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Stomach Ulcers – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Diet Tips

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Stomach Ulcers – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, And Diet Tips August 27, 2018

Are you experiencing random stomach cramps and nausea? And do they appear when you consume certain foods? Beware! You might be suffering from stomach ulcers. They not only cause pain but also make eating a miserable experience. It is important to treat these sores immediately to prevent them from becoming chronic and avoid complications. To know more about stomach ulcers and the natural treatment options, continue reading.

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What Are Stomach Ulcers?

Stomach ulcers are also known as peptic ulcers and gastric ulcers. These are painful sores that surface on the lining of the stomach. They can affect your stomach as well as the small intestine.

Stomach ulcers occur when the mucus protecting your stomach from the intestinal juices is reduced, causing the stomach acids to erode the tissues lining your intestines.
Individuals suffering from stomach ulcers may feel aching hunger pangs between the navel and the breastbone that may sometimes extend towards your back.

Other than this pain, there are also a few other symptoms that surface with stomach ulcers.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers

  • Dull pain in the stomach that improves when you eat, drink, or take antacids
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to eat because of the pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bloated stomach
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Burping due to acid reflux
  • A burning sensation in your chest due to heartburn
  • Anemia
  • Tarry and dark stool
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds or is bloody

These symptoms are most evident when your stomach is empty, i.e., early in the morning or late at night.

A few factors are known to cause stomach ulcers, while a few other factors are known to increase your risk of developing them. A brief overview of the causes and risk factors for peptic ulcers is given below.

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Causes And Risk Factors

Stomach ulcers are most often caused due to:

  • A bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori
  • Long-term use of anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen
  • A medical condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome that increases the production of your body acids

The risk factors for stomach ulcers are:

  • Age above 50 years
  • A history of ulcers
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Stress
  • A diet that consists of spicy foods

Your diet plays a major role in causing as well as combating peptic ulcers. So, here’s a diet chart that includes the foods you must consume and avoid to get rid of stomach ulcers.

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Diet Chart For Stomach Ulcers

Foods To Eat
  • Protein-rich foods like white meat from chicken, turkey, or fish
  • Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel
  • Low-fat cheese, yogurt, and peanut butter
  • Fresh fruits and veggies like broccoli, carrots, kale, red/green peppers, grapes, cabbage, apricots, and kiwi
  • Vitamin E-rich foods like wheat germ, hazelnuts, sunflower oil, and soybean oil
Foods To Avoid
  • Alcohol
  • Salted foods
  • Processed or canned foods
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Too much of spices
  • Caffeine
  • Red meat

Here is a list of the best home remedies that can help in getting rid of stomach ulcers naturally.

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How To Treat Peptic Ulcers Naturally

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Honey
  3. Garlic
  4. Ginger
  5. Turmeric
  6. Banana
  7. Green Tea
  8. Aloe Vera Juice
  9. Cabbage
  10. Cayenne Pepper
  11. Licorice
  12. Vitamin E
  13. Cranberry Juice
  14. Plums
  15. Coconut
  16. Fenugreek Leaves
  17. Wood Apple
  18. Drumsticks
  19. Dandelion Tea

Home Remedies To Cure Stomach Ulcers

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

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You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water.
  2. Add some honey to this mixture and drink immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar helps in restoring the pH of your stomach. This, in turn, helps in treating the ulcers and relieves the pain (1).

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2. Honey

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 glass of water
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of honey to a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well and add a pinch of cinnamon to it.
  3. Drink the mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

You must consume this twice daily.

Why This Works

Honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase. This enzyme is known to produce hydrogen peroxide, which can help fight the bacteria responsible for causing peptic ulcers (2).

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3. Garlic

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You Will Need

Minced garlic

What You Have To Do
  1. Add minced garlic to salads and dishes.
  2. You can also chew on a few garlic cloves.
How Often You Should Do This

You must consume garlic daily.

Why This Works

Garlic releases a compound called allicin when it is crushed. This compound possesses powerful antimicrobial properties that help combat Helicobacter pylori, which are known for triggering peptic ulcers (3).

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4. Ginger

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of grated ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. After the tea cools down a little, add some honey to it and drink immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink ginger tea thrice daily.

Why This Works

Ginger helps in treating the symptoms that develop as a result of stomach ulcers. It exhibits protective and preventive effects on the ulcers and reduces their severity (4), (5).

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5. Turmeric

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do

1. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm water.
2. Mix well and add some honey to it.
3. Consume the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this mixture 2 to 3 times daily for at least a month.

Why This Works

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory activities, which can help prevent as well as treat stomach ulcers (6).

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6. Banana

You Will Need

1 ripe or unripe banana

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume a ripe banana.
  2. Unripe banana can be cooked or consumed in its powdered form.
How Often You Should Do This

Have a banana thrice daily for best results.

Why This Works

Banana, whether ripe or unripe, exhibits protective effects on your stomach. It contains a natural flavonoid called leucocyanidin that strengthens your stomach’s mucosal resistance to ulcerogens and thus helps treat peptic ulcers (7).

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7. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of steaming hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 minutes and strain.
  3. Add some honey to it.
  4. Drink it while it is warm.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink green tea twice daily for effective results.

Why This Works

Green tea contains a polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This compound exhibits anti-ulcer activities and helps in accelerating the healing of the stomach ulcers (8).

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8. Aloe Vera Juice

You Will Need

1 cup of fresh aloe juice

What You Have To Do

Consume a cup of fresh aloe juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel is quite popular for its healing activities. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help in speeding the healing of stomach ulcers (9).

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9. Cabbage

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You Will Need
  • ½ cabbage
  • Blender
What You Have To Do
  1. Slice a cabbage into two halves.
  2. Cut one half of the cabbage into cubes and blend them.
  3. Drink the juice immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink cabbage juice once daily.

Why This Works

Cabbage is a rich source of an amino acid called glutamine. This compound helps in nourishing and repairing your gastrointestinal lining, which is damaged by ulcers. It also contains an anti-peptic ulcer factor (vitamin U) that speeds the healing of peptic ulcers (10).

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10. Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper to a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well and add a little honey to it.
  3. Drink the mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this mixture twice daily.

Why This Works

Most of the benefits of cayenne pepper come from its active ingredient, capsaicin. This compound neutralizes your stomach acid and enhances the release of the stomach mucus, both of which heal peptic ulcers (11).

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11. Licorice

Stomach Ulcers - Licorice Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of licorice tea
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add one to two teaspoons of licorice tea to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow the tea to cool a bit.
  4. Add a little honey and drink the tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink licorice tea 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Licorice root has protective effects on your intestine as it enhances the secretion of stomach mucus and prevents the formation of ulcers. It can also help treat existing ulcers with its anti-H. pylori effects (12).

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12. Vitamin E

You Will Need

15-20 mg vitamin E

What You Have To Do
  1. You must have 15 to 20 mg of vitamin E daily.
  2. You can either take supplements for this vitamin or consume foods rich in vitamin E like avocado, nuts, spinach, kale, and turnips.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

Why This Works

Vitamin E exhibits anti-ulcer and cytoprotective effects when it comes to treating peptic ulcers. This is possibly because of the increased synthesis of prostaglandins and glutathione by vitamin E (13).

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13. Cranberry Juice

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You Will Need

1 cup of unsweetened cranberry juice

What You Have To Do

Consume a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice.

How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this twice daily.

Why This Works

Cranberry juice contains compounds like proanthocyanidins that prevent Helicobacter pylori from adhering to your intestinal lining (14).

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14. Plums

You Will Need

1-3 plums

What You Have To Do

Wash a few plums thoroughly and eat them.

How Often You Should Do This

You can have 2 to 3 plums daily.

Why This Works

Plums are rich in polyphenols, which exhibit protective and therapeutic effects in the management and healing of stomach ulcers (15).

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15. Coconut

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You Will Need

1 cup of coconut water

What You Have To Do
  1. Drink a cup of fresh coconut water.
  2. Alternatively, you can add coconut milk or freshly grated coconut to your dishes and salads.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

Why This Works

Coconut water, as well as coconut milk, exhibits antiulcerogenic and cytoprotective effects that are beneficial for the reduction and management of stomach ulcers (16).

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16. Fenugreek Seeds

You Will Need
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Boil one to two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water.
  2. Keep boiling until the quantity of water reduces to half the initial quantity.
  3. Strain and wait for it to cool a bit.
  4. Drink the fenugreek concoction.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this once daily.

Why This Works

Fenugreek seeds are anti-inflammatory and exhibit mucilaginous properties. This helps in restoring the mucus of your damaged intestinal lining, thereby helping treat stomach ulcers (17).

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17. Wood Apple Leaves

Stomach Ulcers - Wood Apple Leaves Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 15 grams of wood apple leaves
  • 250 mL of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak 15 grams of wood apple leaves in 250 mL of water overnight.
  2. Strain and consume the remaining mixture in the morning.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Wood apple leaves are rich in tannins and have anti-inflammatory properties. They form a mucosal layer on the lining of the intestine, thus speeding up the healing of stomach ulcers (18).

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18. Drumsticks

You Will Need
  • 10 grams of drumstick leaves
  • Water (as required)
  • Yogurt (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take 10 grams of drumstick leaves and make a thick paste using a little water.
  2. Add a little yogurt to it and consume.
How Often You Should Do This

You must consume this mixture daily.

Why This Works

Drumstick leaves have healing and anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce peptic ulcers and prevent further damage (19), (20).

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19. Dandelion Tea

Stomach Ulcers - Dandelion Tea Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of dandelion tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add one to two teaspoons of dandelion tea to a cup of steaming hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain.
  3. Add a little honey to the warm tea and drink immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this tea thrice daily.

Why This Works

Dandelion possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help in reducing the severity of stomach ulcers and also accelerates their healing (21).

No remedy or medication will work unless you are no more exposed to the risks and unhealthy habits that cause ulcers. Hence, it is important for you to follow a few basic tips and make some minor changes in your lifestyle for complete recovery from peptic ulcers.

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Prevention Tips

  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Limit consumption of anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Wash your hands at regular intervals to avoid infections that may trigger ulcers.
  • Follow a well-balanced diet plan.

It is highly recommended that you begin treatment as soon as you observe the onset of stomach ulcers. This is because, if being left untreated, they can cause internal bleeding and become life-threatening. While mild to moderate ulcers can be healed with the remedies given here, severe cases need medical attention.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to diagnose a stomach ulcer?

Your doctor may first review your medical history as well as your symptoms and any prior medications you were taking. Then, you may be asked to take a blood, stool or urine test for diagnosing stomach ulcers.

Can you die from a stomach ulcer?

In some cases, peptic ulcers can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. If this bleeding is sudden and serious, it may lead to imminent death

How long does it take for a stomach ulcer to heal?

If your ulcers are a result of H. pylori infection, it may take anywhere from two to three weeks to heal. However, you may need to follow the prescribed treatment for at least eight weeks.

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