Stomach ulcers can be a pain, literally. There are several ways to treat them and your doctor can help you create a treatment plan that won’t just treat symptoms but also allow the stomach ulcers to heal. If you have sharp pains in your stomach, acid reflux or other symptoms, you may want to make an appointment to not only learn the cause but also get rid of your stomach ulcers.
Antibiotics are used for stomach ulcers when it has been confirmed that the cause is a bacterium called H. Pylori. This bacterium lives in your gut and can cause ulcers. To confirm the presence of this bacterium, you may be asked for a blood test, a stool sample, or even a breathing test. Blood tests are not very accurate and are rarely used. The breathing test involves using a radioactive solution and then breathing into a bag. This can be sealed and then tested to confirm your stomach ulcers are caused by it. Typical antibiotics used include: amoxicillin (Amoxil), Tetracycline, or levofloxacin (Levaquin).
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton Pump Inhibitors, also known as PPIs, help to reduce the amount of stomach acid that could be causing your stomach ulcers. They inhibit, or block, the amount of stomach acid produced by shutting down the parts of the cells that line your stomach that produce the acid. Common PPIs used are: omeprazole (Prilosec) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
These types of blockers, also called histamine blockers, not only help to reduce acid, they also promote the healing of your stomach ulcers. The cells in your stomach produce the stomach acid but H-2 Blockers help to curb how much is released. With less stomach acid, your ulcers can begin to heal. Ranitidine (Zantac), as well as famotidine (Pepcid), are used quite often as histamine blockers.
While not used quite as often, cytoprotective agents help to protect the lining of your stomach as well as the small intestines. If you are prone to stomach ulcers and you’ve been treated for them several times, cytoprotective agents can help prevent further problems.
Antacids for Stomach Ulcers
While antacids are often used for symptom relief they don’t address the problem causing those symptoms. Your doctor may tell you that antacids can help relieve the discomfort of stomach ulcers and to use them, but also to follow the treatment plan they’ve made for the quickest possible healing.
While many of these medications are offered over-the-counter, it may be best to see a specialist who can confirm your symptoms are indeed caused by stomach ulcers. The GI Texas Center can help you create a plan for treatment, so you can be symptom-free.