April 29, 2021

Is There a Treatment to Cure a Stomach Ulcer?

The short answer from a gastroenterologist

An illustration of a person holding their stomach in pain

Q: Can an ulcer be completely cured?

A: If you have peptic ulcer disease, which can involve stomach ulcers and/or duodenal ulcers of the small intestine, the answer is yes! These ulcers can be completely healed.

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The development of H2 blockers (Pepcid®, Tagamet®, Axid®) and then Proton Pump Inhibitors (Prilosec®, Prevacid®, Nexium®, Aciphex®, Dexilant®, Zegerid®, and Protonix®) allow for most ulcers to be completely healed with medication. With these treatment developments, surgery for peptic ulcer disease is seldom needed.

These types of ulcers are caused primarily by three things: Stomach acids, H. pylori infections and medications, such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®).

Contrary to popular belief, the normal stress of day-to-day life does not cause or contribute to ulcers. Also, there’s no genetic link involved with the risk for developing ulcers, and diet has no effect on the healing of an ulcer either.

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— Gastroenterologist Michael Kirsch, MD

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