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Stomach Ulcer Treatment Overview

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Treating stomach ulcer

Stomach ulcers (peptic ulcers) are sores or breaks in the stomach lining that should always be treated by a doctor. Your peptic ulcer treatment will start with the provider making sure you have an ulcer and then figuring out what caused it because treatments vary, depending on the cause.

Stomach ulcers can lead to long-term problems so it is important that they are treated.

What is the treatment for stomach ulcers?

Before you can get treated, your doctor will need to understand the cause of your stomach ulcer. The two main causes are having an infection with the H. pylori bacteria, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and aspirin.

Your doctor may recommend medications depending on the cause. These include acid suppression medications such as proton pump inhibitors (like Nexium and Prilosec), and possibly antibiotics. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are available OTC or by prescription. Ulcers can take about 6 weeks to heal.

There are some things you can do at home to try to keep ulcers from getting worse. This includes avoiding acidic foods while your ulcer is healing, and avoiding NSAIDs, which can irritate the lining of your stomach. If you start new medications, check with your doctor to see if they’re safe to take.

Go to the ER if you have bleeding, shortness of breath, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, black tarry stool, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, or unexplained weight loss.

Medical tests & labs

Stomach ulcers are sometimes diagnosed based on your symptoms along with lab testing. They can test for H. pylori bacteria using a breath test, stool tests, and blood tests.

Your doctor may want to do an endoscopy, which is the definitive way to diagnose an ulcer. This is when a flexible tube with a camera is placed through the mouth into the stomach, allowing the doctor to look for ulcers. They may take a sample of tissue (biopsy) for testing.

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All treatments for stomach ulcer

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