Is There a Treatment to Cure a Stomach Ulcer?
Discover the truth about questions that pique your curiosity in our series, “The Short Answer.” Gastroenterologist Brian Kirsh, MD, fields this question about ulcers.
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 (Zantac®, 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 two things: H. pylori infections and medications, such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofin (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.
— Gastroenterologist Brian Kirsh, MD