ulcer — as the name suggests — is an open sore with inflammation that forms
on the inside lining of the stomach. If left untreated it may turn to become
serious, leading to dangerous complications. So it’s usually necessary to take prompt
treatment to deal with! The good news, it is treatable and even often curable. The
biggest question, how long does it take to heal?
are a number of causes of stomach ulcer. But in most cases, it is caused by
bacteria called H-pylori (Helicobacter pylori).
H-pylori infection is infection at the inner surface of the stomach caused by H-pylori. Sometimes the infection occurs on the inside lining of the upper portion of small intestine, causing peptic ulcer called duodenal ulcer.
possible complications of H-pylori infection:
the infection doesn’t cause an ulcer, it may cause inflammation of your stomach
is also associated with increased risk for certain types of stomach cancer,
though this issue is still debatable.
knows the exact way of how H-pylori infect people, but there are some possible
explanations. For example, it may spread through contaminated water or food. Or
it may spread through direct contact with vomit, saliva, or fecal matter.
infection is more common during childhood, but it can also occur during
adulthood. Worldwide, more than half the people may have it at some point in
news, it doesn’t always cause serious problem. Even most people with it don’t
realize the infection!
many people with H-pylori infection don’t develop stomach ulcer (though this
infection is the leading cause of the disease). This suggests that there are
other risk factors of stomach ulcer. For examples:
people may have more powerful immune system. They may be born with more
resistance to the harmful effects of the infection caused by H-pylori.
use of certain medicines (such as aspirin or other pain relievers) may make the
H-pylori infection more likely. This is especially true if you are a heavy
drinker and smoker. Uncontrolled stress and eating extreme spicy foods may also
have an effect!
think you have H-pylori infection and do worry about the infection, see a
doctor! Prompt treatment is usually required if the infection causes symptoms. These
symptoms include :
- Stomach pain, which is also the most common symptom of stomach ulcer. It may last several minutes to a few hours. The pain usually gets worse when the stomach is empty, when there is almost no food that buffers your stomach acid. The pain may also travel from your abdomen to somewhere else especially such as the back, up to the neck, or down to the belly button.
- Other stomach discomforts such as nausea, frequent bloating /burping (especially after eating fatty foods), and fatty food intolerance.
- Appetite loss, which is usually followed with weight changes (unintentional weight loss).
- Heartburn is also quite common in people with peptic ulcer.
ulcer progresses and becomes advanced, it may cause some of the following
feeling of being sick.
sometimes with blood which may appear black or red.
blood in the stool. The stools may look tarry or black.
may feel faint.
How long does stomach ulcer take
news, stomach ulcer is treatable. Even new treatments are more effective to
make the ulcer heal more quickly. But how long does it take to heal?
The answer can vary from case to case, which is usually dependent on several factors. The main ones are the cause and severity of the ulcer. What kind of treatment you take would also have an effect!
H-pylori infection is the cause of your ulcer, the goal of the treatment is to
drive away the infection and reduce the stomach acid level. The standard
treatment usually involves some of the following approaches for 1-2 weeks or
to kill the bacteria (H-pylori). Doctors usually prescribe more than one type
of antibiotic. Even sometimes 3 different types of antibiotics may be
pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce the stomach acid by inhibiting the action of
certain cells that release stomach acid. High stomach acid level can worsen the
sore, preventing the ulcer from healing naturally.
necessary, bismuth may be added to help cure the infection. It is a major
constituent of Pepto-Bismol.
of your medications as directed! For example, take the full course of your
antibiotics or follow the duration directed by your doctor – don’t stop early
even though you start to feel better! This is important to wipe out all of the
the treatment course, the affected lining of the stomach may take several weeks
to heal completely. And about a month afterward, you’ll also be re-tested to
see whether or not the infection has been completely cured (this is important
to make sure that there are no any H-pylori bacteria left).
ulcer is caused by the regular use of pain relievers such as NSAIDs or aspirin
(without H-pylori infection), your doctor will:
your painkillers! If possible, you may be asked to stop using them. Or you may
be suggested to take alternative pain medication not associated with the
increased risk of peptic ulcer such as paracetamol.
certain medications to help the ulcer heal more quickly. For instance, PPIs may
be prescribed for about 2 months.
also be prescribed in long term if you need to continue using certain
medications that cause your ulcer. But the decision of regularly using
painkillers when you have stomach ulcer may cause increased risk of internal
bleeding. So this option should be regularly monitored by your doctor!
the ulcer fails to heal or even it gets worse. This may occur due to several
reasons, these include: