More than 500,000 stomach ulcers are diagnosed in the United States every year, so if you haven’t dealt with one, odds are you know someone who has worked to overcome a stomach ulcer. Also known as peptic ulcers, they are painful sores that develop inside the lining of the digestive system. These ulcers commonly develop in the stomach, but they can also form in the esophagus or small intestine.
If you know or suspect that you may be dealing with a stomach ulcer, you’re probably wondering if the condition will go away on its own or if you’ll need to have the ulcer surgically addressed. The answer lies somewhere in the middle, and we explain more about stomach ulcer treatment in today’s blog.
Will Stomach Ulcers Resolve Without Surgery?
We’ll start with the good news. Oftentimes stomach ulcers will resolve on their own without surgical intervention. That said, we’re hesitant to say that the stomach ulcers resolve on their own, because if you don’t make any changes to your current lifestyle, odds are they’ll remain or they’ll get worse.
In order to figure out what type of conservative treatment will work best, you’ll want to head to a GI specialist’s office. Dr. Bhatti and his team have extensive experience diagnosing and treating stomach ulcers, and we can do the same for you. Oftentimes stomach ulcers are caused or worsened by:
- The presence of a specific bacteria known as H. pylori
- Long-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use
- Lifestyle triggers (diet, tobacco use, stress)
With that in mind, stomach ulcers can certainly resolve without surgery, but you’ll want to attack your root cause with targeted non-operative treatment. For patients whose stomach ulcers are caused or worsened by the H. pylori bacteria, you may find relief with the help of antibiotics and the use of a proton pump inhibitor, which limits the amount of stomach acid produced by your stomach.
Proton pump inhibitors and dietary adjustments will also be helpful for patients who are dealing with ulcers that form as a result of long-term medication use. Decreasing the amount of stomach acid in your system will give the ulcer more unaffected time to heal, and then you can have a conversation with your doctor about future medication use to prevent a recurrence.
Finally, if your peptic ulcer is being worsened by lifestyle factors like chronic stress, tobacco and alcohol use or a poor diet, make some positive changes in these realms. Find healthy outlets for your stress, like exercise, meditation or yoga, and limit or eliminate tobacco and alcohol from your routine. When it comes to your diet, swap in more healthy fruits and vegetables in place of dairy and high-fat foods, which can oftentimes make ulcer symptoms worse. Becoming an overall healthier person should provide a more ideal environment for your stomach ulcer to resolve.
Of course, if you want professional assistance along the way, make sure your first call is the Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants. For more information, or for help with your digestive issue, give our team a call today at (952) 368-3800.