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Is There a Cure for Stomach Ulcers?

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/24/2006 | Health
Are you one of the approximately 25 million Americans, among others, who suffer the pain and discomfort of stomach ulcers? Are you restricting your diet from spicy foods and alcohol and blaming stress or bad genes for the constant burning sensations?

Stomach ulcers, called peptic ulcers, are a common complaint and are usually treated with over the counter antacids or prescription medication. Lifestyle changes, including diet and stress reduction, can affect your job, family time and enjoyment of life.

If you've been suffering from stomach ulcers for a long time, there's good news - you CAN find a cure!

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PEPTIC ULCERS?

The most common symptom of peptic ulcers is a burning sensation or pain behind the breastbone or in the abdomen.

Other, less common symptoms include: belching, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite or bleeding. A bleeding ulcer can lead to anemia, fatigue and more serious complications.

Since many people find their symptoms worse in the night or early morning when the stomach is empty the pain is often relieved by eating or taking antacids.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF PEPTIC ULCERS?

Until fairly recently, stomach ulcers were blamed on a diet of spicy foods, alcohol, too much stress or even heredity. Now researchers are looking at bacteria called H. pylori as the cause behind up to 90% of cases of peptic ulcers.

What this new information has done is offer medical professionals a means of targeting the cause, rather than the symptoms, of peptic ulcers. That means a cure instead of temporary relief.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE H. PYLORI INFECTION?

The H. pylori bacteria are quite widespread, although no concrete statement has been made as to how it is spread or how to prevent contamination. In fact, you can be infected with H. pylori and have no symptoms at all.

The H. pylori bacteria live in the lining of the stomach and so are able to survive the acidic environment. Tests for the H. pylori bacteria include blood samples, breath tests or samples of stomach lining taken during an endoscopy which is when a small camera is inserted trough the mouth and into the stomach to look for ulcers.

HOW IS H. PYLORI INFECTION TREATED?

Prescription medication in the past concentrated on reducing the acid in the stomach so the ulcers could heal. If an H. pylori bacterium is the culprit it will require a treatment of antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria - possibly forever.

Those who prefer to use natural cures can look for information on licorice root extract and broccoli sprouts as possible links to helping cure stomach ulcers due to the H. pylori infection.

Speak to your health care provider to find out what the best strategy is to treat and CURE your ulcers so you can live life to its fullest!