Most people know what it feels like to have an open wound, such as on your arm or your leg. It’s painful. Imagine having that same type of open sore on the lining of your stomach. That’s what it feels like to have a peptic ulcer—It’s a severe burning pain inside the stomach. Fortunately, individuals suffering from a peptic ulcer can achieve some relief and support healing with certain natural interventions, including dietary modifications and dietary supplements.
Who is more likely to get ulcers?
One in 10 people develops an ulcer. Risk factors that make ulcers more likely include:
- Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a group of common pain relievers which includes ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®).
- A family history of ulcers.
- Illness such as liver, kidney or lung disease.
- Regularly drinking alcohol.
Will ulcers heal on their own?
Though ulcers can sometimes heal on their own, you shouldn’t ignore the warning signs. Without the right treatment, ulcers can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Perforation (a hole through the wall of the stomach).
- Gastric outlet obstruction (from swelling or scarring) that blocks the passageway from the stomach to the small intestine.
How can I prevent ulcers?
You may be able to prevent ulcers from forming if you:
- Talk to your doctor at Triborough GI about alternatives to NSAID medications (like acetaminophen) to relieve pain.
- Discuss protective measures with your doctor, if you can’t stop taking an NSAID.
- Opt for the lowest effective dose of NSAID and take it with a meal.
- Quit smoking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Healing peptic ulcers involves getting to the root cause by addressing possible H. pylori infection, chronic NSAID use, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, stress, or a poor diet. An integrative treatment approach that includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations, as well as dietary supplements, can be effective at reversing peptic ulcer disease.