In general, the treatment plan for duodenal ulcer pain can involve a combination of medications and lifestyle changes (including appropriate diet). What kind of medication you use is dependent on the underlying cause. But many times, the goal of treatment is focused to restore the balance of acids in the duodenum (the upper site of small intestine) or to heal the H-pylori infection (if the disease has to do with the infection).
What does a duodenal ulcer pain feel like? Abdominal pain is common with the disease – even we can say that it is the most likely symptom of the disease. The symptoms may come and go (chronic), depending on how well you stick with your treatment plan!
Typically, the pain flares up during the night or between your meals. It may persist over a few weeks or days , which varies from case to case.
If the diagnosis shows that the disease is triggered by the infection of H-pylori bacteria, treatments may include (according to the National Institutes of Health):
- Your doctor can prescribe some antibiotics to help cure the infection and kill H-pylori bacteria.
- PPI or proton pump inhibitors to help reduce acid in the duodenum.
- If necessary, medication with bismuth to help kill the bacteria and cure the infection more effectively.
Proton pump inhibitors are also commonly prescribed if the disease has nothing to do with H-pylori infection since controlling acid is a must for all people with peptic ulcers. They may be prescribed for about 8 weeks or probably longer.
Other common medications that may be a part of the treatment plan are:
- Prescribed medicines that are purposed to protect the lining of small intestine & stomach from further damage. For instance, you may be asked to take a medication called ‘sucralfate’.
- Sometimes doctor also prescribe misoprostol to prevent the recurrence of ulcer in patients who are taking pain relievers regularly.
In many cases, duodenal ulcers are successfully treated – as noted before. But there are also a few cases when the disease doesn’t respond with the treatment, making the complications of the disease more likely. These complications may include internal bleeding or even perforation (a hole of duodenum).
If the disease has caused perforation, surgery is commonly used to treat the problem. And for severe bleeding, it often requires hospitalization for more intensive care and treatment.
Along with your prescribed medications, a few lifestyle measures may help too.
Avoiding smoking and alcohol, for examples, would play a role for the prognosis of the disease. Also, it’s important to have healthy diet that can help keep the balance of the acid of your digestive system.
As well we know, stress is mental phenomenon but did you know that it also can affect your physical health?
Stress alone may not significantly affect your duodenal ulcer. But with other risk factors, it may have much more contribution than you think. In fact many patients with the disease find that the symptoms are likely to get worse during stressful period.
Sleep well is a good way to help your metabolism and digestive system work better.
It is necessary to help control your stress. And overall, it is also important for your overall health!
You need to completely understand that cigarette smoking or abusing tobacco does have a bad effect to the protective lining of your duodenum. This may worsen the symptoms and make recurrence of your ulcer more likely.
Moreover, it’s clear that this bad habit is bad for your overall health.
Another common culprit is alcohol. Alcohol can erode or irritate the mucous lining of your small intestine, which then may lead to inflammation or even bleeding in the wall of your duodenum.
Therefore, drink alcohol moderately or avoid it if necessary for better outlook of your ulcer.
If you have a personal history of any ulcers and you’r taking pain relievers on a regular basis, it’s important for you to choose one that doesn’t trigger your ulcer to reoccur!
Discuss with your doctor for the best pain reliever you can use safely!
Choosing the right foods is also important to improve, treat, and prevent the duodenal ulcer pain. Your diet may also play a role to help treat and cure the disease more quickly.
Fore more guidance, ask your dietitian since diet for duodenal ulcer may vary from patient to patient!
Some foods may make the disease get worse. Fried foods and spicy foods should be avoided, because it is long thought to contribute in provoking ulcer symptoms. Your doctor may recommend an elimination diet to find the trigger foods as much as possible.
An elimination diet can go with some different ways. For instance, you may be asked to avoid some common food allergens. This can take about 2 or 3 weeks – then you need to reintroduce them one by one until you find some that actually have an effect in triggering the symptoms.
Some experts have confirmed that milk may worsen the symptoms. Milk and dairy products provoke more digestive juices and acid.
Nevertheless, the answer may vary from person to person. Milk may help coat the lining of gut. But since it can cause a sudden increase in stomach acid, it’s commonly not recommended when you have ulcers.