctor's office, ulcer patients can help their condition by watching their diet. Check out the next section for home remedies to take care of your
digestive tract.
For more information on ulcer-causing stress and its harmful effects, visit the following:
To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
Among the many digestive problems that herbal remedies can relieve, herbs can also go a long way toward healing gastric ulcers. Find out how in Herbal Remedies
for Ulcers.
Curious about what causes stress? Visit How Stress Works.
You can relieve some of stress' negative effects simply. For more information, read Home Remedies for Stress.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R),
Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary
modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information
does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any
course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. The brand name products mentioned in this publication are
trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective
proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be
used in the manner described in this publication.

Home Remedy Treatments for Ulcers


If you've just been diagnosed with ulcers or have been living with them for years, you can usually find some simple
home-remedy relief if you avoid foods that can irritate your condition. Watching your diet will require discipline. Here are some
recommendations to help you take care of your digestive tract:
Go by gut reactions. Highly spiced and fried foods, long thought to be prime culprits in instigating ulcers, are now considered to
have little bearing on either the development or course of an ulcer. However, they do bother some people who already have
ulcers. If you find that spicy meals, for example, are always followed by a severe gnawing pain, assume that there may be a
cause and effect. The same goes for any other food that seems to cause you discomfort.
Test your limits. An elimination diet can help you determine if any specific food triggers an increase in ulcer symptoms. An
elimination diet involves avoiding frequently eaten and common food allergens for two or three weeks, then reintroducing them
Spicy foods like peppers don't
always affect an ulcer. It depends
on how your body responds to any
food.

one by one, and taking note of which ones trigger symptoms.


Eat wisely. The real key to keeping gastric juices from attacking the lining of the digestive tract is to keep some food present as
much of the time as possible. Try eating smaller meals more frequently. Don't overeat, though -- too much food causes formation
of more gastric juices as well as weight gain. Simply spread your normal amount of calories over more and smaller meals. Snack
on healthy treats, such as carrot sticks and whole-wheat crackers.

Up your fiber. People with ulcers should eat as many unrefined and high-fiber plant foods as possible. A diet rich in highly processed grains (such as white flour)
deprives the body of fiber and protein, which can shield the digestive lining from stomach acid. Some high-fiber foods include spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel
sprouts.
Skip the milk solution. One of the earliest treatments for ulcer flare-ups was milk, which was believed to neutralize stomach acid. However, scientists now know that
foods high in calcium increase stomach acid. So while the protein part of the milk may soothe, the calcium may make matters worse.
Drink lightly. The question of alcohol's impact on ulcer formation remains unanswered. Many medical experts believe that people who drink heavily are at higher risk
of developing ulcers than those who drink lightly or not at all.
Give up the smoke screen. Although the results of research into the link between cigarette smoking and ulcers have been mixed, most medical authorities generally

30-Apr-15 3:15 PM

17 Home Remedies for Ulcers - HowStuffWorks

3 of 4

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/h...

agree that there is a relationship between the two. Some believe smokers have double to risk of developing ulcers. Smoking increases stomach-acid secretion and
inhibits the secretion of prostaglandins and sodium bicarbonate, substances naturally produced by the body that normally help protect the stomach lining (nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs also interfere with the secretion of prostaglandins). Smoking also decreases blood circulation to the stomach lining (as well as to other parts of
the body), which may negatively affect the lining's ability to heal -- and smokers' relapse rate is higher than normal.
Work on ways to effectively control (and eliminate) stress. Take a stress-management course, learn to meditate, do yoga, or exercise regularly! Do whatever it
takes to let go of stress.
Self-medicate with care. Ulcer sufferers are never far away from their antacids. But if you use these medications, do so with care. Without a doctor's supervision, you
may under- or over-medicate. Not to mention overspending -- you may end up paying as much as you would for prescription drugs. The sidebar below offers some tips
to help you self-medicate with care.
Ulcer patients also can find some relief by relaxing more and using herbal medicine. Learn about these alternative home remedies in the next section.
For more information on ulcer-causing stress and its harmful effects, visit the following:
To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
Among the many digestive problems that herbal remedies can relieve, herbs can also go a long way toward healing gastric ulcers. Find out how in Herbal Remedies
for Ulcers.
Curious about what causes stress? Visit How Stress Works.
You can relieve some of stress' negative effects simply. For more information, read Home Remedies for Stress.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R),
Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary
modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information
does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any
course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. The brand name products mentioned in this publication are
trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective
proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be
used in the manner described in this publication.

HOW TO REACH FOR RELIEF

Before doctors knew that most peptic ulcers can be cured with antibiotics, the standard treatment for this condition was prescription medication that blocked acid
production in the stomach, protecting the lining from irritation. Physicians still recommend acid-blocking drugs to ulcer patients to ensure that the eroded areas of
their stomachs heal. Many of these so-called H2 blockers, as well as related medications called proton pump inhibitors, are available over the counter today.
While these drugs, along with antacid pills and liquids, are found in the medicine chests of many ulcer patients, it's important to keep in mind that these products
need to be used properly to be both safe and effective. What's more, even though they are available without a prescription, these medications are not without risk
and should be used with caution in certain situations:
Side effects are not common with H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and Ranitidine (Zantac), but these drugs may cause a long list of problems, from
stomach pain to insomnia.
The same goes for proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, or Prilosec), which can cause gastrointestinal problems or a skin rash.
Aluminum-based antacids frequently cause constipation and may also interfere with absorption of phosphorus from the diet, resulting in weakness and bone
damage if used over a long period.
Magnesium-based antacids can cause diarrhea. And in individuals with impaired kidney function, blood levels of magnesium may increase, causing weakness
and fatigue.
Prolonged use and then sudden stoppage of these medications can lead to an increase in stomach acid.
All such products interfere with absorption and metabolism of other drugs. Check with your pharmacist about possible interactions with your prescription and
over-the-counter medications.
Consistent use of antacids may mask the symptoms of a more serious disorder.
Consult your doctor before taking antacids for an extended period of time. If you find yourself needing to take more and more of an antacid to get relief, contact
your doctor.

Natural Home Remedies for Ulcers


For some, home remedies using natural herbs and household items can greatly reduce the
pain caused by ulcers. From candy (yes, candy) to fruit, you might find your next ulcer remedy
right in your own kitchen. The following are ulcer home remedies that may work for you.
Home Remedies from the Counter
Buy bananas. These fruits contain an antibacterial substance that may inhibit the growth of

30-Apr-15 3:15 PM

17 Home Remedies for Ulcers - HowStuffWorks

4 of 4

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/h...
ulcer-causing H. pylori. And studies show that animals fed bananas have a thicker stomach
wall and greater mucus production in the stomach, which helps build a better barrier between
digestive acids and the lining of the stomach. Eating plantains is also helpful.
Get some garlic. Garlic's antibacterial properties include fighting H. pylori. Take two small
crushed cloves a day.

Meditation is a one way to relieve stress and ultimately ease ulcers. Other
home remedies can help treat ulcers if they do occur.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator


Cut up some cabbage. Researchers have found that ulcer patients who drink 1 quart of raw
cabbage juice a day can often heal their ulcers in five days. If chugging a quart of cabbage
juice turns your stomach inside out, researchers also found that those who eat plain cabbage

have quicker healing times as well. Time for some coleslaw!


Pick plums. Red- and purple-colored foods inhibit the growth of H. pylori. Like plums, berries too can help you fight the good fight.
Kitchen Remedies from the Spice Rack
Add a shake of cayenne pepper. Used moderately, a little cayenne pepper can go a long way in helping ulcers. The pepper stimulates blood flow to bring nutrients to
the stomach. To make a cup of peppered tea, mix 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 1 cup hot water. Drink a cup a day. A dash of cayenne pepper can also be added to
soups, meats, and other savory dishes.
Love that licorice. Several modern studies have demonstrated the ulcer-healing abilities of licorice. Licorice does its part not by reducing stomach acid but rather by
reducing the ability of stomach acid to damage stomach lining. Properties in licorice encourage digestive mucosal tissues to protect themselves from acid. Licorice can
be used in encapsulated form, but for a quick cup of licorice tea, cut 1 ounce licorice root into slices and cover with 1 quart boiling water. Steep, cool, and strain. (If
licorice root is unavailable, cut 1 ounce licorice sticks into slices.) You can also try licorice candy if it's made with real licorice (the label will say "licorice mass") and not
just flavored with anise. Don't eat more than 1 ounce per day, because, surprisingly for a candy, an overdose can cause serious medical side effects.
Better get some bark. The bark of slippery elm is used for its ability to soothe the mucous membranes that line the stomach and duodenumm. It's often taken in
powdered form. Some herbalists recommend taking about one teaspoon of powdered slippery elm bark (added to one cup of warm water to form a gruel-like
substance) three times a day.
Mind your minerals. For example, bismuth salts, such as bismuth subcitrate, have antibacterial properties and can be effective in treating ulcers that are attributed to
the Helicobacter plylori. Again, some common conventional drugs are made with bismuth.
Sometimes ulcers have no noticeable symptoms, and sometimes they can cause gnawing abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If ulcers perforate, they can cause
severe bleeding and even death. But with the home remedies mentioned in this article, you can change your diet, de-stress your lifestyle and make other changes to
ease the pain.
For more information on ulcer-causing stress and its harmful effects, visit the following:
To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
Among the many digestive problems that herbal remedies can relieve, herbs can also go a long way toward healing gastric ulcers. Find out how in Herbal Remedies
for Ulcers.
Curious about what causes stress? Visit How Stress Works.
You can relieve some of stress' negative effects simply. For more information, read Home Remedies for Stress.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a
professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals,
including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R),
Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary
modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information
does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any
course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication
does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by
any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication.

30-Apr-15 3:15 PM

Оценить