14 TREATMENTS FOR ULCERS AND HEARTBURN

Painkiller.life presents the most popular and best-selling treatments for ulcres and heartburn

Indigestion can be pain or discomfort in your upper abdomen (dyspepsia) or burning pain behind the breastbone (heartburn). Dyspepsia and heartburn may occur together or on their own. Symptoms usually appear soon after eating or drinking. Indigestion may be caused by stomach acid coming into contact with the sensitive, protective lining of the digestive system (mucosa). The stomach acid breaks down the lining, leading to irritation and inflammation, which can be painful. The majority of people with indigestion don't have inflammation in their digestive system. Therefore, their symptoms are thought to be caused by increased sensitivity of the mucosa (to acidity or stretching). In most cases indigestion is related to eating, although it can be triggered by other factors such as smoking, drinking, alcohol, pregnancy, stress or taking certain medications. Painkiller.life has the best treatment for ulcers and heartburn.

Symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and ulcers

The main symptom of indigestion is pain or a feeling of discomfort in your upper abdomen (dyspepsia). People often experience the associated feeling of burning behind the breastbone (heartburn), but this may occur on its own. These symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, although there can sometimes be a delay between eating a meal and experiencing indigestion. Heartburn is caused by acid that passes from your stomach into your gullet (oesophagus).

If you have indigestion, you may also have symptoms such as:

feeling uncomfortably full or heavy
belching or flatulence (passing wind)
bringing food or fluid back up from your stomach (reflux)
bloating
feeling sick (nausea)
vomiting

Causes of indigestion, heartburn and ulcers

Acids

Indigestion has a number of different causes, but it's rarely due to a serious, underlying condition. It's normal for your stomach to produce acid, but sometimes this acid can irritate the lining of your stomach, the top part of your bowel (duodenum) or your gullet (oesophagus). This irritation can be painful and often causes a burning sensation. Indigestion may also be due to the lining of your digestive system being overly sensitive to acid, or the "stretching" caused by eating. Indigestion can also be triggered or made worse by other factors. Some of these are explained below.

Medications

You may have indigestion if you take certain types of medication. Some medicines, such as nitrates (taken to widen your blood vessels) relax the oesophageal sphincter (ring of muscle between your oesophagus and your stomach), which allows acid to leak back up. Other medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can affect your digestive tract and cause indigestion. Do not take NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, if you have stomach problems, such as a stomach ulcer, or have had this in the past. Children under 16 years of age should not take aspirin. Never stop taking a prescribed medication unless you are told to do so by your doctor or another qualified healthcare professional who is responsible for your care. Painkiller.life has the best indigestion and heartburn medication!

Obesity

If you are very overweight, you are more likely to experience indigestion because of increased pressure inside your stomach (abdomen). The increased pressure, particularly after a large meal, may lead to acid reflux into the oesophagus.

Stress or anxiety

If you regularly experience feelings of stress or anxiety, this can contribute to symptoms of indigestion.

Hiatus hernia

A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body, such as an organ, pushes through a weakness in the surrounding muscle or tissue wall. A hiatus hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes up into your diaphragm (the sheet of muscle under your lungs). It may partially block refluxed stomach acid clearing from your oesophagus, leading to heartburn.

Helicobacter pylori infection

Helicobacter infection is very common. It may lead to stomach ulcers or, rarely, stomach cancer. In most cases, however, it does not cause any symptoms at all. Some people may get bouts of indigestion from helicobacter infection and, in these cases, getting rid of the bug with antibiotics (eradication) will help. However, many cases of indigestion are not caused by helicobacter, and in these cases eradication will not get rid of symptoms.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition and one of the main causes of recurring indigestion. It's caused by acid reflux, which occurs when the oesophageal sphincter fails to prevent stomach acid from moving back up into your oesophagus. A little bit of acid reflux is normal and rarely cause any symptoms. It becomes GORD when large amounts of reflux occur, and the sensitive lining of your oesophagus may get inflamed by repeated irritation from stomach acid. This can lead to heartburn, the sensation of regurgitation or painful swallowing.

Stomach ulcers

A stomach ulcer is an open sore that develops on the inside lining of your stomach (a gastric ulcer) or small intestine (a duodenal ulcer). If you have a stomach ulcer, you may have indigestion as a symptom. Stomach ulcers form when stomach acid damages the lining in your stomach or duodenum wall. In most cases, the lining is damaged as a result of an H pylori infection (see above).

Stomach cancer

In rare cases, recurring bouts of indigestion can be a symptom of stomach cancer. Cancer cells in your stomach break down the protective lining, allowing acid to come into contact with your stomach wall.

What are the best remedies and treatments for stomach acid, ulcers and heartburn?

You must must take analgesics like paracetamol, antacids, alginates, phytotherapy natural products and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Paracetamol (acetaminophen)

Paracetamol is classified as a mild analgesic. Paracetamol is generally safe at recommended doses. Paracetamol is used to treat headaches and most non-nerve pains. Two 500mg tablets of paracetamol up to 4 times a day is a safe dose for adults (never take more than 8 tablets in a 24-hour period). Overdosing on paracetamol can cause serious side effects, so do not be tempted to increase the dose if your pain is severe. If the pain lasts for more than 3 days, see your Doctor/Physician.

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Antacids for treatment of ulcers and heartburn

Antacids are a type of medicine that can provide immediate relief for mild to moderate symptoms of indigestion. They work by neutralising the acid in your stomach (making it less acidic), so that it no longer irritates the lining of your digestive system. Antacids are available in tablet and liquid form. You can buy them over the counter from most pharmacies without a prescription. The effect of an antacid only lasts for a few hours at a time, so you may need to take more than one dose. Always follow the instructions on the packet to ensure you do not take too much. It is best to take antacids when you are expecting symptoms of indigestion, or when they start to occur, such as after meals and at bedtime. This is because antacids stay in your stomach for longer at these times and have more time to work. For example, if you take an antacid at the same time as eating a meal, it can work for up to three hours. In comparison, if you take an antacid on an empty stomach, it may only work for 20 to 60 minutes. Painkiller.life has the best indigestion and heartburn medication!

Alginates for treatment of ulcers and heartburn

Some antacids also contain a medicine called an alginate. This helps relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your oesophagus and irritates its lining. Alginates form a foam barrier that floats on the surface of your stomach contents, keeping stomach acid in your stomach and away from your oesophagus. If you have indigestion that is persistent or recurring, treatment with antacids and alginates may not be effective enough to control your symptoms. You must take stronger antacids like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2-receptor antagonists. Painkiller.life has the best indigestion and heartburn medication!

Proton Pump Inhibitors for treatment of ulcers and heartburn

PPIs restrict the acid produced in your stomach. The medication is taken as tablets. Painkiller.life has the best indigestion and heartburn medication!

H2-receptor antagonist for treatment of ulcers and heartburn

H2-receptor antagonists are another type of medication that your GP may suggest if antacids, alginates and PPIs have not been effective in controlling your indigestion. There are four H2-receptor antagonists:

cimetidine
famotidine
nizatidine
ranitidine

These medicines work by lowering the acidity level in your stomach. Painkiller.life has the best indigestion and heartburn medication!

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO FOR MY INDIGESTION, HEARTBURN AND ULCERS?

Healthy weight

Being overweight puts more pressure on your stomach, making it easier for stomach acid to be pushed back up into your gullet (oesophagus). This is known as acid reflux, and is one of the most common causes of indigestion. If you are overweight or obese, it is important to lose weight safely and steadily through regular exercise and by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

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Stop smoking

If you smoke, the chemicals you inhale in cigarette smoke may contribute to your indigestion. These chemicals can cause the ring of muscle that separates your oesophagus from your stomach to relax, causing acid reflux.

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Diet and alcohol

If you only have indigestion occasionally, you may not need to see your doctor for treatment. It may be possible to ease your symptoms by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, summarised below. Make a note of any particular food or drink that seems to make your indigestion worse, and avoid these if possible. This may mean:

eating less rich, spicy and fatty foods
cutting down on drinks that contain caffeine – such as tea, coffee and cola
avoiding or cutting down on alcohol

If you tend to experience indigestion symptoms at night, avoid eating for three to four hours before you go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach means there is an increased risk that acid in your stomach will be forced up into your oesophagus while you are lying down. When you go to bed, use a couple of pillows to prop your head and shoulders up or, ideally, raise the head of your bed by a few inches by putting something underneath the mattress. The slight slope that is created should help to prevent stomach acid moving up into your oesophagus while you are asleep.

Stress or anxiety

If you regularly experience feelings of stress or anxiety, this can contribute to symptoms of indigestion.

When should I consult a doctor for ulcers, heartburn and indigestion?

Most people will not need to seek medical advice for their indigestion. However, it is important to see your doctor if you have recurring indigestion and any of the following apply:

  • you are 55 years old or over
  • you have lost a lot of weight without meaning to
  • you have increasing difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • you have persistent vomiting
  • you have iron deficiency anaemia
  • you have a lump in your stomach
  • you have blood in your vomit or blood in your stools

This is because these symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a stomach ulcer or stomach cancer. You may need to be referred for an endoscopy to rule out any serious cause. An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the body is examined using an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube that has a light and camera on one end). Severe indigestion can cause long-term problems with parts of your digestive tract, such as scarring of the oesophagus or the passage from your stomach. Painkiller.life has the best indigestion and heartburn medication!


Published by an experienced medical doctor

Dr BA Mabaso, MB ChB, MPhil, MBA, DHSM

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